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Sh1million ‘birthday daddy’ shelves political ambition to champion gay rights

An aspiring Kisumu politician, who is remembered for splashing close to Sh1 million for his one-year old son’s birthday party, has dropped his political ambition to champion for gay rights in the western region.

Douglas Otieno Owila, who was seeking to become the MCA for Migosi Ward, says there has been a gap when it comes to the sexual minorities accessing health care services in hospitals.

That, he says is what has informed his decision to drop his political ambition and instead actively champion for the rights of gay whose number in the region exceed 12,000.

Mr Owila, popularly known as ‘Daggy’, a public health officer, came into the lime light in late 2016 when he spent close to Sh1 million in a three-day birthday day party for his young son.

For his flamboyance Mr Owila received both praise and criticism on social media.

STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION

“I have every reason to celebrate my son’s birthday in whichever way I want. I grew up in the era of biscuit quencher birthday parties, my son must live a different path,” Mr Owila said at the time.

Mr Owila would thereafter announce his political ambition. He has since had a change of heart and is now more concerned with the plight of the gay.

“I was to represent thousands of residents of Migosi ward, but I felt it was important to concentrate on a group that has been marginalized for long,” said Mr Owila.

The 29-year-old says he had decided to concentrate on what he has been doing for years: fighting for the rights of sexual minorities such as lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI).

“I want them to ensure this particular community access services without stigma and discrimination,” he said.

HEALTH RIGHTS

Some of the services he wants the group to access are cancer screening, anti-retroviral therapy and access to condoms and lubricants.

He is currently the director of Third Race Medical organization where young health practitioners engage each other on LGBTIs.

He said he intends to engage policy makers, Ministry of Health and county executives for health in western region to look into how the group can be integrated in the facilities.

“I am not vouching for recruitment of male having sex with males or females alike, but for the health rights of those who have already identified themselves as LGBTIs,” he said.

“To me it is not how they became, but how they can access health (care) services, whenever they need one,” he added.