Cyber bullying has brought promising careers go down the drain

Monday, May 4th, 2020 00:00 |
Yvonne Okwara.

Cyber bullying has seen many promising careers go down the drain. As ADALLA ALLAN and HARRIET JAMES write, Kenyan creatives, especially, have borne the brunt of it all.

A few weeks ago, online and stand-up comedian David Oyando aka Mulamwah said he had quit comedy after being mercilessly cyber bullied.

On his social media pages, Mulamwah said his life had been full of constant attacks from netizens, as well as negative criticism.

Afterwards, he set ablaze his signature shirt, which he often donned during his performances.

“Well, that shirt had a big meaning towards my career. I made my debut in comedy through that shirt and so the video went viral.

It happened that the exact spot I burnt the shirt is where I did the first video where I had carried a chicken and had a bicycle.

I never knew that this thing would trend. I never knew that I also matter,” he explained.

 He said as a result, his wife had miscarried following the stress of the online trolls. “I wasn’t here for fame and bad blood, but for fun.

To those who always wished the worst for me, I hope you are all happy now; the stage is all yours.

Azziad Nasenya.

My prayer is that no one else goes through the same again,” he posted and apologised to all those who looked up to him while urging them to continue with their journey.

Speaking to Spice, the comedian said: “My heart had been bleeding in silence for so long. People could troll me whenever I posted anything; from my art, from my looks, dressing, home, et cetera

Just two months ago, my girlfriend Carol Soni experienced a miscarriage of our first baby as a result of the stress triggered by social media attacks.

That was the moment I decided to call it quits, but she encouraged me and told me that a lot of young people were looking up to me. But the trolling couldn’t stop.”

“What worried me was that the bullying was affecting third parties—my family. Even my small brothers were ridiculed at school just because of this,” said Mulamwah.

A number of public figures including the Kenya Film Classification Board CEO Ezekiel Mutua, comedian and radio presenter Jalang’o, comic YY and artiste Akothee came out to encourage the comedian to not give up on his career.

Last week, the graduate of nursing from Moi University said he was still recollecting himself and had not decided on what he’d do with his life as a comedian. 

The hate continues…

Earlier, the story of Azziad Nasenya ‘the TikTok queen’ had hit centre stage after her #UtawezanaChallenge video went viral.

The second year Journalism student at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication said she was terrorised by netizens.

“The first time it was so hard on me. The trolling went for about two days and it did affect me. I cried a lot.


I had even thought of deleting my social media accounts, but now what made me recover fast were my manager Peter Kawa and a few friends.

They told me that I just have to cope up with that and not respond to the trolls,” the 19-year-old content creator told Spice.

Gospel singer Ruth Matete has lately also been a victim of cyber bullying over the death of her Nigerian husband John Apewajoye on April 11.

So far, she hasn’t uttered a word about it, but her family through his father Abel Amunga told Spice the online harassment directed at Ruth wasn’t a bother to them.

Television anchor Yvonne Okwara too was on the receiving end for her remarks that were advocating for the arrest of those who mocked Covid-19 survivor Brenda Cherotich and Brian Orinda.

Comedian Oga Obinnah has been trolled so many times, that he funnily sees himself as a staunch member of the ‘troll club’.

“I have been bullied about my children, dress code, skits, stand-up comedy and my posts on social media.

Oga Obinnah.

Though it’s gotten to a point where I have developed a thick skin, sometimes some comments totally messup with my emotions,” he says. 

Personal insecurities

According to psychological counselor Elmard Rigan, most cyber bullies have insecurities they often project in others.

“Hurting others makes them feel powerful. To protect their egos and feel superior, they make others feel bad about themselves. Some cyber bullies see it as a means to gain popularity.

Others do it to feel powerful or escape their own problems. At times, cyberbullies themselves may be bullying victims so they “prey” on other people to feel better about themselves,” he says.

Singer DK Kwenye Beat has been a victim of cyber bullying, specifically because of his body. “Silence is the best weapon.

DK Kwenye Beat.

I have never taken it as a big deal since I know that anyone who wants to intimidate you on social media is not anywhere near your level.

They are just frustrated people who maybe go through hardships in life and find you the punching bag,” quips the Asusu hitmaker.

Obinnah argues that online bullies don’t even know when they do it and that those who wish to quit because of the bullying should remember why they began doing what they do in the first place.

“Remember why you started. Don’t give anybody power over you and your craft. Do whatever you do to make you happy first. Even if nobody supports it, you are your number one fan,” he advises. 

Azziad believes the only way to keep moving on is by developing a thick skin towards the rampant trolls and to accept criticism. 

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