Kenyan radio presenter Kwambox criticized over insensitive comments

Kenyan radio presenter Kwambox criticized over insensitive comments
Sheila Kwamboka, a popular breakfast presenter on Kiss 100 FM

Nairobi, Kenya | By Michael Wandati | Kiss 100 FM’s morning show host Sheila Kwamboka, widely known as Kwambox, has sparked controversy with what many perceive as insensitive comments in a recent online promotional video.

In the video, posted on January 17, Kwambox appeared to downplay the tragic killing and dismemberment of a 20-year-old student, Rita Waeni Muendo, allegedly by a Nigerian man, whose dismembered body was discovered at an Airbnb residence in Nairobi’s Roysambu area.

However, the nationality of the killer(s) is yet to be confirmed.

While dancing to a popular Nigerian Afrobeat song ‘Gwagwalada‘ done by Nigerian singers BNXN and Kizz Daniels, in the video, Kwambox briefly turned down the volume to make her thoughts clear, she said; “Listen… Even if you guys are not feeling Nigerians this week, I don’t care!.”

While proceeding to shout ‘Kapoww’ – her hype motto – Kwambox went ahead to double down on her sentiments, adding, “Remember this year we said we are being fearless, so whatever you think you’re avoiding…”

Kwamboka’s choice to include the insensitive perspective in her brief promotional monologue sparked significant disapproval among a large section of Kenyans. This reaction was particularly pronounced as it coincided with a period when mainstream media and the entire Kenyan populace were exclusively concentrating on reports alleging that a Nigerian man might have committed a gruesome act of killing and decapitating a female victim.

This statement, coupled with her subsequent remarks, stirred significant backlash on social media, prompting Kiss 100 FM to delete the video. Many Kenyans expressed disappointment, comparing it to a previous incident that led to the dismissal of Shaffie Weru and others for insensitive comments on a femicide case.

On social media platform X, users voiced their discontent. One user criticized Kwambox for her remarks about Nigerians, emphasizing the insensitivity given the recent femicide case. Another suggested that Kiss 100 might downplay the incident and portray the public reaction as seeking attention, similar to the previous case with Shaffie Weru.

One displeased X user said, “At a time when Kenyans are praying for justice for the TRM girl, who it has been reported was killed by a Nigerian man, Kwambox went on LIVE radio to say, “Even if you are not feeling Nigerians right now, I don’t care!” Really Kwambox? A 20-year-old girl was killed and that’s what you’ve got to say? You’re a woman! A woman Kwambox! What if her family are your fans? What if they listen to Kiss FM? Did you even think about that?”

On his part, X influencer @Wafunya offered, “Watch Kiss 100 downplay the whole Kwambox shenanigans by making her have a conversation on the show on how people on the internet are always quick to react to things for clout. They might even call you people jobless and bitter with nothing else to do than tweet. Women privilege!”

Gathoni Kanja, expressing dismay, noted the irony of a woman making such remarks at a time when femicide is a significant concern. The comparison was drawn to Shaffie Weru’s dismissal in 2021 for trivializing femicide.

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In March 2021, Shaffie Weru, then a presenter at Homeboyz Radio, along with his co-host Neville Musya and veteran DJ Joe Mfalme, faced severe consequences as they were all dismissed.

The controversy erupted when a video surfaced online, capturing them seemingly trivializing femicide and making insensitive comments regarding the tragic incident involving Eunice Wangari Wakimbi. She had been pushed off the 12th floor of a building by a man she had met on Facebook. The incident led to public outrage and resulted in the swift termination of their positions at the radio station.

The controversy surrounding Kwambox remarks, has reignited discussions on the responsibilities of media personalities and the consequences of insensitive comments in the wake of tragic events.