Incest in Dagoretti becomes “normal”

Sexual relationships between family members have become common in Dagoretti, assuming a semblance of normalcy that threatens the moral fibre of Kenyan society.

Fathers are having consensual sex with their daughters. Brothers and sisters willingly go to bed with each other. Meanwhile, mothers are using their feminity to seduce their own sons as part of daily life in Dagoretti. Located just west of the city of Nairobi, the Dagoretti area is showing acute characteristics of a population ravaged by poverty, crime, high population growth and the collapse of traditional taboos due to urbanization.

Across the world, incest is associated with broken homes, worsened by alcoholism, drug abuse, joblessness and abuse spanning several generations. In Dagoretti most homesteads appear to suffer from these vices all at the same time, hence the incest phenomenon.

“When people in Dagoretti discover that the girl next door is having sex with her father, nobody makes a big deal out of it because its a common occurence,” says Mwaura, a young man born and bred in the area. “If my friend tells me that he slept with his sister, I wouldn’t be surprised because this is Dago,” adds Mwaura. Dago is slang for Dagoretti.

So prevalent is the curse of incest that Dagoretti’s notoriety has spread far and wide. Many people are reluctant to marry from this area for fear of what they will discover about their partners. Societal values are upside down. Single parenthood in Dagoretti is at alarming levels, and children from such households suffer increased rates of abuse from parents or persons dating their parents.

As though that wasn’t enough, parents in Dagoretti plot how to solicit funds from foreign donors in order to educate their children. As expected, the “donors” will occasionally want to visit their beneficiaries and there’s no telling what happens during such encounters. Mwaura attributes the “sponsorship” mania to laziness among area residents. “People here don’t want to work; they would rather spend the day drinking. So they must look for churches, non-governmental organizations and foreigners to sponsor their children’s education. I know of several families where each child has a different sponsor.”

At the same time, widespread incest is worsening the scourges of alcoholism and drug abuse. Or maybe it is the other way round?

This is an incredible story narrated to the Nairobi Chronicle by a Dagoretti resident who we shall call Onesmus:

ONESMUS: “A couple of years ago, a young man in Dagoretti consumed a drug reputed to increase sexual libido. Which would be alright if the young man were married, or if he had a girlfriend. Unfortunately, he was single and living at home with his parents. On getting home and with a raging sexual appetite, the guy went berserk around the homestead, breaking things. When the mother was told what her son had taken, she decided to quench his sexual desire by sleeping with him. ‘I can’t let my son continue suffering like this, I must do something as his mother,’ the woman is quoted as saying.

Nairobi Chronicle: “That is really sick. If this woman really wanted to help her son, why didn’t she just go to the nearest pub and get a commercial sex worker?”

ONESMUS: “Well, maybe she didn’t know where or how to talk to one.”

Cases of fathers having sex with their own daughters in exchange for cash, property and jobs are very common in Dagoretti. Some men are said to force their daughters into sex by threatening not to pay school fees. The hapless girl, eager to continue with her education succumbs to the demands and eventually, the relationship becomes a normal affair. However, the phenomenon of father – daughter sex is not unique to Dagoretti as many cases continue getting reported from across Kenya.

But why is Dagoretti so afflicted with incestuous relationships compared to other parts of Nairobi? In the whole of Kenya, the only other area that comes close to Dagoretti in the recorded and observable cases of incest is Naivasha. Both areas have certain features in common.

They are semi-urban, semi-rural settlements with a multi-cultural population attracted by low-skill but low-wage labour. Many of these people grew up elsewhere but their relocation to a new, harsher environment has meant that the traditional taboos that governed their lives are no longer applicable. Add to that the effects of poverty and an oppressive work environment with no prospects for personal growth. The prevailing social and political climate in Kenya doesn’t do much to cultivate optimism either. High crime rates have made people feel vulnerable to the vagaries of fellow man.

The result is a population of people who have no feelings left for fellow human beings, not even their own family. In this bleak, Darwinian setting, money, sex and alcohol become the means to existence. Not only are they the means of livelihood, but money sex and alcohol are the ends that keep people going.

If sex is a tool and a means, then it does not matter how one gets it and with whom. It could be your next door neighbor just as much as it could be your wife or husband. It could be with your daughter, brother or uncle. It could even be with your daughter’s best friend, or your son’s fiancée. It doesn’t matter who you hurt as long as you get sex.

With this kind of moral vacuum, the future for the young people of Dagoretti is not very promising. It can be concluded with reasonable certainty that cases of incest in Dagoretti will get worse in future. Unless somebody takes the initiative to change the moral landscape of the area, the young people of Dagoretti will abuse their children just as much as they have been abused. An initiative to combat incest could be from government, it could be from religious bodies or from non-governmental organizations. Perhaps, such a programme could originate from politicians. Any initiative towards tackling the shadow of incest in Dagoretti would be welcome.

Regardless of the moral ambivalence of the residents of Dagoretti what is happening there just ain’t right.

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27 Responses

  1. I pity them all. Really. and for those who think all of this is sick, well we can’t do anything but hope for the better. I have to be honest, I’m in a stage where I’m attracted to my brother. But whatever, it’s natural so it kicks in sooner or later.

    But in Dago…wow….that’s…………….just………………………..sad.

