Celebrities’ lives are on our faces. They are visible, and it is hard not to see them. More often than not, they are depicted as existing in some glorious life above our own. Their lives are televised and all these provide fodder for faceless haters and trolls.
Some wake up trending for all the wrong reasons, while others turn into enemies of the State overnight and have undergone the deadly wrath of the ‘cancel culture’.
According to the Urban Dictionary, cancel culture or a call-out culture, is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles – whether it is online, on social media, or in person. Those subjected to this ostracism are said to have been cancelled.
With this in mind, we look at some individuals who rubbed the social media fraternity the wrong way and eventually found themselves on the receiving end of the ruthless netizens.
The king of turn-up became the poster boy of misogyny and chauvinism when his sexist comments on an incident that involved a woman being sexually abused cost him more than his reputation. The March debacle cost him his job, friendships, associates, and multiple corporate deals. In an interview with a local TV station, Shaffie went on to recall being sabotaged by his significant others as they distanced themselves from him following his polarising comments. He termed that season “a dark time”.
The former radio presenter has proved to be a corporate and social enemy. His lack of conformism and political correctness has led him to be self-employed after he quit radio for online entrepreneurship.
“I gave my notice three months ago because I was being censored on the content I could put out on national radio,” Kibe said in an interview. The online commentary king is known for his slurs against women. This controversial machismo is not the cup of tea for everyone.
The former pastor and politician has been drugged through the mud multiple times for his edgy advice, countless scandals, and ruthless strong opinions on various issues. Despite having a core fan base, many have a distaste towards him because of his critical ideologies that some, including key figures, have called careless, heartless or disgusting.
Kenyans have a love-hate relationship with the ‘Situationship’ singer. The amount of online hate towards the 26-year-old celebrity can be exorbitant. Bloggers have enjoyed using her name for clickbait, especially when she was romantically involved with Tanzanian superstar Diamond Platnumz. It was the best thing to do to chastise the model-singer. Hurtful comments on her “lack of talent”, “opportunistic ways”, “annoying voice”, literally anything she would do, drove traffic up. She could not catch a break. Whenever she would attempt anything, the keyboard warriors would be quick to bash her.
Dr Ezekiel Mutua
The moral police and former KFCB boss (for the moment) has never been fully a man of favour in the public eye. It began in 2018 when the government film regulatory body’s first strike went viral for black-listing LGBTQ film Rafiki. His moral compass dimmed the movie’s star. He said the movie promoted gay agendas among the youth. Then came the high license fees, watershed hours, banning of vulgar Kenyan music from the airwaves, and arresting artistes for their choice of content. Mutua has become some sort of antagonist to the arts in the country in the name of morality and ‘clean content’.
The satirical comedienne is called out for being a sell-out. Her legacy in Kenya has been plagued numerous times. She has called out Kenyans for their lack of support and their overboard criticism. Elsa drew the line when Kenyans compared her to Chebet Ronoh, so she got one up by focusing her comedy on the South African market. This angered Kenyans, but it became her breakthrough. The more Kenyans hate, the more love and acceptance she receives from the outside. Well, it seems the foreign support is heavily outweighing the lack of it in her own country.
Despite the accolades and continuous success of the ‘African Giant’, Kenyans have never forgotten the infamous time he called them ‘peasants’ in 2017 on a Twitter post. Don Gorgon, known for his amazing music style, is a very opinionated and outspoken artiste when pushed to the edge. Kenyans mocked him for being a diva following a show that did not meet their expectations at Privée Lounge in Westlands, and KOT rushed to tweet about it. This pissed Burna off, and he could not hold it in when he went on a spew of tweets to address his haters. Even so, he still showed up for a memorable performance in 2018, 2019, and has gone on to become the most-streamed African artiste since then.
In 2020, we were all treated to arguably the boldest socialite of our times. Shakilla literally had tongues wagging and heads turning in disappointment. The infamous socialite came into the limelight after an interview with known vlogger Xtian Dela. Shortly afterwards she went live with Canadian rapper Tory Lanez in Quarantine Radio, with her clothes off. The 20-year-old wannabe socialite is known for clout chasing. She uses any opportunity that presents itself to get all the attention she wants. She is bold, but that has never stopped netizens from undressing her while addressing her. Most trolls go harm on her as she continues to up her ante in streets antics.
The wa Jesus family
Comedian Kabi wa Jesus and his wife Milly, through their channel, share their love and social journey for all and sundry. Unlike most lovey-dovey couples on social media, Kabi and Milly sometimes go too far in what they share with the public. They do not have a care about what they post, as long as it goes viral. As a result, they are beginning to make their relationship and family the butt of jokes. They have been ridiculed uncountable times. They earlier made it clear that they did not give a hoot about haters. “… we try as much as we can to ignore, sometimes tunawajibu hao haters saa zingine tunawaambia tunawapenda,” said the wa Jesus.
Edgar is the go-to person for all the hot gossip on your favourite celebrities. He serves it hot and juicy. This has seen him cultivate a legion of lovers and haters in equal measure. His blatant nature of news breaking, mostly gossip, has put him at loggerheads with several people for revealing controversial stories. Kenyans are a divided lot when it comes to Edgar’s ‘tea serving’. Some think he is way out of his depth with his stories, while others love him for helping them keep abreast with what is happening.