Today in Magnet Theatre Outreach in Hilton Nakuru

The synopsis

The performance was about a young woman who needs money to take a sick child to the hospital. In the neighborhood there are two young ladies who do commercial sex to earn a living. She approaches the two ladies for assistance; they tell her that the best way to get money and take the child to the hospital is to accompany them to a night, a place where she will get money, more money. At night they go the night club and the girl with the sick child is introduced to a man who offers to pay her 5000 Ksh for a whole night unprotected sexual intercourse or 500 shillings for sex with a condom. The other ladies are pushing her to accept or else they do away with her. Should she take the big offer and serve the child or the small offer and loose the friends and the child?

The magnet theatre session

After mobilizing the community to the magnet theatre site the facilitator introduced the charters profile while the audiences give them names. During the presentation the following issues come out from the audiences/spectators, some the audience members argued that the young girl should go for the big money because the life of the child is more important than her life, one of the audience members said that better loose the child because she can give birth to another child, John a member of the audience said that the young to use a Condon and tell the man her problem, when asked how to tell the man John stepped forward and demonstrated how he will do it, but the people said that it was difficult to convince a man with such mind set, Mama Merry said that the best thing for the young girl to do is to fund raise for the child treatment from well wishers and friends, one member of the community who goes by the name Musa said that he will lead the fund raising for the child because the young girls may end up with an STI from the man and may be HIV so before it happens he is willing to lead a fundraising. The sessions ended with one member of the audience taking the young girl out of the stage just to make sure that the girl does not change her mind.

After the outreach the members gave out 400 male condoms and held one on one talk with the community members at the site. IEC materials distributed posters, and magazines with the following thematic concern ARV and VCT.

Issue arising from the Magnet Theatre session today

  • Many people wanted to know more about malaria, its mode of transmission, prevention and treatment.

  • We found that prostitution is in the area especially amongst young women between the ages of 16 and 27.
  • Drug abuse is also one of their major concerns especially amongst to the youth where they abuse drugs like bhang.
  • It was also proposed by some community members that we have a session with them and teach them about health issues generally.
  • They also told us to take VCT to the site.

Key questions from the site include:

Why do people use condoms? Is it applicable to married people?

Does window period vary from one person to another?The above issues will be discussed in the next magnet issues.

the peace caravan by James Karongo

Our stay at the Naivasha Stadium IDP camp came to an end and after breakfast, we went into un-pitching our tents and clearing our stuff from our two nights home. We were sad to bid goodbye to our hosts at the camp and the Red Cross staff who had been most helpful in ensuring that our first experience as IDP’s had been most smooth. We left Naivasha Stadium at 8am and started our journey to Nakuru.

At shell filling station in Nakuru, we were again sad to bid farewell to our visiting team who were proceeding to Molo for further visits. We proceeded to Nakuru Players theatre where we were to pitch tents for the next 48 hours. There we found our hosts – REPACTED ready for us and James Karongo, a member of REPACTED who was also with us on the caravan went ahead to show us our camping site and together with his colleagues from REPACTED made us feel at home.

After our sleeping quarters had been secured, we left for the Afraha Stadium IDP grounds to do abit of ground breaking but it did not start very well as someone had warned them to be harsh with strangers incase they were government agents sent to convince people to go back to their homes. Any way by the end of the day, we had been able to get through to some of them and went ahead to have useful discussions and also tried to understand their plight as Nakuru IDP’s. We went back to our camp for supper and then had an early night out in preparation for the following day’s activities.

On this day we were to have three activities so we begun very early with our breakfast then started off.

Our first activity was to be at one of the most affected areas in the town – Free area/Kaptembwa. We got there and immediately went into mobilization which was followed by a drama performance by one of the local theatre groups REPACTED who had hosted us in Nakuru. Our acrobatics team then took over marveling the crowd which also worked well for us as a crowd puller. We were then able to split the crowd into smaller groups to which we introduced the idea if dialogue and they took up from there and engaged in a most educative and fruitful dialogue session between members from different communities. They also had the chance to chat for themselves a way forward which they believed was workable for them. We then left for our second destination.


Our next stop was another affected area – Kaptembwa. Again we engaged in a fruitful mobilization making use of the theatre group and caravan participants to notify the crowds of our presence and our mission in their neighborhood. Here we had a curtain raiser by TEARS and REPACTED, our partners on the ground. REPACTED performed a skit while TEARS had a dance. We also had a performance by an upcoming artist from Nakuru –McJex. After this, we had caravan participants engaging the crowd in peace building dialogues after which they gave their opinions on the way forward. We then left for our last destination.


