Nyonga Fest & Consequentialism

Nyonga fest, better known as Club COVID, has recently gained notoriety among netizens. The show which runs on Instagram live is said to be most popular and most-watched live stream in the continent after garnering over 100,000 viewers.

The show derives its name from a popular slang ‘Nyonga Monkey’ which when loosely translated means to masturbate. ‘Nyonga’ is a Swahili word which means ‘to strangle. ‘Monkey ‘in this context is used as a representation of a man’s penis. In this regard, men “strangle their penis” – which as demonstrated means to masturbate – as they feast their eyes on steamy acts from the ladies. With an audacious disregard of who is watching, entertainers perform seductively in their lingerie, while others go as far as stripping naked. They urge viewers to send some amount of cash as the show goes on, which will eventually crown the ladies who emerge as the best.


Madonn and her brother were neglected by her father, leaving them with no choice but to beg on the streets of Mombasa. Fortunately, a friend decided to take them in and later introduced Madonn to Nyonga Fest. She borrowed a phone, joined live stream and gave a sensational performance. 

Just like that, she walked away with ksh. 60,000. At the same time, another lady received ksh. 220,000. Remember, all this cash was raised by those who tuned in. Madonn could now afford to rent a house, acquire a phone, and even assist her mother in the countryside. On top of that, the host gave her a ticket to the next show as the main act. Another thrilling performance would enable her to get more money to start a business. Eventually, she will be able to take care of herself and get her life back on track. One of the subscribers proceeded to tweet, “Nyonga fest is helping our sisters pay their bills… good stuff”


Whereas many have benefited financially, the show has raised a lot of public backlashes. This is due to its unsettling and provocative content. Bear in mind that initially, Nyonga fest started for entertainment purposes only. Later, they decided to start this ‘charity’ drive. I am all for helping the less fortunate in society, especially during these uncertain times. The Bible exhorts us to lend a helping hand to the destitute, to do well and share what we have (Hebrews 13:16) by opening our hands wide open to the needy and poor (Deuteronomy 15:11). However, Club COVID is doing something different; it is exploiting the poor. 

Nyonga fest adherents justify its existence, claiming it is helping vulnerable youth in society. Even so, before you justify this moral decadence, think about the real faces behind screens. These men exploit ladies to satisfy their sexual fantasies. They objectify women, reducing them to mere entertainers. What happened to the value of people’s dignity? 

It may seem that Club COVID exists only to prey on women and men who are trying to earn money to get by. I can confidently draw a parallel line between Nyonga fest, prostitution and pornography. The author of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, says that sexual sin dishonours and misuses our bodies which are temples of the Holy Spirit. He calls on us to rather glorify God with our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:20).

In our previous blogs, we presented to you the ungodliness of masturbation and pornography. These are the very things Club COVID promotes. Galatians 5:19-21 throws upon light on the acts of sinful nature. These verses highlight sexual immorality, debauchery, impurity and selfish ambitions. Nyonga fest depicts all the above. The thing that I found most sickening is that one particular lady live-streamed herself in front of a child. On that account, a formal legal complaint got filed against the host, who is a famous blogger and media personality. The disgruntled blogger was quick to dismiss the allegations. His supporters ranted all over social media claiming that Club COVID is helping them cope with the pandemic and give assistance to those who are badly off.


Should we now turn a blind eye to the ills portrayed in Nyonga fest, because at the end of the day, it is impacting lives? Consider this popular folklore of Robin Hood. In defence of the poor, and an attempt to bridge the gap between the poor and the rich, Robin committed crimes by stealing from the well to do individuals and distributing it to poverty-stricken villages. He is famed for being a ‘noble’ outlaw. Does the Bible teach the end to justify the means? Join us in our next blog as we scrutinize this claim.


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