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EABL suspends advertising on Radio Africa Group

By Too Jared | March 27th 2021
Shaffie Weru, Neville (inset) and Dj Joe Mfalme. [Courtesy]

East African Breweries Limited (EABL) said on Saturday it was pausing advertising on programs associated with Homeboyz Radio presenters; Shaffie Weru, Neville, and DJ Joe Mfalme in support of investigations into disparaging remarks made by the three on morning drive show, The Lift Off.

EABL said in a statement it expressed its dismay to Radio Africa Group (RAG), which controls Homeboys Radio, about the conduct of the presenters, who on Wednesday, March 24 made remarks that implied to support acts of gender violence on women.

The brewer noted that it, alongside the Guinness brand, is a significant advertiser on a variety of programs on RAG, and discourages gender insensitive statements including negative portrayal of women in all its marketing campaigns.

“Beginning Thursday, March 26, EABL paused all forms of advertising on all programmes related with these presenters. As a precondition to revert to our advertising partnership, we have asked RAG to conduct due diligence in the selection of presenters and embed a robust consequence management plan on those that do not abide by the code of conduct. We have also asked RAG to ensure continuous training programme for presenters to be sensitized on gender matters and commit to airing that will address negative gender narratives,” read EABL’s statement in part.

The announcement comes a day after Homeboyz Management instituted disciplinary action against Shaffie Weru, Neville, and DJ Joe Mfalme following a disciplinary inquiry over their insensitive sentiments on the plight of Eunice Wangari Wakimbi, who was thrown from the 12th floor of a building by a man she met on Facebook.

Homeboyz suspended the three for two weeks and announced that all presenters, producers, and their social media team will undergo mandatory gender awareness sensitization training. “The training shall be done by our legal team and a credible institution that is a key advocate for women’s rights and their protection from all forms of discrimination, bias, and abuse.”

An apology to Wangari, 20, and its listeners added, “Homeboyz Radio sincerely apologizes to Eunice Wangari and our listeners for the comments made by the presenters. Homeboyz Radio does not condone sexual assault, violence against women, victim shaming and any actions by men who do not respect women, women’s choices, and voices… We understand the seriousness of the matter and will endeavor to ensure our Presenters and show hosts discuss issues of consent and violence against women in a respectful and conscious manner going forward…a disciplinary inquiry will be instituted to ensure this does not happen again.”

Shaffie Weru, Neville, and DJ Joe Mfalme apologized in statements shared on their individual social media pages.

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