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Caroline Mutoko supports gay bashing DJ’s on Classic FM


This is another post about gay bashing in Kenya – listen to the previous podcast here . I’m speechless at the response from Caroline Mutoko to my letter (see below). Caroline is one of Kenyas most listened to and respected radio personalities and she runs the morning show on Kiss FM which is a sister company of Classic FM.  I wrote to her to complain about the gay bashing program. I expected at the very least for these folk to air a public apology. What I got was far from it, indeed it seems Caroline isn’t quite as  moral as she had me think.

Here how she responded.  Judge for yourself why we have such a homophobic society. If leaders like Caroline think that gay bashing is fair game in Kenya, then perhaps we need a totally new crew of radio presenters in the country. People who think before they present, and use their intelligence to move society away from the negative and hurtful. At this time more than ever before, Kenya needs healing, not more divisions. Radio is such a powerful medium through which our presenters can catalyze change – sadly they are just having ‘a good Time’ as Caroline puts it.

Well if gay bashing is fair game then so is sharing her letter. Friend please write to Paul Illado and air your complaints

Paul Illado – paul@classic105.com (In charge of Classic FM)

Also write to the having too much of a good time gay bashing Marcus Kwikiriza – marcus@classic105.com

27 Oct 2009

Dear Caroline,

I am disgusted with the way that Kenyan journalists have covered the marriage between Charles Ngengi and Daniel Gichia, the two Kenyan men who married in London.

Nick and Marcus of Classic FM, your sister company were for calling Kenyans to ‘slap gays’. This is the most irresponsible journalism that I’ve heard in a long time – it smells awfully similar to what happened during the election crisis.

Please send me Paul Illados phone and email address so that I can complain.



Paula Kahumbu
Executive Director WildlifeDirect
P.O. Box 24467 Nairobi

Dear Paula;
Please find Marcus’s response below and I have listened back to the session and wile I accept that they had too much of a good
Time, at the expense of the gay people amongst us, they handled the issue pretty well.

Let’s also not be pretentious, this is Kenya and we are more homophobic that any other nation in the region.
Marcus and Nick are simply exerting their masculinity above all other men and standing to be counted.
The majority of their audience expect nothing less and yes the majority of their audience is the average Kenyan
who finds the whole gay marriage issue unpalatable.

Caroline Mutoko.

—— Forwarded Message
From: Marcus Kwikiriza
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2009 15:20:10 +0300
To: Caroline Mutoko <
Subject: RE: Gay bashing on Classic FM MUST STOP

Well, I guess they are listening.

Plus the question was, Is it a natural thing(which we shall respect) or is it ujinga that can be cured by a slap? It was a question opened to the public. She could have called and given her two cents……FYI


October 27, 2009 - Posted by | Podcast | , , , , ,


  1. I am trying to understand how any self-respecting media house can justify not only the actual radio show , but the flippant response both Carol and Marcus gave. Hey:- this is Kenya, and we are also very tribalistic , so why should the ICC and the TJRC be concerned with inciters of ethnic violence?After all they were simply exercising their tribalism above other men and women and standing to be counted. NKT

    Comment by magaribina | October 27, 2009 | Reply

    • This is what I wrote back to Caroline and others

      Dear Caroline Paul and Marcus,

      I am surprised and sickened by your response Caroline and Marcus. The programming that Classic FM is airing is inciting hatred and is plain hurtful. I don’t know what your motive is for such programs but from where I sit it seems and totally unproductive, unprofessional and embarassing. Do you realise that you are creating a deep stigma -and it is likely to lead to actual violence against gays. It feels frighteningly similar to what happened during the post election violence which is why I’m so surprised at your defensive response to my complaint.

      Kenya does not need any more pain and horror, what we need is healing. Just because people listen to bad programming does not justify bad programming, but what you are doing is worse than bad, it is stirring up hatred.

      I am not alone in my view.

      A reader left this comment on my blog

      I am trying to understand how any self-respecting media house can justify not only the actual radio show , but the flippant response both Carol and Marcus gave. Hey:- this is Kenya, and we are also very tribalistic , so why should the ICC and the TJRC be concerned with inciters of ethnic violence?After all they were simply exercising their tribalism above other men and women and standing to be counted. NKT

      You can also follow the numerous conversations on twitter which might reveal what people really think of your programs

      Anyway Caroline, Paul, Marcus and Nick I hope that you find these comments useful and have it in your hearts to take them seriously. We are a country in pain that is in dire need of healing. You should be the first ones to step up to the plate. It would be a great step if you could apologise to Charles and Daniel as well as all people of different sexual oreintation to yourselves. I think your listeners will applaud you.

      Pls copy this in to Nick as well

      Kind regards

      P.S. Marcus – I did try to call in during the show several times but the line didn’t go through.

