The Chi: When and Why Was Kiesha Kidnapped?

Image Credit: Parrish Lewis/SHOWTIME

Portrayed by Birgundi Baker, Kiesha Williams is one of the important characters in Showtime’s ‘The Chi.’ In season 6, she is a school teacher who moves into her new home with her boyfriend Emmett. She is the mother of a baby named Ronnie and is helping Emmett raise his children from previous relationships. During the housewarming party in season 6 episode 3, Kiesha’s kidnapping is mentioned in a conversation between her and one of her acquaintances. Here is everything you need to know about it. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Kiesha’s Ordeal: Trapped by Omari’s Obsession

Kiesha’s loved ones first realize that she has gone missing in season 3 episode 2. Her mother, Nina, approaches the police but is told that Kiesha might be at some man’s home. This prompts Kiesha’s stepmother, Dre, to take action. She uses Kiesha’s laptop to track down her phone. Her discoveries finally draw the interest of the police to the case.

It is ultimately revealed that Kiesha has been kidnapped by a man named Omari, who keeps her in his basement and claims that he wants to save her by making her “clean.” Kiesha attempts to escape during a city-wide blackout which renders all the cameras Omari installed on his property useless.

However, as she tries to escape, Omari captures her again and chains her to the bed. Losing all hope, Kiesha begins to contemplate suicide. This is when Ronnie Davis breaks into the house and discovers she is there. When Omari returns, he (Omari) attacks them, prompting Kiesha to beat him to death.

The revelation comes later that Omari abused and raped her. It is also revealed that she is pregnant with Omari’s child. After giving birth to her son, Kiesha initially gives him up for adoption, but later has a change of heart and gets him back, naming him after Ronnie.

In an interview with TVLine, Baker reflected on what her character endured in season 3. ”… they called me and told me that they were going to get rid of the police characters [Detectives Armando Cruz and Alice Touissant],” the actress said. “And so, well, if we get rid of the police characters, then we have to bring up an issue that police don’t really involve themselves in. So [the writers] thought of Black missing girls. Right now, there are [roughly] 75,000 missing Black women, so that was how they came up with the story. And I got chills when I heard this storyline, because I’ve been on this show since Season 1, and my goal from Day 1 was to be a series regular. And it didn’t happen in Season 1 or Season 2, so when they called me and told me what the storyline was, I just felt like it matched up so well with the time right now. It was perfect timing for the story.”

During a monologue in season 3 episode 6, Omari explains that he was rejected by the girl he had a crush on in high school, and that effectively serves as his reason for abducting Kiesha. Baker spoke to the series producers about why Omari targeted Kiesha in particular. “I did go to them and ask them, you know, why Kiesha? And their explanation was exactly what was in the story,” Baker said. “He went through what he went through with who he thought he loved, and he didn’t get that love back. And so I guess for him it’s also a trauma thing, but that was it.

However, the actress added, “That was all of the information — and it just feels like that’s not enough. That’s not a good enough reason to take someone away from their day-to-day life, take them away from their family and friends, violate their body and their mind. But there are so many cases of missing girls. Like, I hate to say it, but the possibilities of reasons there are just so many and they’re just so wild, you know?”

Perhaps with the abruptness of the narrative and lack of information, the producers wanted to convey that in real life, people often don’t get closure in these circumstances. For Kiesha, life goes on after this, as she refuses to be defined by what happened to her.

Read More: Why Did Jason Mitchell Leave The Chi? How Did Brandon Die?