Ann Njogu is a Kenyan activist and a radio presenter who comes on air every 10 am to 1 pm from Monday to Friday on Radio Maisha Staarabika na Ann Show. Ann co-anchors the Staarabika show alongside Babu Wakasika and Gathoni, popularly known as this is Gathoni.
In 2010, she was the director of the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness, which among other things documented sexual- and gender-based violence after the Kenyan general election in December 2007.“I love humor and living with people who smile. As a married woman, I like to spend more time with my young family. Self-improvement books, fashion magazines, and cuisine are all mine ”.
Ann Njogu Married-Spouse
Ann is married to Clarence Njogu Njau and shares one son Njau Njogu.
Ann Njogu Activist
Ann was the Co-Chair of the Multi-Sectoral Committee on Constitutional Reform, the Co-Chair of the Joint Dialogue Forum on Constitutional Reform, and a delegate to the Bomas National Conference on Constitutional Reforms. In 2007, she was attacked and arrested by state security forces for demanding that Members of Parliament review their salaries, which were very large despite Kenya’s poverty.
She and the others who were arrested filed a Constitutional reference popularly known as “Ann Njogu and others versus the State,” which was successful in limiting the time a Kenyan citizen could be held in custody to 24 hours. In 2008, she was a co-convenor of the Civil Society Congress, which worked to improve politics after the violence in the wake of the December 2007 Kenyan elections.
In 2008 she was beaten and sexually molested by the police when they arrested her and others for suggesting corruption might have occurred in the sale of the Grand Regency Hotel. Njogu received a 2010 International Women of Courage award. In 2012 she and her son were charged with assaulting her father but in 2013 they were acquitted.
Ann Njogu Experience
After early education in Nakuru, Njogu joined Mugoiri Girls High School in Muranga and later the University of Nairobi. She graduated with a Bachelor in Law in 1989.
The following year, she graduated as an advocate from the Kenya School of Law and joined Akhaabi and Company Advocates as an associate.
The holder of a Certified Public Secretary (K) certificate joined Madison Insurance Company as a legal officer in 1992 and rose through the ranks to become the chief legal officer.
She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London, and has attended human rights and management seminars in Raul Wallenberg Institute in Sweden.
Brought up in a close-knit family of seven, the Executive Director of Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) was brought up in Nairobi’s Bahati estate, Eastleigh and Nyandarua. She says she began human rights activism as a small girl of only five when she demanded to know why her parents did not take her photographs while a toddler and yet everyone else in the family had photos.
Njogu, a mother of two, a daughter, Stephanie aged 15, and a 12-year-old son, Ted, says few people, especially women, know their basic human rights. Hence in 2000, she quit a high paying job as the chief legal officer at Madison Insurance Company, to devote herself to running the NGO.
Creaw, a non-profit making organization was established for the purpose of transforming society by empowering women by helping them know their rights.
“I needed new challenges. I had risen to the highest level in the company. Being young and energetic, I needed an occupation that could bring smiles to disadvantaged members of society.”
With her two colleagues, she had quietly founded Creaw in 1998, to give legal advice to women. They agreed they needed to give back to society part of their time and legal skills as appreciation “for nurturing and educating us.”
But the organization founded to occupy her spare time was increasingly becoming her favorite. This led to her decision to quit her job.
However, her family was against the move and could not understand why she had to quit a well-paying job for an organization whose future could not be guaranteed.
Njogu, however, had made up her mind, and not even her husband could convince her otherwise.
Now eight years down the line, she is happy she followed her instincts.
The founders, who are members of the Federation of Women Lawyers (Fida), decided to form Creaw to supplement Fida’s efforts and to go “that extra-legal assistance mile” she says.
Creaw is proud of many achievements. One of them is the campaign for the creation of gender desks manned by women police officers where aggrieved women can report violence. This is intended to check the charade of insensitivity women are taken through by male officers who demand victims to demonstrate their ordeal to the officer’s mirth.
The organization has opened an office in Nakuru and also runs domestic violence sensitization programs in Ngong, Karatina, Garissa, and Mwingi.
Her efforts in championing women’s cause have received the Community Awareness Award from the Rainbow House movement in Chicago, USA, where she had an opportunity to meet famous TV talk hostess Oprah Winfrey.
Despite initial challenges, Njogu has propelled Creaw to international recognition. The NGO now boasts of a lean workforce of 12 professionals and eight volunteers.
She cites cases of rape, which have in the past few years dramatically increased, despite the passing of the Sexual Offences Bill (2005), as some of the worst cases of human rights abuses.
Her move to alert city residents on Rape Red Spots saw her pick awards at home and abroad.
This strong woman was the force behind the controversial “Beware of Human Dogs and Beasts at this place” billboards, which were spread all over Nairobi and Kiambu district. The billboards, placed in places where cases of rape and defilement had been reported, elicited a lot of discussions, eventually making the law enforcers take relevant action.
“Whenever one saw the alert message then the red color signaling danger, they knew they were not on safe ground and thus we managed to reduce cases of rape in the danger spots,” Njogu says.
This led to the lighting of the Uhuru Park recreational facility, which had been ignored by the City Council.
She says that although rape is one of the second leading crimes in the country after the assault, nobody takes it seriously. As a matter of fact, it was only after this campaign that an anti-rape squad and children’s desk in various police stations ware established. She says many sexual related crimes like rape, defilement, and sodomy are never reported hence the need to sensitize people on their rights.
The lawyer notes that re-claiming the vulnerable Rape Red Spots through the mobilisation of various stakeholders to provide essential services like the Nairobi city Council setting up lighting in the red spots whilst the police increasing surveillance is one of the achievements that she is proud of.
Her ceaseless search for justice on behalf of poor Kenyans by providing pro-bono services through the court process has resulted in real and actual gains for poor and marginalized women and has enhanced their access to justice.
“My organization under the legal aid program seeks to reclaim through the court, and/or alternative dispute resolution, women’s human rights in the areas of property rights violations including succession and inheritance, custody, maintenance, division of property and divorce,” she says.
Creaw has assisted women who cannot afford legal fees in their criminal cases including domestic violence, rape, and defilement.
Under the Gender and Governance programme Creaw, recently drafted the Constitutional Amendment Bill, which shall seek to push for affirmative action within the Constitution whilst awaiting for the new Constitution.
“Creaw has been a key stakeholder and partner in the drafting and also lobbying for the Sexual Offences Bill that is now a law, as well as in stepping it down and we are happy that the offenders now are facing stiffer punishments.”
In partnership with groups from the UK, South Africa, Uganda and Tanzania, Creaw is working towards abolishment or regulation of the practice of bride price. Recent surveys conducted have linked human rights violations to bride price.
This impressive lady could go on and on for years about Creaw and her passion for women’s rights issues. She is determined it seems to spend her last breath on this course. As a woman taking leave of her office, I cannot help feeling proud and secure in the knowledge that one day, the Kenyan woman will tread the country without fear of oppression, assault or marginalization.
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