  2. I was born and raised in Kawangware a surburb in Dagoretti. I visited there last year from U.S.A and that is why I am saying the writer of this article is not truthful at all. Maybe he has been paid by people who want to run against Beth Mugo the incubent. The article is too general. No, I know Dago having been born there 51years ago. Well, the writer can give us specific cases. One in a hundred could be o.k.

    • It happens in America also, just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not happening right next door.

  3. Its difficult to see how this article can influence political events in Dagoretti. We published the article so as to draw attention to a serious problem in the area. Beleive me when I tell you that there’s lots more we left out of the article. The issue of incest in Dagoretti is real enough. Whoever is interested in leadership within the area must take tangible steps to deal with the vice, regardless of political affiliations.

  4. i totally fail to see the point for this article and its unfortunately a sign of the how low we will stope as human beings to slander a whole community where did they get their statistics and information. Am from dagoretti and i cant begin to express how insulting and degrading this article is.

  5. This is a blatant lie. Who is this guy. I lived in Dago for more than 6 years. If people in that community knew of sexuall realation with family members they would probably kill them. This is a Kikuyu community which take incest very very seriously. Stop spreading romours

  6. The story is based on credible information from multiple sources. One of the reasons why the vice has taken root in the area is because of erosion of traditional values due to poverty, westernization and urbanization. Therefore, traditional Kikuyu values don’t have as much of a hold as before. Apart from that, Dagoretti is home to people from across Kenya and as far as Southern Sudan. These people may not adhere to one culture among the many.

  7. Hello
    I take from the article that this incest is a new thing but i would like to know was incest practiced by any african tribes in the past i was told by a friend about a king of niger whos name was niger he was said to have 100s of wives and that they practiced incest i cant seem to find any info on this man anyone here know anything?
    Thanks

  8. […] Incest in Dagoretti becomes “normal” *********************************************************** […]

  9. maina i like your show very much.ok ok,sometimes you go off the road interms of time of airing some matters.kenyans have problems and when people call in your show ,we get to learn one or two things.for me time is inappropriate but you have a great show.i wish you could be doing it as from 9.00pm.

    thanks

  10. This article typifies the worst in journalism. Not only that, but concludes that our humanity amounts to no more than another aspect of life no higher than a mindless, instinctive, illogical animal. Whatever your justifications for writting this trash, you paint yourselves with the same brush and colours that paint your Dagoretti residents are dogs, cows, monkeys, fornicating their way into life as if their core purpose was that alone. Please give us better reading, informative education than such diatribe – there is no news to such rubbush, Editor.

  11. It doesnt matter that could be simply reporting it, and that does not obviate your responsibilities to the larger part of humanity that is not deviant. You outrage your own humanity no ends by circulating an article of such depraved notions, Sir. Desists, I tell you!!

  12. Some of your editors who run this kind of post here-in are an insult to injury.i find it completely outrageous to make such a general and neanderthal assessment about this estate and much worse to put on this page.There is so much sensible subjects that can be exploited here rather than forcing this junk of lies and poverty of ideas down our throats.

  13. This is total crap and a pool of nonsense. I have been born and brought up in Dago and I have never heard any of this misplaced rumour. Its a high time people wrote of ral and true things affecting the society instead of painting black a SOCIETY thats trying to bring its self out of the many problems they have.

    Thanks alot and people from Dago dont be humiliated by this thing

  14. I am writing a book. Please give me more information. I will acknowledge

  15. writing a book. more information . will acknowledge

  16. for a book. give more information. will acknowledge

  17. If there is no God, anything is permitted” – Doestovesky
    The story of the twentieth century can be said in one term, “They have forgotten God” – Alexander Scholsetsyn

    Only Catholicism fully practiced can save humanity, but alas, it might be too late.

  18. Plz lts learn 2 respect one another’s body coz its d temple of God.Doing sex wid ua family its degrading ua ego & making a fool out of uaself.

  19. this is a white lie men. i work at Dagortti corner just strides away. this artical is critic even in it’s nature! why don’t you get good features to post even though bad news makes good story but this is too much.

  20. Yeah,i’ve lived in dago riruta all my life,and yes the shit happens but btwn the siblings and relatives,bt never heard of mom n son..only dad n daughter,,your article is so exaggerated and generalised,not all do this kinda shit,,and we are not that poor,check the statistic can you compare us to makadara constituency?it isnt coz of poverty people do this,its a matter of choice,,

  21. […] entornos rurales Incest is a real problem in SA, say experts – South Africa | IOL News | IOL.co.za Incest in Dagoretti becomes Child rape epidemic in Zimbabwe | World news | theguardian.com South Africa's shame: the rise of […]

  22. Incest is not good for society. It should be discouraged.

  23. People should seek sex outside family. Incest is a taboo among many African countries. This vice should be discouraged by all.

  24. let wash the morals truth be told but lets consider not be exaggerating instead proposing solution can better the situation. we are not all rotten is just part that we all need to wash & correct. a stand to defend our dignity is required to set good exmpo

  25. lies

  26. it happens everywhere in the world , just a fw cases and one person doesnt represent all families, shame on you for this false article, i dont know what you hope to achieve by publishing such stupid meaningless stories. i have are friends who live there for years, and have never been told of such stories, even if its cos of poverty then y not put who live in slums, this is just made up story so that people can have an interest to read this article, same kenyans who live everywhere in this country

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