Our last destination was Menengai High school. Our history with the school goes back to the days of the violence when they were able to come up with an educative skit on living well as neighbors from different tribal communities. Having also graced our launch in Nairobi, it was only befitting that we honor their invitation to visit them in their school where they hoped to share with us positive ideas of how we could further pass our peace message in the course of the caravan and true to their word, it became a learning experience for us. After having lunch with them, they got to business and took us through a number of thematic games that emphasized on team work where we were also encouraged to participate. After the games, they explained to us the ideas behind the games and what message they were meant to portray most of them being on team work and the importance of togetherness. We then engaged them in talks on peace building since some students in the school were actually living as IDP’s and how they could be of positive influence to their fellow students in times of conflicts. After a few other entertaining performances, we decided to end the day after a word from the teacher in charge and headed back to our camp at the theater.

We had our supper then joined our hosts, for a few minutes of peace building discussions and they were led by their leader gave us more tips and encouraging words on how to go about our journey. We then decided to call it a night and got back to our tents for a long deserved rest.



Behind The Gray Walls


By Fidel

In the dock I stood with tears rolling down my chicks as that stone faced learned fried read through my sentence, like a cobra ready to strike he lifted up is face adjusting his spectacles and looked straight into my face, fear griped my soul and lowered my spirit. Then like a preacher chasing demons out of a possessed person he read the final judgment. Like a bull in slaughter house I was dragged a long the corridors of justice. The journey to the prison passing through the straights, my memories multicolored poignant events flashing through my mind like lightening flashing across the dark pregnant skies sounding alarm for a heavy down pour.     


When the journey came to the end, it was indeed the end but the begging of a new life, we lined up on a straight line crossing the boarder to the next ‘country’ and indeed it was another country, another land, the land of sodomy for food. One thing that caught my patience is the life of juvenile prison who committed capital offence thought locked in different building they always fall sexual pray to the seniors, remember it is unprotected sexual intercourse, it is a common culture. I slept next to the sick suffering from AIDS related illness, some on ARV’s others left their medicine at home yet saving on poor diet. Lack of knowledge always leads to this behaviors for most of the senior inmates don’t have the education about HIV/AIDS. In one of the discussion some inmates believed that one can not be infected through anal sex, while others disapproved them. As the number of prisoners keeps growing, the number of the infections also increases. The myths on HIV also increased, hence some inmates avoided the sick, and some officers also treated the sick like objects by calling them names, insulting them, denying them access to basic needs and harassing them. Imagine sharing a piece of soap with a person with serious skin infection?


 It was until a group of young people came to the prison one day that I knew the word stigma and discrimination. They introduced themselves as REPACTED the group visited the prison on several occasions with participatory plays that actively involved the inmates in solving the dramatic situations created by the actors. At first I thought they were out of their minds but slowly they were bearing fruits because from a skit on Voluntary Counseling and Testing several of us went for testing and knew our HIV status. That was not the end they spearheaded in the formation of the post test club which I was an active member until 3rd June 2008, when I crossed my last day on the wall. The post test club “hope of the sick in prison” offers home based services to the sick in prison the only challenge is lack of gloves and disinfectants, ARV/ART pregame in prison, the sick have to go through a cruel protocol to access the drugs which are not within their reach.  


When I left the prison I went straight to the Nakuru Players Theatre to thank the youth group for what they deed for my life. I also requested them if I could be a volunteer in the organization….thank God they offered me a chance and for the few weeks that have been with the organization I can act in the community and I will be ambassador of change in the prison and use my experience to change my society.             



 Story by

Fidel Mayende



Edited by Collins D Oduor-REPACTED from a video interview with Fidel and the REPACTED office


As a result as the above situations that we have come across in prisons outreaches REPACTED with support from MTV Staying-alive foundation will conduct training in the prisons among inmates and the officers. Because of the increase in number of the inmates due to post election violence REPACTED will train 30 inmates 10 female and 20 males on peer education in July. REPACTED is also train ten officers in the first quarter.

stigma during community theatre outreaches

It is emerging in our Magnet Theatre outreaches in the community that reduction of stigma and discrimination in the community is mirage. Stigma and discrimination needs a creative approach because it is affecting the fight against HIV from all angles. Giving out condoms in public is still a problem. During the outreaches young people take condoms in secrecy they don’t want to be seen by the community because the community will associate them with sexual intercourse.

Walking into a VCT centre for most young difficult because in one way or other they have had unprotected intercourse with a person of unknown STI status because of the stigma associated with free condoms given in public and buying a condom in the home shops. Most young people ask very many subspecies questions and concerns on VCT, HIV and AIDS. Why should I go for VCT while my partner is negative? There is no need for VCT while I know that am dying; in one way or another all of us will die so why waste my time going for VCT, why use a condom when we know that we are infected? 

And when we carry out mobile VCT all of them who attend the sessions come out smiling and saying that they are ok. If condoms and VCT services are facing such tough stereotype at the community level what about access to reproductive health services by the youth. A good number of young people can not point out stigma and discrimination as community problem, but they acknowledge that there are some behaviors and attitudes that discriminate against people infected and infected.

In one of the magnet theatre session in Manyani the audience helped to condemn a behavior by one of the cast members acting as an HIV positive person. But with timeline a game used to elastrator the theatre process they agreed that they action against character could lead to many things including self stigma because of the enacted stigma from the community members.