Kenya: No, This Tiktok Video Does Not Show ‘Hidden’ Photos From the Kenyan Starvation Cult

IN SHORT: A video on TikTok claims to reveal never-seen-before photos of starving people in Kenya’s Shakahola forest, the site of mass starvation deaths allegedly encouraged by a self-declared pastor. But the photos shown are old and not from Kenya.

A video posted on TikTok on 2 May 2023 claims to expose photos that the Kenyan government doesn’t want people to see.

The video is a slideshow of five photos. Three of them show people who are very thin, with their bones showing, and who look very weak, likely from starvation.

The first photo shows two healthy looking children sitting on the ground, and the last shows a young girl sitting on the ground, with a smaller child on her lap.

More people and some makeshift houses can be seen in the background. All the people in the photos appear to be African.

The captions on the slideshow claim that the photos are from the Shakahola cult. The video has received over 550 likes, 95 comments, and has been shared over 240 times.

Deaths in the Shakahola forest

Shakahola is a remote forest in the coastal Kilifi county in Kenya, where self-styled pastor Paul Mackenzie convinced his followers to move after closing down his former church.

He is accused of encouraging his followers to starve to death in order to “meet Jesus” in the afterlife, but Mackenzie has denied these claims. A major operation was declared in Shakahola by the Kenyan government, after reports of multiple deaths by starvation in the area.