It is hard being an openly gay/lesbian in Kenya owing to the laws, but one man has embraced his situation and decided to make the best out of despite facing a myriad of challenges.
Robert Wanyeki, who is an entrepreneur-social media influencer and brand ambassador says that he realised that he was gay by the time he was eight-years-old.
Before he turned 11, Robert Wanyeki, had slept with five boys and was in love with his best friend.
Wanyeki’s parents were clueless about his sexual orientation, and despite the fact he was in a relationship with his best friends, his parents never got a hint of what was happening
“I was in a serious relationship with my best friend whom my parents just thought was a friend. Little did they know that we were also sleeping together.”
‘Robbettah,’ as he’s nicknamed, confessed to The Nairobian that as a primary school student in Bungoma County, he had already slept with five boys before he was transferred to another school.
“I slept with all the 17 boys in my class. I don’t know if they knew what we were doing, but I knew. I joined a boys’ secondary school in Kitale where “everyone knew I was gay and I was never harassed.”
I was the tuition block prefect and my dad was a board member of the school. I used to apply makeup and slay in school.
However, in Form Two, I was moved to a secondary school in Gilgil where I started dating another boy whom we still have a thing with once in a while.”
Wanyeki, 20, is now pursuing a degree in actuarial science at a local Christian university where the second-year student confessed to having had a fling with a man of God.
“It is a very strict university so I don’t go all out with my makeup and dressing because I respect other people who are not comfortable with gays,”
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He goes ahead to narrate how he once lured a man of the cloth and he easily fell for his trap
“I hit on the school reverend na akaingia box.We have had a relationship for a month though he went back to his country. I am however happy to have learned that he is coming back.”
Though he confesses to being proud of who he is, Wanyeki has faced challenges. “Homophobia is what scares me the most,” he says.
He recalls a time when he was having fun at an upscale club in Nairobi where he was thrown out “and beaten like a dog and no one came to help me.”
He also recalls another time he was heading home and “three guys chased, roughed me up and stole my wig and phone.”
Being singled out started even when the family lived in Bungoma. Though they religiously attended church “most people knew I was gay and so no one wanted to sit next to me in church fearing I could infect them with my condition!”
And just like women who are easily swayed by loaded dudes, Wanyeki says that though not hitched to anyone now, he is ready to play the field as long as a prospective lover shows an account that reads better than a novel: a minimum of Sh600 million for starters.
Wanyeki, who lives in a pad in Karen, argues that,
“Money is key in a relationship. As long as the man has money, it really turns me on. Apart from money, I love a man with a good chest, melanin and is masculine,”
Recalling his one-time affair with a man from Naivasha. He says that when another guy showed up and spread a treat for him at a high-end establishment “he automatically became so handsome.”
Besides pursuing his studies, Wanyeki sells his ‘Robbettah’ brand of lipstick, lip scrub and eyeshadow on social media to his over 17,000 followers on Instagram and 47,000 plus followers on Snapchat.
Wanyeki who prefers to be maintained says
“I earned good money but instead of investing the cash back to the business, I started travelling and spending the money with my friends, shopping and balling. Things became really at the beginning of the year,”He once earned around Sh500, 000 from a short term affair. He adds that: “But I am not proud of it. It was a bad decision.”
Wanyeki says there are straight Kenyans out there who are curious about the world of gay men and would not mind experimenting. Some have hit on him but he thumbs his nose at them because “I don’t want to be someone’s experiment.”
The other bunch of Kenyans who are hell-bent on being with him are those from the military and police.
He finds it strange that policemen who face off with dangerous criminals as well as soldiers consider him beautiful.He explains
“I never thought that guys in uniform will have the guts to hit on me. But they do. Policemen, soldiers, touts and pastors hit on me. There was a day a prominent pastor whom I always see on TV used one of his guys to pass his number to me. Indians are also attracted to me because every time I go shopping in the malls, they always pass their phone numbers. I started talking to one of them but his wife found out and called me to warn me to keep off.”
Wanyeki bleached his skin to be ‘yellow-yellows’. “I became so light I could not recognise myself. It was like a mask and I felt so lost. One of my friends told me to stop bleaching and I started feeling like myself again. I thank God my skin is returning back to its original colour without any damages.”
He rules out sex change surgery as he wants to remain a man. As for the family, he told The Nairobian that, “I want to have one kid in future through in vitro fertilisation. I would love a girl and not a boy because he may end up being homophobic.”