When did you start your account?
Our account was started in mid April 2019.
Why were you inspired to start it?
I was inspired by Catcallsofnyc. I saw the effort put into actually DOING something for the feminist movement that is spreading awareness but in a bolder and more creative form.
Why do you think "chalking back" is a good method of ending street harassment?
I was drawn to the idea of chalking back because of the impact the various entries I had seen had on me. It isn't a loud way of protesting, but it is absolutely clear. It shows how prevalent harassment is in our society and how socially warped the view of women still is.
Why is ending street harassment important?
Ending street harassment would be a giant leap towards safety of everyone in general, and women in particular. Once it is unequivocally unacceptable to harass people on the street, cases of other sexual harassment will decrease as well. And that is the dream.
What's your favorite part of your city?
Nairobi is a place with barely contained chaos. The city is a barrage of the extremes blending almost seamlessly together, a dichotomy that has all the things in between. The big banks whose shadows house hawkers; the people in suits brushing up against street children dressed in rags; the tolling of the church bell mingled with the prayer call of the mosque. The balance that exists between two seemingly opposite ideas is simply beautiful.
How can your city better address street harassment?
I feel there should be serious repercussions for offenders. My country is a place where PDA can get you arrested. Street harassment should warrant the same,if not a harsher, response.
What do you hope is the outcome of your account?
I hope to be able to shine a light on the disparity between the harasser and the harassed, to better show how ugly the daily reality of some people are. I hope that because of this account catcalling gets to be treated as the abomination that it is.
What is the most difficult street harassment situation you've experienced?
When I was 14 I got separated from my family members in a mall. I sat down in a stall and this old man approached me and began telling me that he would buy whatever it is I was selling because I was very beautiful. I was uncomfortable and left to find my parents but he followed me until I got to where my dad was, all the while calling out to me creepily.
What does being part of this campaign mean to you?
This campaign for me is the difference between talking and action. I believe talk is cheap. We can no longer accept the social ills that have been allowed to thrive in our society, and this is one way of combating it.