CREATIVE ART AND SOCIAL CHANGE; THE STORY OF EMMAH KARANJAJuly 8, 2020
Naftali Njahi Kinuthia had just murdered Ivy Wangeshi, a medical student at Moi Teaching and Referral hospital, when an idea struck Emmah Karanja, a student at Moi University pursuing Travel and Tours Operations Management. She had observed bloggers, keyboard worries and netizens throw blame on the late Ivy and decided enough was enough.
The idea of starting an organization to fight against gender based violence hit her. In a generation so immersed on social media for attention and all, Ms Karanja would spin the wheel,and the result shocked even herself.Through a creative photoshoot, she shared photos that spoke one language; SAY NO TO GENDER BASED VIOLENCE.
She tells me,on June 26,2019 she registered her organization, SIKI.Siki in Swahili is a spice,thus her organization would include art to ‘spice’ up the conversation around gender based violence.The organization is centred around using creative art to create and spread awareness both online and offline. Why art? You may wonder. Ms Karanja tells me,”Everyone loves something interesting…it is a good way of edutainment. “
Her passion and enthusiasm has seen her not only meet the objectives of her organization, but also poke her nose in other people’s businesses-pun intended- by feeding street kids(Kesses Children’s home), organizing art festivals (Egerton university) and mental health walks(with a bias for anger,anxiety and depression.) The one year in operation has also seen her conduct forums,with the help of other SIKI chapters across Kenyan universities, tackle the issue of suicide prevention and drug and substance abuse among Kenyan youths.
It is thus safe to say SIKI has more arms than the government, leaving an impact in the lives it ‘spices.’
While SIKI’s motto is “Youth against social vices” she surprised me when she mentioned,”We will be doing a pad drive during our anniversary and distribute the pads in ghetto and streets within Nairobi.” That is a move that she is jointly doing with a friend.They ask for donations of as low as 10/= so as to support women who cannot access sanitary towels. It is here that you clap your hands and ask me the pay bill number!
One of Ms Karanja’s future projects is to start a magazine, that will help capture every move,art and impact they make, then share it with the world.
When she is not adjusting her glasses or applying black lipstick she will be asking friends and strangers to join her and express their thoughts through creative art for social change.”SIKI is a home for all the Youths, it’s a source of hope for the hopeless, entertainment and mostly it’s a good place to transform lives.For us to make the society a better place, we need to help ourselves first.”
They are celebrating their one year anniversary today(26th June, 2020) and we as The Youthing Magazine wish them the best.