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No, photos of sisters – not ‘before-and-after’ photos of same suspect in Kenya’s youth service scandal

A Facebook user posted two photos on 24 February 2020, claiming they showed the changing fortunes of one of the suspects in a corruption scandal at Kenya’s National Youth Service.

The caption claims that both photos show the same woman, who he only calls  “Ngirita”, in 2018 and “today”. The first photo shows a woman wearing makeup and in a smart wig, possibly sitting in court, while the second photo shows a woman arguably less well-groomed, with natural hair. 

But a little bit of online searching hints that his claims might not be true. More than one member of the Ngirita family were implicated in the National Youth Service scandal. So are these two very different photos in fact of the same person? We checked.

Photos show Ngirita sisters

A Google reverse image search of the first photo reveals that it shows Ann (or Anne) Ngirita. It was published on 5 June 2018 by the Standard newspaper. The photo was taken by Beverlyne Musili and is captioned: “Ann Ngirita when she appeared at the Milimani Law Courts last week.”

A Google reverse image search of the second photo shows that it is of Phyllis Njeri Ngirita, Ann’s sister. 

According to an article on K24, a Kenyan TV channel, the photo is a screengrab from a video and also shows Phyllis Ngirita outside the Milimani law courts, in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, but on 24 February 2020. 

Another article on website Nairobi News gives further details of Phyllis Ngirita’s appearance at the courts, where she is apparently battling the Kenyan state to allow her access to her frozen bank accounts. 

The Nairobi News article includes a photo of the two sisters together, which makes it even clearer that those shared on Facebook are not of the same person. – Grace Gichuhi


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