Victoria Kimani ‘felt like an outsider’ after returning to Kenya

Victoria Kimani was lucky enough to have been invited to speak at the UN Headquarters for a youth assembly session. The theme of the day was “Society for All: Equity and Inclusion for A Sustainable Future”, led by Mary Kate Costello, who is the Senior Policy Analyst and UN Representative, The Hunger Project.

She said that after coming back to Africa, since she was born and raised in the US, things were actually different because in America, one can express themselves however they want, even though it’s through tattoos and piercings.

In Africa, things are different, and she felt judged based on how she expressed herself through clothes and hair.

“When I went back to Kenya, I felt like an outsider. But when I went home, I realised there was a need for women to be on the forefront and express themselves openly, and that they are not defined by the society or put in a box based on how they should carry themselves. And just because I express myself differently doesn’t give anyone any right to judge me.”

She went ahead to explain how shocked she was when she realised things don’t work the same everywhere.

“I really never knew the cultures back home would be different, like anti-miniskirt laws, or be judged if I walk out with green hair. I live through my life and believe I’m an example to other women, and I believe I’m an ambassador of art back in my country. I didn’t know that with my existence I would become a voice for so many women. It’s been an interesting journey, feels like a social experiment,” she concluded.

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