Fact Check: Truth behind viral video of man tossing a child

The video angered netizens who called for the arrest of the man

Sitaki kuolewa tena

A widely circulated video of a man battering a woman who appeared to be his wife, using a belt and throwing a toddler across the living room is not true.

This journalist has established that the video is from a Tanzanian film titled Sitamani Kuolewa Tena (I don’t wish to get married again), a work of fiction.

According to earlier reports, the video had been purported to be of a 23-year-old Kenyan man who had allegedly found out he was not the biological father to the child in the clip.

An almost similar incident, however, took place in Murang'a where a 23-year-old man identified as Mark Njuguna got into a physical fight with his wife Mary Muthoni on January 25.

Njuguna is said to have turned to the four-month-old infant whom he threw on the floor.

Muthoni, speaking to authorities, confirmed that the infant's body has since been lying at the General Khago Funeral Home. She added that the infant had not been fathered by Njuguna.

Raising awareness on GBV

Sitamani Kuolewa Tena (I don’t wish to get married again) on the other hand is a Tanzanian fictional film themed around violence against women and children. The film's producers intended to raise awareness on gender-based violence (GBV) especially within African communities.

The film entails scenes which may be horrifying and saddening like the one that did rounds on the internet.

GBV cases increased in the country especially during the lockdowns imposed in 2020.

The Gender Violence and Recovery Centre (GVRC) reports that one-in-three women is likely to have experienced a form of sexual violence before attaining age 18.

According to data from the National Gender-Based Violence hotline 1195, run by Healthcare Assistance Kenya, there was a staggering 301 per cent increase in calls reporting violence against women and girls in the first two weeks of the lockdown between March and April 2020.

Healthcare Assistance is a non-governmental organization which works with survivors of gender-based violence in Kenya in partnership with the Ministry of Public Service and Gender.

Researchers have found that violence affected mostly women from poor economic backgrounds, most of whom experienced sexual and physical abuse.

The government in June 2021 made a commitment to have ended gender-based violence by 2026.

Some of the policies drafted toward the goal include; scaling up the National Police Service integrated response to GBV, Policare, and establishing GBV recovery centers and shelters in all 47 counties by 2026.

The government also seeks to establish and strengthen collaboration with non-state actors including girl-led, women’s rights organizations, male champions, and the private sector through coordination structures such as sectorial working groups at the national and county levels.

Gender based violence has claimed many lives the most striking being that of athletics star Agnes Tirop who was allegedly murdered by her boyfriend. Tirop died just days to her 26th birthday.

Editor's Note: If you or a person you know has been the victim of sexual or gender-based violence, we encourage that you report the matter at your nearest police station. For further assistance in seeking legal redress contact any of these organizations:-

  1. Gender Violence Recover Centre, Nairobi Women’s Hospital
  2. Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA)
  3. The CRADLE – The Children Foundation
  4. African Network for the Prevention and Protection Against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN)
  5. Advantage Africa
  6. Coalition on Violence Against Women (COVAW)

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