The #MyDressMyChoice protest that was organized by Facebook group Kilimani Mums in support of a woman who was stripped by touts at the Embassava Bus Terminal and the female gender violence movement.
The protest was meant to start at 10am but when I got to Uhuru Park at there were only a few people, mostly organizers, had arrived. There were two police officers there and I was hoping more were on the way because of the crowd that was expected to attend. People started streaming in at half past and by about 11.00 there was a proper crowd. Among the people that had showed up were activist Boniface Mwangi who caused a stir when he arrived in traditional Kikuyu attire. Others whom I recognized included his wife Njeri Mwangi + their children, Michael Onsando, Shamit Patel, Ciru Muriuki, Crystal Simeoni, Tawi Nyang’awa, Valentine Ziki, Pauline Macharia and Esther Passaris.
At about 11.15 the organizers called the protest to order and then explained the route and what would happen at each stage. They also insisted on decorum while the protest was going on. Esther Passaris addressed the crowd for a few minutes then a short prayer and the march was on.
With the organizers leading, the protestors got onto Kenyatta Avenue. Traffic had been stopped and many stared from the comfort of their vehicles as the protestors chanted ‘My Dress, My choice’. Some of the onlookers were amused and were taking pictures, some stared, while others just looked pissed off. The protestors went down Kenyatta Avenue and then branched off to Kimathi Street, on the New Stanley side. On Mama Ngina street, just off Kimathi some of the onlookers started to engage negatively with some the protestors and were promptly shouted down and the protest moved on towards Moi Avenue.
When the protestors got to Tom Mboya near Embassava Sacco stage they sat on the tarmac while a representative from Kilimani Mums read out a statement. Thereafter the march led to the Inspector General’s Office through Moi Avenue and Harambee Avenue. There were more incidents of onlookers trying to intimidate female protestors. At the Inspector General’s office the gate was locked with police officers on the other side of it. The protest stopped there for a bit while some politicians led by Nairobi’s women representative tried to address the crowd. Some in the protest would have none of it so Esther Passaris addressed them instead.
The protest then headed to the Supreme Court where the Chief Justice Willy Mutunga received a memo from Kilimani Mums.
Overall, the protest was successful as more than 500 people attended and the fact that the Chief Justice received their memo.
Below are pictures from the protest.