Twitter storm as celebrities 'catch heat' over nasty, bullying claims

Media personality and social influencer Mandi Sarro. [Instagram, @missmandii]

After nearly a full week of media personality and social influencer Mandi Sarro being Twitter’s hot topic, the conversation is still far from over.

Mandi, also known as Miss Mandii, was accused of bullying a former colleague, attracting love and hate from Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) and other social media platforms.

By the time Mandi made a public apology on Saturday evening, she had received a lot of criticism. The storm started after Mandi tweeted about accountability. However, a reply by her accuser, former colleague Gitobu Koome, sent Twitter into a meltdown.

Koome claimed that Mandi “constantly terrorised him” when they worked together.

Through a statement shared online, Mandi stated that she does not recall the many experiences that were shared online, but acknowledged that there are some things she might have done that impacted her colleagues negatively.

“As I grow older, I have ensured to continuously correct my behaviour at the earliest opportunity and learn from my past mistakes and interactions. Although this entire conversation has taken a life of its own, I still see this as another opportunity for self-improvement and I do not intend to waste it,” she wrote.

Mandi apologised to all those she might have wronged through her actions and words, stating that it was never her intention.

“I apologise. I feel terrible that some of my actions could have caused those who have interacted with me such distress because that is not who I am now or what I stand for.”

She also opined on the tweet that sparked the whole ‘bullying conversation’, maintaining that she stands by those words but the situation could have been handled better.

Taking positives out of the incident, Mandi said it highlighted the importance of healthy avenues to resolve workplace conflicts.

“I cannot underestimate how important it is to create safe workspaces for all I come into contact with. So I pray and hope that anyone who may have been hurt by previous colleagues will find new ways to address those conflicts which allow them to be genuinely resolved,” she wrote, adding that she will work on constantly becoming a better version of herself.

Mandi Sarro. [Instagram, @missmandii]

Gitobu had posted that while they were colleagues, Mandi would mock him for not being able to live a classy lifestyle, a claim that angered Kenyans on Twitter (KOT).

The furore online quickly caught other media personalities in the crossfire, among them Amina Abdi, to which she replied on a show she hosts on a local TV station, saying she was sorry to anyone she might have hurt.

“That, I apologise for, but toxic? I am not,” Amina said before stating that she was not going to shy away from the conversation just because she was trending.

She continued, “I do show people a lot of love, social media – I don’t know.” The matter escalated with some Kenyans online citing discrepancies and double standards when it comes to matters bullying and sexual harassment. 

“Miss Mandi and Amina’s case clearly proves how the war on men has been stretched and thrives in the world. A few months ago, Shaffie and Joe got sacked for having remarks on air. Ironically Feminists are laying low on this, men on the verge of extinction,” tweeted @lusista_

This was in reference to when radio Radio Africa Group axed its breakfast team over alleged Gender-based violence utterances.

Leading celebrities, among them Shaffie Weru and Caroline Mutoko weighed in on the matter. “Men are like high heels, they’re easy to walk on once you get the hang of it...,” posted Shaffie Weru.

Meanwhile, Caroline Mutoko posted; “Good morning, do yourself a favour. Move me and my squad from your gossip club to your vision board. #hatupangwingi.” In the same post, she featured a collage photo of herself, Gina Din and Amina Abdi.

KOT has been pushing on cancelling people adversely mentioned in controversial issues.

A 2020 survey by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) ranked Kenyans as the worst bullies on Twitter.