      Comment by paulakahumbu | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  2. Well well Caroline of all people. I’ll use my blog to let her know we mean business. Btw she’s on kiss fm breakfast not capital

    Comment by Yeye | October 27, 2009 | Reply

    • Seriously!! I cannot believe that this is even an issue, this caroline person should pause and think of her own personal life.. oh yeah caroline… we have heard the many unsettling stories about you which are mostly true and we minded our business, you never heard anyone call your radio station and question your highly questionable moral choices!!
      As a person who is known, you should be aware of your influence on the public that religiously listen to the radio and know that it is up to you to reassure the public and give them positive insight on any issue that arises. Otherwise I fail to understand why you are even working on radio!! But you saying that the gay bashers have a right… is STUPID!!
      Welcome to the real world kenyans… and mind your own business and let people live their lives!! I dont see how the couple in London has anything to do with us kenyans, they are living their lives as they wish and maybe WE should ALL take a cue from them!!
      SHAME ON YOU CAROLINE!! and the rest of you who think gay bashing is OK… it says alot more about your insecurities and issues than the gay guys!!

      Comment by Joyce | October 30, 2009 | Reply

  3. Thanks for this – I sent it to Caroline to show that it’s not just me…. Kenyans can only influence these guys by actually making them know what we think.

    Comment by paulakahumbu | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  4. Paula, unfortunately I did not listen to the radio show but from what i’ve read so far I must say it is apalling to know that those who are supposed to be the watchdog and the people who sensitize us as a country are the same ones who are actually spreading hatred amongst us!
    I find it disgusting that I as a journalism student I have to go into the business and work with such close minded individuals! Furthermore, for a media house that tolerates such nonsense and actually air it 2 fuel their other close minded counterparts forms dispeakable words in me! Its very disheartening to me.
    Paula, I applaud you in this cause and I back you up!

    Comment by faybn | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  5. Unfortunately Caroline and Marcus are right, the show did represent the views of the many kenyans. That’s how people think, and after all, their show is about entertainment, giving people what they want.

    But wouldn’t it be great if instead of giving people what they need, we could give them what they need? Parents don’t feed their kids on sweets and candy, they give them real food. So it would be awesome if Caroline and Marcus used their immense influence to feed their listeners with the right attitude, and to help them realise that gay really IS ok.

    Comment by CB | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  6. I can’t believe how callous Caroline Mutoko is about this issue! I’d like to think she’s oblivious to the weight her words carry.

    Amazing that she doesn’t realize how many folks particularly our youth are swayed by opinions on the radio.

    We need to teach our youth tolerance. Respect individuality. Respect diversity. I hate to imagine the worst but in this day and age coming to terms with reality is a must.

    How quickly we forget Rwanda. 1.3 million Rwandese… violence incited by callous remarks on one radio station.

    Comment by LadyO | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  7. Given that Caroline seems to feel that the station’s job seems to simply pander to unpalatable public opinion, would she advocate the same position regarding issues such as racism, or indeed abuse of women – if the majority of listeners shared the same view? By the way Marcus is Ugandan not Kenyan so the regional argument re Kenya does not hold water

    Comment by Dave S | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  8. Paula,
    You speak like you have been sexing chimpanzees at Nairobi National Park. Tell us more about this mind blowing experience.

    Comment by ngina | October 28, 2009 | Reply

    • Ngina don’t be crude!! And if you have to be annoying do it within the bounds of this conversation as all others with differing opinions are! Nkt!!

      Comment by Loco | October 28, 2009 | Reply

  9. Think I know who needs to be slapped see how macho they will feel then. And one for Caroline just to make it gender balanced 🙂

    Comment by Kimutai Cherono | October 28, 2009 | Reply

  10. […] Caroline Mutoko, who I have mad respect for sent Paula a reply defending Marcus and Nick for their actions. Caroline weren’t you the one crying on radio 2 […]

    Pingback by Say NO to the MADNESS!!! « Media Madness | October 28, 2009 | Reply

  11. Honestly,

    Am homophobic but I have friends who are of the gay persuation and we get along well. What nick and marcus did was air their opinion and unfortunately, they shared the same sentiments.

    Their show wasnt as friendly to members of the gay community as maina and Kingangi’s or Caroline Mutoko’s were but you shouldnt turn a blind eye to the presenters who gave the topic fair coverage without bruising your egos.

    That said, i dont think they incited anyone because i honestly cannot take Nick and Marcus too serious to walk around slapping the gayness out of anyone (i have a mind of my own) but i will b*&%# slap and maybe pluck an eye off anyone of the male gender who approaches me and tells me am fly. I sincerely apologise to those who have been hurt and lemme request ya’ll to sieve everything that falls in your ears. Dont be emotional about anything and learn to see humor where it is.

