No matter what anyone says, the Maasai are one of the main attractions to Kenya. Its not just their spectacular looks, their fierce ways and their big sky wilderness landscapes…the music penetrates the soul. Listen and tell me what you think
I made a mistake in a previous guys – no not about gays or wife beaters, but about Rhoda’s carbon footprint.
It’s actually much smaller than I’d estimated so I’ve made a movie about Rhoda’s Footprint.
Watch it here
Poor people living in African countries are feeling the brunt of global climate change even though it is believed that most Africans cause hardly any green house gas emissions. To find out more about the average Kenyan carbon footprint I spoke to my neighbor Rhoda. Rhoda is a domestic worker and she came to Nairobi from her rural home in search of a job. Like me Rhoda she rents her house, and lives with her husband and one child. What’s her carbon footprint?
You can also listen to the podcast here on PRX
A number of people have said ‘enough said’, and ‘it’s an old story’, ‘move on’, and “Caroline didn’t really mean it” as well as “don’t trust the media”, “don’t try to change the media” with regard to media attacks on Kenyan gays in my last 3 blog posts.
I know that Caroline can’t really think it’s ok for radio to be gay bashing but what I don’t understand is her defense of fellow gay bashing presenters, and her failure to step in and show some leadership. She is after all the most popular and loved of all Kenyan presenters.
How temptingly delicious – wouldn’t it be great if we could just pretend that it didn’t happen and maybe the furore and bad feelings will magically go away.
Great for who I wonder? The media, Kenyans or Kenyan gays?
I’ve been seriously thinking about brushing this gay bashing issue under the carpet, after all its eating into me and affecting my sleep patterns….Hmm….I’m juggling ideas here…
Brush it under the carpet
Get a conversation going.
hmmmm….I’m having a light bulb moment. Isn’t that what we said should not happen in Kenya after the post election violence? Maybe we don’t need a truth commission after all. Yes, let’s just forget the post election violence (and ignore the little problem of victims and the remaining IDP’s after all they are minorities right?).
Friends I wonder if it’s our collective failure to speak out, to discuss, to analyse, and to understand issues that makes our community unable to comprehend how something as ‘small and insignificant” as gay bashing on radio. Is it a reflection of our collective psyche that we are unable to admit when we make mistakes, to apologise and seek forgiveness? Perhaps that’s why the aggression and violence keeps escalating.
I don’t know about you but if the response from Caroline Mutoko at Kiss FM and Marcus at Classic FM is anything to go by, then we are in for a disastrous time during elections come 2012. If we accept gay bashing then what about tribe bashing, religion bashing…yes lets hit out at whatever and whomever we have an issue with.
Brushing the ethical issue of allowing gay bashing on radio under the carpet is a crisis behavior – just peek underneath and you’ll find that the hatred is breeding and it will eventually pop out again, this time with teeth.
I think that we need to deal with these issues that affect Kenyan Society up front and I still maintain that radio is the best and most powerful medium to bring about this change in Kenyan society. But first the radio personalities have a big responsibility and to be credible, they must have moral authority.
Moral authority it seems is in short supply right now on our radio waves. But that need not be a long term problem. It can be fixed with a simple apology.
Thanks to all of you who have made your opinions known on this blog and your own, as well as through twitter. Keep the conversation alive and remember, its not about your opinions on gays, its about how the media are stirring up hatred. We need a thoughtful examination of what we expect of the Media – perhaps then they will understand and change…just maybe.
Speak out or you will be responsible for letting horrible people do horrible things.
Have a great day.
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 – email@example.com (In charge of Classic FM)
Also write to the having too much of a good time gay bashing Marcus Kwikiriza – firstname.lastname@example.org
27 Oct 2009
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.
Executive Director WildlifeDirect
P.O. Box 24467 Nairobi
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.
—— 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
Daniel is a Maasai boy aged 15 who lives on Mt Suswa. Like all boys his age his dream is to be a pilot. Listen to this podcast about his life in the wilderness – not much else is common to children his age the world over. He’s an extraordinary child with big dreams. I spoke to him and he had loads to say – listen to this podcast about Daniels plans to leave Maasailand and become a pilot
Daniel gave me a quick lesson in his language called Maa (spoken by the Maasai) and sends a powerful message to all children the world over.
I have been going on dudu safaris with Dino Martins Kenya’s own Dr Dudulittle – a young entomologist with a passion for bugs and nature. He’s completing his PhD at Harvard and has a lot to say about his favourite animals.
We did an experiment to find out how many bugs there are in my Nairobi back yard.
Find out why wider eye spacing is sexier for the Stalk eyed flies
How dye is made from the disgusting cochineal bug “a sack of eggs with a mouth part” that parasitizes prickly pear cactus.
I’m very proud to be a good friend of Dino who you can see moves in VERY high circles…
Learn more about our extraordinary insect world through Dino’s blog Dudu Diaries on WildlifeDirect
Watch this space to learn about this gigantic monster!
Note* for those who think the word dudu is a rude word, think again. It means insect in Swahili, and insects rule the world
- carbon emissions
- carbon footprint
- Climate change
- Gay Bill
- gender violence
- green house gases
- spouse abuse
- Wildebeest migration