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Sitawa Wafula: the story of a Kenyan blogger who made history in the United States

What are the odds of someone who was diagnosed with epilepsy, mental trauma and bipolar disorder as a teenager – becoming the only Kenyan to win the coveted Black Entertainment Television (BET) award over the weekend? end last?

In the case of Sitawa Wafula, she defied odds and became a powerful figure, delivering speeches to foreign ministers and government officials and also hosting TED talks to share her story.

According to his profile on foundation together for girls website, Wafula detailed how her career was launched during an unfortunate period in her past.

Mental health advocate, Sitawa Wafula poses during the 2022 BET Awards held in Los Angeles on June 26, 2022.

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“When I was 17, I was diagnosed with epilepsy – which is more of a neurological condition. The following year, I was sexually assaulted, this trauma affecting me psychologically.

“This uncontrolled trauma from the assault was later given a mental health diagnosis of bipolar disorder. In my early twenties, I found myself dealing with a dual diagnosis and not finding proper information and support. when it comes to mental health,” she said.

Seeking to find a safe haven, Wafula started a blog to share her own journey as a coping mechanism. Little did she know the hobby would open doors for her globally.

The information shared on the platform started helping over 11,000 Kenyans across the country who were on their own healing journey.

She noted that victims could relate to her story and that they ended up sharing their own journeys, essentially becoming an online community forged by a traumatic past.

“At that time, one of the things I really needed, and also the reason I started sharing my own journey, were stories that I could personally relate to. Stories that reminded me that someone, somewhere had been down this path before and even though it’s still struggling, they’re still here,” she noted.

Over the years, Wafula has become a fixture in mental health advocacy and currently runs a mental health social enterprise called My mind, my funk.

His projects have earned him accolades such as Google Africa Connected Winner in 2014, 2013 Activist of the Year and 2013 East Africa Youth Philanthropist.

Mental health advocate, Sitawa Wafula.

Mental health advocate, Sitawa Wafula.

She has also had the opportunity to speak at a United Nations General Assembly showcase in New York and has participated in several TED Talks.

Last weekend at the 2022 BET Awards, she won the Global Good Honoree category for her mental health advocacy.

“By putting a global spotlight on mental health, BET is paving the way for these conversations to go from taboo topics that aren’t talked about in our culture to conversations we can have at the dinner table,” she said after won the award.