Shirleen Mukami: Fraud claims sinks Kenya teen mums crowdfunding
A mobile fundraising platform has begun refunding money contributed to support an initiative set up to support teenage mothers in Kenya after fraud claims were made.
A Twitter thread by Shirleen Mukami had last week explained how she and a few other struggling young mothers with “absent baby daddies and unsupportive families” had come together to support each other.
The tweet was widely shared in Kenya and across the continent.
Kenyans then started contributing to the BABY SHOWER SISTERS initiative, raising more than 800,000 Kenya shillings ($7,100: £5,200).
But days later, some Kenyans questioned the genuineness of the initiative after someone posted a screengrab of an online chat, of a man allegedly bragging to his friends about how he had started the fundraising initiative to buy a car.
The platform, M-Changa, now says the initiative did not meet its “due diligence” and was refunding the entire amount raised.
Those who contributed say they have started receiving messages stating that refunds were being processed. Some had confirmed having received full refunds by Wednesday morning,
Ms Mukami has however defended the campaign, saying it was genuine.
She said she had sought the help of the man implicated in the online chats to help out – as he had been successful in fundraising in the past.
In another series of Twitter posts, she said the man told her that he was just joking with his friends:
I, a single mom, approached Kenneth Gachie to help me popularise my initiative. As stated here already, he has been good at that and successfully did a campaign for his sister last year to buy an electric wheelchair and make donations to spinal injury victims.
— Shirleen Mukami (@ShirleenMukami1) November 15, 2021