Meet the kung-fu grannies of Kenya who fight off rapists in Nairobi slums

A group of elderly women in one of Nairobi, Kenya’s most notorious shantytowns is refusing to live in fear any longer. Instead, the women are learning martial arts so they can defend themselves against would-be rapists and take back the streets.

But why do these grannies have to worry about being raped at all? 

“Young men believe that young girls are all infected with AIDS, so they’d rather go to the old ones because they know we don’t have any more partners,” one elderly woman told The Telegraph.

It’s unthinkable that older women in Nairobi have to live with this reality, but these martial artists are inspiring others with their strength of body and mind.

The women get together every week in the Korogocho slum to practice self-defense techniques that are drawn from karate, kung-fu, and taekwondo. Instructor Sheila Kariuki starts by teaching the women how to overcome their fear and fend off would-be attackers through negotiation and yelling.

But if that doesn’t work, the grannies also learn exactly where to hit their aggressor to stop them in their tracks—the nose, chin, collarbone, and of course, the genitals.

“You don’t need to hit hard to be accurate. Accuracy is the key to the technique,” one participant explained.

Hopefully, classes like this will spread across Kenya, so that more women will be able to defend themselves.

“Our programme does make a difference. We have testimonies of old women now able to defend themselves using verbal or physical techniques,” Sheila Kariuki said.

See the women in action in the video below:

Share this video if you’re also inspired by these strong, courageous women!

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