Natalie Githinji and Njambi Koikai sharing their endometrosis journey

Kenyan Celebrities Battling Endometriosis

Following Jamby Koikai’s deadly battle with Endometriosis, a lot of female public figures came out over time in solidarity with other women in creating awareness for the silent disease.

Endometriosis is a rare medical condition in which the tissue that covers the inside of the uterus grows on the outside covering the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and tissues around the uterus and ovaries.

It may cause painful periods, heavy bleeding, and pain during sex or bowel movements. It may also occur in other parts of the body in a rare condition called adenomyosis.

The condition leads to inflammation and scar tissue forming in the pelvic region and (rarely) elsewhere in the body. Endometriosis can start at a person’s first menstrual period and last until menopause.

There is no cure, but its symptoms can be treated with medicines or, in some cases, surgery.

Here is a list of Kenyan celebrities who have openly disclosed their struggle with Endometriosis:

1. Ciru Muriuki Endometrosis Journey

The former TV host of K24 Alfajiri and The Trend on NTV, discussing her battle with Endometriosis, once lamented how a physician insisted that she was suffering from an STD. She put across how she has struggled to get the correct diagnosis over the years. She revealed how she underwent surgery to remove an ovarian cyst.

“I had a laparoscopic procedure yesterday to remove a large hemorrhagic ovarian cyst. I’m a little sore, but on the mend. We need a cure. We do,” she posted on her pages.

She lauded Jamby Koikai for being at the forefront of creating awareness for the dreary disease:

“@jambykoikai you’re a rock star for bringing awareness to endometriosis. So many of us are suffering in silence, faced with physicians who don’t really care” Ciru said.

2. Corazon Kwamboka

Socialite and content creator, Corazon Kwamboka, is an endometriosis survivor. According to her, she has fought a long battle and survived the ordeal. This led her to undergo surgery to remove two ovarian cysts.

NB: Endometriosis may involve the ovaries where fluid-filled cysts (endometriomas) form. They cause pelvic pain and abnormal uterine bleeding. Surgery is a common treatment for endometriomas.

Her diagnosis came in 2016 after developing painful cramps and experiencing an overflow. The symptoms were overwhelming, and she sought out the opinion of a specialist. Natalie confesses that the condition became so severe that she could barely walk from the excruciating pain.

Another content creator Sylvia Savai, in April this year, expressed her journey with the disease. She experiences paralysis on the right side of her body every menstrual cycle. Senjee’s several organs fail every month with the onset of menses. Her content creation journey has suffered insurmountable challenges owing to the incurable disease.

She has been crowd-funding to gather funds from her fans and well-wishers for specialized treatment in Atlanta, Georgia. In a recent revelation, however, she was denied a visa, and her hopes for a successful surgery dealt a blow.

The late Jahmby Koikai was diagnosed when she was 13. Her awareness was the most dominant as she tagged government agencies, media, and non-governmental organizations and even once wrote to the United States government.

The former TV and radio host flew to the United States (in early 2018) for specialized treatment. Her lungs were the most affected and they failed every time she had her menses. In June 2024, Jambhy succumbed as she was receiving treatment in Nairobi Hospital.

Kenyan celebrities battling endometriosis

Back in 2005, renowned media host, Janet Mbugua, discovered that she was a victim of endometriosis. She underwent laparoscopy for deep ovarian endometriosis.

In her confession in a YouTube video, the mother of two discloses her experiences of painful periods.

7. Zulekha Walalo

Former Radio Maisha presenter, Zulekha Otieno, in a FB post, disclosed she was due for an endometriosis surgery. Her doctor indicated that the prognosis was poor if she couldn’t get attended urgently.

“Thank you Balozi Ntomo. Friends kindly help me raise funds for an upcoming urgent surgery that I have to go through. I was diagnosed with #Endometriosis and I have been battling with the condition for some time now. The doctor said it was exceeding day by day and that I should go for surgery to control the disease. Kindly help me with anything little. May Allah bless you.” wrote Zulekha.

Endometriosis is incurable but the gynecological symptoms present during the reproductive years can be managed with surgery and medicines.

The silent killer affects between 1 in 10 women during their reproductive years (15 to 49 years).