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Nyambu Albert, A Changed Man

Twenty-two-year-old Nyambu Albert is a serviceman with the National Youth Service (NYS) of Kenya, a paramilitary institution that provides young people with vocational training in exchange for completing basic training and community work. Men As Partners™ joined forces with NYS to conduct five-day workshops for servicemen and servicewomen throughout Kenya.

I confess to have been a gender-insensitive person. Where sex was concerned, I believed a young man should experiment with many girls before he decided which one to marry. I wondered how one’s girlfriend could claim to be raped by her boyfriend. I never thought my girlfriend had any sexual rights, and we never discussed sex, since I assumed that she should comply with my demands. I have had many unhealthy relationships because I have been brought up in an environment where women are considered inferior to men and are not involved in decision making, since they have nothing to offer.

The MAP training made a great impact in my life. In the past, I attended HIV awareness training, but no one gave me a chance to air my views and demystify myths about HIV. MAP’s training method involved us fully. It gave me a chance to put a stop notice on my life. I had heard so many myths about abstinence and never appreciated that HIV/AIDS is real. Now I know why it is important to know one’s status. HIV could ruin my future. It is not [just] a disease for prostitutes, and even my girlfriends could be infected. I used to think young people could not do without sex. I thought sexuality was only about sexual intercourse. I have now made a personal commitment to stick to one partner, and I proposed to my girlfriend that we visit the nearest voluntary counseling and testing site to know our current status.

I am now a completely changed person. I plan to organize youth groups back home, especially those in my football clubs, to educate them about HIV.

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