    Two, Establish boundaries and keep them. Just as i wear pants to keep my private parts private, learn to keep your private life private. Be level headed and dont over sensitize an issue. Let me find out you are gay because you told me and we moved on, but i didnt see you strutting across the streets in a bra and hairy legs because you want to get accepted.

    I took what Nick and Marcus as a joke. Was it a joke taken too far? No. They are testosterone heads.

    Comment by Njoroge | October 28, 2009 | Reply

    • Njoroge October 28, 2009. You have spoken well. I agree with you ABSOLUTELY. This reaction is a bit over the top.

      Comment by Bryo | October 28, 2009 | Reply

  12. Y’all need to calm yourselves. Ati you’ve demanded they apologise to Daniel and Charles? Really? Because Daniel and Charles give two sh*ts about who Marcus and Nick are? (Maybe Caroline) But really? Let’s all cash in our reality checks… There are bigger things to worry about rather than the hurt sensibilities of some people who left behind their Kenyan roots decades ago and two testosterone fueled hotheads who’s opinions are actually much milder than the average Kenyan on the street.

    Come on now!!!

    Comment by Akinyi | October 28, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for your comment but I think you are missing the point – Promoting hate and violence on radio is simply wrong whether it’s about racism, tribalism or gays. You should read this blog http://notyetperfection.wordpress.com/2009/10/27/all-we-need-is-love/ and follow the stream on Twitter – it’s not about whether we like gays or not, it’s about using the radio platform to promote hatred. Remember that is what drove the election violence to such extremes. We the citizens of Kenya defended the media stations when the Media Bill was presented – but now I strongly think we need some kind of media monitoring and controls to prevent hate from being stirred up by irresponsible and unprofessional radio personalities. Yes I believe Daniel and Charles deserve an apology – they are humans too, we wouldn’t allow presenters to hack into other minorities like certain tribes, handicapped people or people with HIV would we? I hope we can at least agree that Kenyans deserve an apology in general? 🙂

      Comment by paulakahumbu | October 28, 2009 | Reply

  13. Complaints to the Kenya Human Rights Commission – reach them on
    Tel: 254-020-3874998/9, 38746065/6
    Fax: 254-020-3874997
    Mobile: 254-722-264 497 or 254-733-629 034
    Email: admin@khrc.or.ke
    Website: http://www.khrc.or.ke

    Comment by paulakahumbu | October 28, 2009 | Reply

  14. Paula, you’re right, it’s is irresponsible journalism, and even more outrageous is their offhanded dismissals of your just complaint. Akinyi, it has gone beyond the issue of Daniel and Charles’s marriage. Sexuality is a marker like race or tribe. Once we start inciting such hateful sentiments against those of a specific sexual orientation, then that group (A group of innocents) starts being subject to attack from the general public, which is exactly the mentality that brought Kenyans to the 2007/8 crisis (Surely, you can see the similarity in trend) It is simply disturbing when those who wield the attention of the public take lightly the responsibility that come’s with it!

    Comment by Loco | October 28, 2009 | Reply

  15. Caroline’s attitude is unfortunate to say the least and displays the crass double standards that are prevalent in Kenyan society and by extension Kenyan media.

    However, I believe you over estimate the influence these “radio personalties” have. Whatever they are they are certain not leaders. Caroline herself admits this in her response to you where she states that “the audience expect nothing less” i.e. the station the presenters and her show will always follow the audience.Not lead the audience. I have yet to see them take a stand and lead. They follow. Their views are hypocritical (hey KISS prove me wrong and dedicate a whole week to the other sexual “sins” fornication, adultery etc) and childish but not as influential as they would like us to believe.

    Comment by Mentalacrobatics | October 28, 2009 | Reply

  16. Carol has today invited a spokes person form Gay lesbian Coalition (GALCK) to her show. This could be in response to your mail.

    I have written to her twice without a response but i hope this show helps.

    Comment by Gay Nairobi Man | October 29, 2009 | Reply

  17. Having gone though all this hating and especially towards Caroline i wounder where all your strengths are coming from especially you Paula.For one remember that this are radio stations that are listened to by many of course its not that i have anything towards Chege and the groom but this presenters have to set a good example especially to our young once….I’m sure if you do your research well you might even find that yes they talked about it but they were not for that idea either…people!Give Caroline a break i think that you are all intimidated by her achievements and that’s why you are all hating.It’s clearly portrayed.

    Why don’t you all save your energy and strength by using IT to complain for the right reasons?e.g at our Kubaf president and his cabinet,at the purchase of hundreds of Passats or even the unsettled homeless IDP’s.Clearly i don’t see what the fuss is all about.

    Comment by Tabby | November 4, 2009 | Reply

  18. Remember Sodom and Gomorrah, they were destroyed because of this! The people wanted to sleep with the angels who came to Lot’s house, even after Lot offered his virgin daughters! Jesus may you come soon!

