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Sword Fighting Reducing Rates of Crime in Nairobi

By Treezer Michelle Atieno

In Nairobi, where crime rates have been a worry, sword fighting could be the solution. In the busy streets of Huruma, a group of young people and  Tsavora Fencing Club members gather for their daily practice. They wear white outfits and engage in sword fighting, not just for fun but to avoid getting involved in crime.

For many, like Mburu Wanyoike, fencing is more than a sport; it is a way out. Wanyoike, now a coach for Kenya’s National Fencing team, used to be in a gang. He says crime makes you feel lonely and stressed, and fencing helped him leave that life behind.

Tsavora Fencing, started by Wanyoike in 2021, is a hope for youth in poor areas. Despite equipment unavailability, the club has produced 15 talented fencers who made it to the national squad. They dream of representing Kenya internationally. However, equipment cost is still a big problem, and they need support from the community and government.

Tsavora Fencing Mtaani, a branch of Tsavora Fencing, provides mentorship and training to youth from underprivileged neighbourhoods. With 45 members, mostly students, the club teaches discipline and honesty while giving them something positive to do. For teenagers like Jemimah Njeri and Allen Grace, fencing has become their focus, keeping them away from trouble.

Steve Okalo, from the Kenya Fencing Federation, knows it’s hard to make fencing popular but believes in its future. Even though it’s not as well-known as football, fencing is changing lives. As Tsavora Fencing grows, thanks to its determined members and community support, it proves that sports can make a real difference, even in rough neighbourhoods.

The Nairobi government must support clubs like Tsavora Fencing to keep up the great work. By helping with equipment and training, they can reach more young people and give them a way to avoid crime.

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