Kenya: Blackmail and extortion of gay men on the rise

Published: January 26, 2012

When Patrick Muiru* met George* on a Facebook dating page, little did he know this was the start of his problems that will leave him naked, sexually assaulted, beaten and humiliated.

Patrick is a 26 year old closeted gay man who has fallen prey to blackmailers and extortionists targeting gay men. Patrick who lives in Ngumbo estate told Identity Magazine that he met George on a Facebook profile page called ‘Nairobi Gays Dating and Sex’ and after several exchanges of messages, they decided to meet.

‘George called me one evening which was a Friday and told me to meet him in Wendani estate in Nairobi. I asked him to come to my place but he refused. I agreed to go to Wendani the following Saturday in the morning.’

Patrick agreed to go to the meeting assuming the two were going to have sex. ‘It was clear; from his SMS and tone of voice he wanted sex. But now I guess he was just using that to get me,’ said Patrick. On the fateful day, Patrick arrived in Wendani and was picked by George who took him to what Patrick assumed was his house.

‘He was hot and tall and dark. He picked me from the stage and we took several corners before reaching a house. We entered and he offered me tea and mandazis. He looked nice.’ Little did Patrick know that George had set him up.‘Immediately after tea, he started to caress and kiss me and I responded back with removing my clothes,’ Patrick told Identity Magazine. ‘However, he soon changed and he told me that he does not have sex with someone he had just met for the first time. I was disappointed. He said we can mutually masturbate and I agreed.’

Soon after, Patrick recalls George taking his phone and texting someone. Five minutes later, they heard a knock and George went to open. Two men entered the house and locked it. The two men started questioning the two and wondered why two men were in a room locked together. One of the men asked why (pointing at George) he had no shirt on. ‘George was shirtless after the act,’ Patrick added. The two men began to shout and slap Patrick and George and demanded to know what they were doing. George ‘owned’ up and said that they were gay and had masturbated together only forcing the men to rain blows to Patrick as they shouted derogatorily at him.

The men forced Patrick to undress and one of them took a condom and placed it on Patrick’s penis and told his colleague to take photos. Patrick by now was naked and shivering as the men took turns photographing his genitals, face and behind. They ransacked his pockets and took KShs 2,000 and a mobile phone.

They told him to dress and forced him out of the house and threatened to send the photos to the contacts on his phone if he did not part with KShs 100,000. Patrick said that he left Wendani a humiliated man and has been forced to part with over KShs 20,000 so far which he sends to the men via M-Pesa.

This case is a stark reminder of what closeted gay men have to go through from blackmailers who target them. Most of these extortionists are taking advantage of the fact that their victims are not open about their own sexuality. Most of their targets are either married men in heterosexual relationships or bachelors or those in high-voltage professions like priests, pastors or politicians.

Full text of article available at link below –

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