Photo: Paula Allen for V-Day

We’ve just received the sad news that Duncan Bomba Omwani Papa Omundu Umundu passed away on 25 January. All of us at V-Day, One Billion Rising, and City of Joy mourn the loss of our dear friend Duncan, a true V-Man.

Devoted to empowering and protecting African women, Duncan, together with his partner Winnie Anyango, founded Dolphin Anti-Rape & AIDS Control Outreach to teach countless children how to identify, avoid and prevent sexual assault through self-defense skills. Duncan and Winnie’s work also addresses HIV/AIDS prevention in Kenya through a culturally sensitive curriculum.

Since 1998, under their leadership, Dolphin has reached hundreds of thousands of young people with their powerful message of empowerment and self-defense techniques based on East Asian martial arts practices, which emphasize using knowledge as a first line of self-defense and then employing physical techniques as the next. By integrating drama, song and dance into the classes, they brought alive everyday situations, providing an avenue for young people to imagine how they might use self-defense techniques to protect themselves in their own lives. By training teachers in Kenya to deliver this kind of training, they reached thousands more students.

Duncan and Winnie travelled with V-Day often and are loved, known and respected by so many in the V-Day family of activists. They celebrated our 10th anniversary – V TO THE TENTH – in New Orleans, were part of a delegation to our AFRICA RISING Summit in Nairobi in 2012, and they journeyed to the Democratic Republic of Congo to train staff and women at the City of Joy in self-defense techniques (as documented in the Netflix original documentary CITY OF JOY).

Duncan was kind and funny. He always had a joke to tell. He was both fierce and gentle. He was proud to declare how important ending violence against all women and girls was to him. He was a loving and devoted partner to Winnie. And he dedicated his life to creating a world where girls and women could walk freely and safely.

Duncan’s work lives on in every graduate of City of Joy who transitions back into her community, empowered with the skills to defend herself, and in every Kenyan student who walks home from school with more ease.

We will always remember Duncan with love, and pledge to keep his work and memory alive.

With love,

Eve, Susan, Purva, Christine, Monique, Tony, Carl, Kristina, Leila, Anju & everyone at V-Day, One Billion Rising & City of Joy