Sitawa Wafula is an active blogger and founder of My Mind My Funk (MMMF) a Google Award-winning blog which provides people in Africa with the necessary information and support to not only handle mental health conditions.
It also deals with every day, being a nomadic mental health crusader with over 8 years experience in self, national and international mental health advocacy.
She is well known for setting up Kenya's first free mental health support line and using her personal experience to bring mental health conversations to the forefront in Africa.
She is recognized globally and within Kenya for the unrelenting work that she does to create awareness and change the stigma around mental health in Kenya and for the rest of the continent of Africa.
The Engage Africa Foundation team is delighted at the opportunity that Sitawa has given us, to learn more about her work and how people can better manage bipolar disorder: using a storytelling tour - Akili ni Mali ( Swahili for Mind is Wealth) - to spark conversations about mental health across Africa.
Her work has been featured in both national, Kenyan, and international media outlets including BBC, PRI, Guardian Nigeria and NPR.
Her opinion pieces on matters to do with mental health have been published widely with a piece on the need to include mental health in Africa.
She has been listed among Women leading Africa, Top 50 most impactful global social innovators, Top 42 African Innovators to watch, she has been recognised by Business Daily and named among the Top 40 under 40 Women in Kenya and she was named a non-communicable disease champion by Kenya's Ministry of Health.
She is also a TED Speaker, an Aspen New Voices Fellow and an alumnus of Amani Institute where she got her Post Graduate Certification in Social Innovation Management.
Currently, she is running the Sitawa Wafula Mental Health Academy where she develops the next generation of mental health champions in Africa and hosts My Mind My Funk, the weekly podcast that demystifies mental health in Africa by hosting Africans from all walks of life to share their mental health journeys, challenges and self-care tips.
She is also a weekly online radio contributor for EAT online and South Africa's Radio Junto.
She is a rape survivor an encounter that made her suffer from depression and tried to overcome it by writing a lot of poems, she says that is how she started her blog.
She said that she was raped by her boyfriend’s best friend which made it the saddest day of her life.
Sitawa Wafula lives with epilepsy that causes seizures, she says that she was already epileptic in high school, but it was not pronounced and the condition later led to bipolar disorder.
"At some time, I lost all the energy and wished someone could just take me away to an unknown destination," she said in one of the interviews with The Standard.
She enrolled on a course in Actuarial Science at the University of Nairobi but did not graduate because she dropped out of school and tried to get a job but unfortunately, the job did not last as well.
There was a time she went to meet a client and she got a seizure due to her epileptic condition she says she thinks the client was too scared and a few days later, she was fired.
Some of her unmentioned achievements are; She was the winner of the East Africa Philanthropy Awards in 2013.
In the same year, she was awarded Activist of the Year by Malaika Trust and is also a winner of Google Africa Connected 2014.