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Women Representative 2017 Rahab Mukam from Nyeri campaigning for President Uhuru. Photo credit: Wambugu Kanyi

"No Sex Unless You Vote for Kenyatta:" Kenyan Women Go On Sex Strike In Support of Presidential Candidate

These Kenyan women are exercising their political power by bringing politics to the bedroom.

The Kenyan presidential election just got local for a group of men in the town of Nyeri. Women in the town have called a sex ban, demanding that incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta be re-elected, according to the Star Newspaper.


The women said in a press conference that they will not sleep with their partners until they know that Kenyatta has won the vote. Rahab Mukami, the group's leader, said that the women's campaign has no choice but to intensify its efforts to ensure that Kenyatta is victor.

This is not the first time sex has come up in this presidential election season in Kenya. Kenyatta's opposition, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga asked his supporters for a sex boycott the night before the first vote, which took place on August 8.

After Kenyatta won 55 percent of that vote, the Kenyan Supreme Court ordered a second vote citing voting irregularities. The ruling was seen as an unprecedented victory in the name of democracy in Africa.

Kenyatta expressed respect for the court, while maintaining his anger at the court's decision to nullify the vote. President Kenyatta has been in office since 2013. While the court did not find Kenyatta guilty of misconduct in the election process, it found that the election had been "tainted by irregularities." The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission was held largely responsible.

Meanwhile, women in Nyeri have taken matters in their own hands. As supporters of Kenyatta, his victory in the first vote was a gift. With news of the nullified vote, they began to formulate strategies to ensure that he remained in office after the second election.

While it may be tempting to look at this as a Lysistrata moment where women are celebrated for the genius of leveraging their sexual power for politics, not everyone is feeling the women's empowerment.

Tweets dismissing the women and insulting the men of Nyeri are pouring in.


Sex boycotts are not the only way women have exerted power over political processes in Africa this year. Women in Liberia launched a campaign called "Don't Touch My Peace," demanding that this month's presidential election remain peaceful. It was a reference to the violence of the Civil War which ravaged the country for fourteen years, and that involved many acts of sexual violence against women.

Kenya returns to the polls on October 25. It will be a big day for the highest office in the land, and a big day for the men of Nyeri, too.

Interview

This Compilation Shines a Light On East African Underground Music

We talk to a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation from Uganda's Nyege Nyege.

Nyege Nyege, a label in Kampala, Uganda is channelling the confidence brimming over a whole continent. Africa is no longer the future. For dance music, its time is right now.

Music For the Eagles is a compilation released in conjunction with Soundcloud to showcase the best new acts that East Africa has to offer outside the mainstream. A new wave of artists firmly blasting non-conformist energy for you to spasm to. Music that takes you places. Otim Alpha's high BPM wedding frenzy of incessant rasping vocals accompanied by feverous violin will have you clawing the walls to oblivion. Anti Vairas' dancehall from a battleship with super galactic intentions doesn't even break a sweat as it ruins you. FLO's beautiful sirens call, is a skittish and detuned nursery rhyme that hints at a yearning for love but reveals something far more unnerving. Ecko Bazz's tough spiralling vocal over sub-bass and devil trap energy is an anthem that can only be bewailed. And Kidane Fighter's tune is more trance-like prayer. These are only some of the highlights for you to shake it out to.

We got to chat with a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation as they took a break from the studio below.

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