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Nahashon Karanja needs donations for skin condition? Beware fake fundraising on Facebook in Kenya

Three photos of a man with huge growths on his face and torso are circulating on Facebook in July 2022. He’s identified as Nahashon Karanja from Kenya’s Kiambu county – and in need of donations.

“Nahashon suffers from growths which has popped all over his skin,” the photos’ caption reads. “He has one big growth on his back which is very heavy and another one near the face which makes one eye sag.”

It claims Nahashon has suffered from stigma and no one wants anything to do with him, including employers.

The posts then asks well-wishers to donate to Nahashon, via M-Pesa mobile money transfer, to the numbers 5702163 or 074 067 2397.

“Please let us support Nahashon Karanja with whatever little God has given you and blessings will follow. The bible says it's better to give than to receive,” the caption ends.

But is this appeal for help legit?


Save a Life fundraising drive for John Shikuku

A reverse image search reveals that the photos were first posted on Facebook on 13 June by Save a Life, a Kenyan community-based organisation. One of its roles is fundraising for the sick.

In the original, the man is identified as John Shikuku from Trans Nzoia county on Kenya’s eastern border. It does ask for donations for Shikuku, but gives the M-Pesa numbers as 600054 and 072 221 4817.

Africa Check asked Carol Kariuki, Save a Life’s communication assistant, about the other Facebook posts using Shikuku’s photos.

“The story we posted on our Facebook page with John Shikuku named as the patient is genuine. We only have two mobile money numbers for the contribution. The Mpesa pay bill number is 600054 and the Mpesa number is 0722 214 817,” she told us.

She added: “The other posts with the name Nahashon Karanja and a different mobile money number are fake.”

The posts are a scam.

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