Charity Concert by Kenyan Singer Wahu

08 March 2012

The social service group “Because I am a Girl” is making efforts to raise awareness about girls’ issues in Kenya through a charity pop concert to be held on Thursday, 15 March 2012 at the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa.

“We are going to get a top pop singer who has won the MTV Africa Music Awards to come to The Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa,” suggested DP1 student Michelle Tiren. Some of the teachers and students were pessimistic and believed it was not possible. However, many successful leaders recognize the meaning of “It is easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.” This philosophy was a driving force for Michelle and two other DP2 girls from the Academy, Dzame Muru and Marion Davis, who are doing their part to try and bring about positive, sustainable change in the Mombasa community. In the world in which we live there are many pessimists who say that what we want sometimes can’t be done or just say “no” to someone else’s ideas because they did not think of them first. Michelle, Dzame and Marion took inspiration from the mindset that it is better to take ownership and responsibility for an idea and put it into practice than to question whether or not it might work out.

The girls are members of a group which calls itself “Because I am a Girl.” This is one of the social service groups at the Academy, whose members are trying to raise awareness about the girl child’s struggle for equality in Kenya. They are trying to support disadvantaged girls in the Mombasa area, particularly those at Vilwakwe Children’s Center. The group was aware that many schoolgirls in Kenya drop out of school after class eight because they believe their duty and purpose of existence is to become a mother and a housewife. The majority of families with enough resources to educate only one child usually choose to educate their sons and not their daughters. In addition, many girls in Kenya in the rural and urban areas miss a month of school in a year due to the nature of the menstrual cycle, because they cannot afford sanitary towels. The group felt that, “All this dampens their spirits, and thanks to this idea that has been drilled into their heads for centuries, they have come to abide by it and anything out of this realm is unacceptable. The sad thing is that they have no one to turn to, and that is why we started our club. We want to help by providing a safe haven for them to run to when need be.”

As part of this awareness campaign, they have managed to get the Kenyan pop singer Wahu to perform at the Academy on Thursday, 15 March 2012 at 7pm. She has agreed to perform for free. (Wahu is a former model and University of Nairobi student, graduating in mathematics).

All proceeds will support disadvantaged girls in the Mombasa area, enabling them to attend girls’ forums and helping to raise their aspirations and provide practical support and friendship.The group mentions that, “The aim of our club is to enlighten girls who believe that because they are girls they do not have a choice. Our club wants to change the common phrase in all of these girls’ minds from, ‘Because I am a girl I can't…’ to ‘Because I am a girl I can….’”