Wild About Africa

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Should we brush Kenyan media gay bashing behaviour under the carpet?

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

or

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.

October 29, 2009 Posted by | Podcast | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Caroline Mutoko supports gay bashing DJ’s on Classic FM

Friends,

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.

Thanks

Paula


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

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 | , , , , , | 36 Comments

Gay is ok – Congratulations Daniel and Charles

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.

Listen to my podcast titled Gay is OK: hit back on Kenyan journalists about my response to Nick and Marcus on Classic FM who were gay bashing and calling Kenyans to ‘slap gays’

Why have I done this podcast? Because when good people stay silent bad people can get away with doing horrible things.

Don’t be silent – complain to the Classic FM station master Paul Illado (20) – 4447404

Fax +254 (20) – 4447411 Paul Illado (station master) and complain about Marcus and Nick for gay bashing program that calls viewers to slap gay people.

Be a proud Kenyan, Say NO to xenophobia, racism, bigotry, chauvinism, homophobia in Kenya.


October 27, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments