How TV Anchors Overcome Bullying After Controversial Statements

Former NTV anchor Kobi Kihara
  • TV anchors in Kenya are some of the most highly scrutinized people in the country. From time to time some big names face the wrath of social media bullies.

    News anchors are known to share certain aspects of their lives with their followers but this doesn’t always end well for some.

    When, for instance, Kenyans learnt that former NTV anchor Kobi Kihara was sharing pictures from Google and passing them off as her own they mercilessly descended on her.

    The drama started when a follower pointed out that a photo of a bowl of salad she claimed to have prepared was actually taken from the internet. Kenyans took the opportunity to scrutinize her other images and shamed her over some she purportedly lifted from various websites and posted as her own.

    Former NTV anchor Kobi Kihara

    She often used the hashtag #KobiWithAnEye when sharing her photos on social media. Kenyans on social media mocked her for faking her lifestyle. Others questioned whether she had enrolled at a design school in New York as she had stated.

    After the scandal, Kobi quit social media and went mute. But the scandal did not stop her from bouncing back. learnt that the former NTV anchor pursued her Masters in Media Studies, Arts, Entertainment and Media Management at a design school also known as The New School. Kobi went on to become a Production Associate at a leading film production company in the US.

    Larry Madowo was once not the beloved son of Kenyans on Twitter that he is today. Bullies and fans alike would call out Larry when he was starting out as the host for The Trend on NTV. Madowo would be teased and called out for doing the most mundane things.

    However, Larry would also hit back on Twitter and some of his responses would attract furore. In one instance a popular tweeter user threatened to get Madowo laid off at NTV but never followed up.

    The CNN International Correspondent did not ignore the trolls and bullies at times and he would shoot back with snappy comebacks. In 2017, Madowo met the wrath of KOT when he had an exchange with Presidential hopeful Ekuru Aukot.

    Larry was accused of being too proud by KOT, with most reminding him to remain humble after he mocked Aukot’s poorly attended campaign rally. He joked, reminding KOT that he was the only one who covered the rally despite his 0.1% support.

    Madowo’s former colleague at NTV Trevor Ombija became a laughing stock not long ago on social media after he shared private details of his relationship. The Citizen TV anchor revealed that his 10-year relationship ended despite having paid dowry.

    In an interview, Ombija said that currently, he is single and not ready to mingle, affirming that he is working on himself to be a better person. With the new men’s movement led by self-proclaimed Men’s liberator Amerix, Ombija was trolled over the failed relationship and criticized by netizens for being dumped. 

    The news anchor did not address the trolls and chose to pick up the pieces and went to drown his sorrows by vacationing in the US with Madowo.

    On Wednesday, September 15, Terryanne Chebet found out that it was not wise to share private direct messages with the Kenyans on Twitter. For the better part of the day, the former Citizen TV anchor trended, with trolls calling her out over the DMs she posted.

    Chebet posted screengrabs of DMs a Kenyan youth had sent her. Through screenshots shared, Terryanne revealed that she had to turn the applicant down for a job offer despite being qualified. She narrated how the applicant approached her requesting an opportunity to work for her, even on an internship basis.

    Former Citizen TV news anchor Terryanne Chebet in an Instagram post on April 12, 2020
    Former Citizen TV news anchor Terryanne Chebet in an Instagram post on April 12, 2020

    She gladly accepted by asking the applicant to send his resume and after going through it, she realised the job seeker was qualified to take up the role.

    However, things went south when she was about to invite him for an interview, only to realise that he had been stalking her by sending seductive messages. After going through all the suggestive messages sent by the applicant, Terryanne decided that she could not hire him.

    She, however, promised to link the applicant to other employers stating that he seems like a good candidate.

    Some opined that the applicant was a stalker and Terryanne was justified for refusing to give him a job, but others questioned why she decided to share the private messages on social media. The media personality ignored the trolls and decided to handle the matter with silence.

    Cyberbullying comes in various forms including abusive, threatening and upsetting messages via text or on social media networks, sharing of embarrassing videos and images, setting up hate sites or groups. 

    However, questions have also been raised on whether TV personalities share a lot of information with their audience and trolls take up such vulnerable moments to raise a furore. 

    In light of the bullying on Twitter, a report by Mozilla Foundation obtained by exposed how verified users in Kenya are fueling misinformation and bullying of journalists, activists and judges.

    According to the report, high-profile Twitter accounts are being hired out and used to attack judges, journalists and members of civil society. The report, released on September 2, stated that verified tweeps are hired by a secret agency to engage in a highly coordinated online attack by also hijacking Twitter’s trending algorithm.

    The accounts are allegedly rented to hawk unfounded assertions, push spiteful content and propaganda material under selected hashtags.

    Social experts also advise that media personalities should keep their lives private to avoid bullying and unnecessary pressure in their lives since they hold an important standing in society.

    An illustration of verified Twitter account
    An illustration of verified Twitter account