    Comment by kenyan | November 6, 2009 | Reply

  19. Caroline’s flippant response and the titillating coverage of gay marriage in the Kenyan media are typical and unsurprising. Why is it that the presenters could not express themselves without being so disagreeable? Because the cheap/populist is the easy way out…real journalists could have used this story to bring the tons and tons of information on homosexuality that are available from established sources to their audiences…but since they are not really journalists, the opportunity was wasted on them. Instead they chose to behave as though gay people have only just now been discovered, and by the Kenyan media.
    This is one of the issues I take with majority of our broadcast media…it is all populist sensationalism studded with so called celebrity presenters offering little to no useful content.
    Am sure if the presenters had been talking about one of Caroline’s pet causes or ‘palatable’ topics she would have been more amenable to issuing an apology. Again, typical. Gay bashing is unacceptable- no matter what the ‘national mood’ is. It is like saying that it’s OK to beat your wife just because everybody else in the neighbourhood does it.

    Comment by Wambui | November 10, 2009 | Reply

  20. Bashing or not its not acceptable in Kenya i.e gayism. Even in the new harmonised draft constitution its been given no attention showing what a majority of kenyans think of such orientation. Mugabe puts it better ” Dogs know the difference”

    Comment by kibet | November 20, 2009 | Reply

  21. Don’t see the big deal! I think Larry Asego explained it best. The issue of gays being beaten and exposed to violence is a “security issue” just like theft , rape etc and needs not be mentioned in the constitution . We are tired of the gays trying to get acceptance from the rest of us. WE DON’T UNDERSTAND YOU. Deal with it!

    Comment by Ms J | November 30, 2009 | Reply

  22. Way to go Classic FM; gays have equal rights as normal people and are entitled to just and fair treatment. Gays are also maladjusted people who need psychiatric help. Two facts can exit at the same time!

    Comment by Jullu | December 11, 2009 | Reply

    • I agree with your first statement but the second one suggests that you may need to learn more about gay people. I’ve yet to meet a straight ‘totally adjusted person” and I know plenty who need psychiatric help.

      Comment by paulakahumbu | January 15, 2010 | Reply

  23. Ifind it fun that some one wants to be sympathised with just because he or she is agay.
    If that is the life one has chosen so
    be it.why should he or she want to use others to lessen his or her guilt?

    Comment by Barasa wandabi | January 12, 2010 | Reply

    • I’ve never met a gay person looking for sympathy – but basic human rights should not be questioned. Its the same for all of us, black blue, pink, one legged and gay alike.

      Comment by paulakahumbu | January 15, 2010 | Reply

  24. Which people are gays seeking rights from? Sexual preferance of an individual is anon issue to hang over,that abed room affair

    Comment by Barasa wandabi | January 19, 2010 | Reply

  25. people will always talk about what offends them!! Why are the fagots asking for sympathy??? its because they feel guilty of the filthy habit that they have. Caroline is way up there with the best on radio, and haters should leave her alone!! ITS A FACT MAJORITY OF KENYANS FROWN ON GAYS/LESBIANS.

    Comment by kamau mwangi | January 29, 2010 | Reply

  26. as it appears its very clear that not all of us can stomach others if we realize that they have a lifestyle which we deem strange. this doesn’t mean that they are abnormal we must learn to get along with them. myself i got a cuzo who’s gay that doen’t mean we the rest of the family make him an outcast life is still continuing as there before. remember in the bible it said ‘don’t judge others for you not to be judged’
    see, this pple are still the same pple you knew let it not be like post violence time when one turned against his/her immediate neighbour who chumvi ikiisha kwake ataambia mtoto wake, enda hapo kwa mama nani umwambiae akuekea chumvi.
    its just a matter of common sense and having empathy for others. maybe we shd learn to co-exist.

    Comment by Francisca | February 2, 2010 | Reply

  27. Radio is a very powerful media for the dissemination of both positive and negative propaganda. Sorry I have to go this way but Marcus of all the people should know first hand the effect and power of radio by just remembering these letters – RTLM in Rwanda. The presenters at RTLM contributed immensely to the Rwandan Genocide. Marcus, please remember and never forget what happened in Rwanda, educate your peers who may not really know what happened. Be aware of the consequences.
    For those who are not familiar with RTLM you can follow this link on the hate radio -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Télévision_Libre_des_Mille_Collines

    Comment by SNMG | February 22, 2010 | Reply

  28. I am really disheartened by these presenters who want to personalise the air waves with opinions which they know will create feelings of antagonism. Its sad that this is what they really thought, but I hope they’ve learnt to only express their divergent opinions in the privacy of their homes. I am not as straight as most of my friends, but we get along just fine, they live and let live. Borrow a leaf.

    Comment by Moniq | July 26, 2010 | Reply

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