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Exclusive: Janet Mbugua – What inspired me to author ‘My First Time’

Destigmatize menstruation among women is what motivated media personality Janet Mbugua to write her first book My First Time.

Speaking exclusively to Nairobi News this week, Janet said although the issue of period still remains an issue in the society, her main aim was to change the narrative.

The book addresses hurdles young girls face in dealing with the stigma surrounding their menses and how they can overcome the stigma.

“This is a collection of stories that tackle first time encounters with periods from the experiences of men and women. Don’t get me wrong when I talk about men and periods. This is because they have also encountered such experiences in life,” Janet told Nairobi News.

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She also revealed the book aims to shed light on menstruation and to celebrate it as well as appreciating the different ways it enhances and disrupts life.

“This is one of my passion projects. It brought about the dynamics of people ranging from the visually impaired, to people who we know and love in the media, to people who are athletes,” she said.

“The reason why we brought many voices to board is for people to share their experiences and encounters with menses. I was also aiming to bring the issue about menstrual dignity on board,” she explained.

My First Time brings together 50 voices which narrate their stories on what is still a topic topic in many Kenyan communities, but has a place in changing perceptions.

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These stories, once internalized, have the potential to improve the lives of millions, not only in Kenya but around the world, in putting an end to period poverty.

Last year, Janet was invited to State House, to present the book to former First Lady Margaret Kenyatta.

“It was an honour being invited to State House to present a copy of my book, My First Time, to Her Excellency the First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta, who shares her message in the book as well,” Janet said.

In Kenya, 65 per cent of females are unable to afford sanitary pads. One million school-age girls miss an average of four school days per month because of their menstrual cycle and no access to feminine hygiene products.

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