By Amina Wako
Some time in 2018, a young girl of Somali origin shared her story of a sham marriage to a sex tourist from the west.
A thousand of miles away, a woman heard her cry for help after social media users created the hashtag #Justice4Jamila.
When Fardowsa Abdirahman saw the story of Jamila she was touched and decided to help her out.
Fardowsa, who lives in Melbourne, Australia, set up a GoFundMe page which raised more than Sh1million which she used to transform the life of Jamila and her little baby back here in Kenya.
Jamila was only 15 year old when she was tricked into the sham marriage after being introduced to a rich Somali national who lived in America.
Her friend told her the man was looking for a wife, only that they didn’t know he meant ‘temporary wife’.
Similar tales of such young men in posh fuel guzzlers and loads of cash to spend in luring young girls into their traps have become all too common in Nairobi.
Most of these young girls inevitably fall prey to sexual exploitation.
After a short seduction and few expensive dates at the best restaurants in town, some of these girls go through fake wedding ceremonies officiated by men posing as Sheikhs and involving their fathers and guardians.
A union without the guardian’s will is considered Haram in Islam.
YOUNG AND NAIVE
The young girls are later abandoned as the men return to their families abroad with the promise that they will appeal for their entry into the foreign country.
This is a promise, for most of these girls, is rarely ever fulfilled.
This was Jamila’s story. Young and naive, she was left three months pregnant as the man who was responsible for her pregnancy disappeared, never to be heard or seen again.
At the time she shared her story, Jamila was living in a dingy brothel in Eastleigh. But her life changed for the better after she got help from Fardowsa.
Many other girls her age who fall into a similar trap are never as lucky.