Shaffie Weru is among three media personalities suspended by Homeboyz Radio on Friday.
The radio presenters were suspended following controversial comments that appeared to demean a woman who was thrown off a building after she reportedly refused a man’s advances.
Also suspended are DJ Joe Mfalme and another presenter referred to as Naville.The trio is reported to have discussed the incident in their morning show namely The Left Off.
The said woman, Eunice Wangari Wakimbi, 20, was thrown off the 12th floor of Ambank House by a man she reportedly met on Facebook.
Homeboyz in their second statement of the day announced they had concluded their disciplinary inquiries on the presenters with enough reason to suspend them for two weeks.
“During the suspension period the presenters and all other Homeboyz Radio staff presenters, producers and the Homeboyz social media team shall undergo mandatory gender awareness sensitization training and training on ethical reporting and on-air discussion of women issues, sexual assault and gender-based violence,” said Homeboyz General Manager Somoina Kimanjino.
According to Kimanjino, the training shall be done by their 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.
In a clip that went viral on Thursday and has since been deleted, the hosts engaged their audiences by advising women on how they should play hard to get and occasionally be unavailable.
“Do you think Kenyan women, whether they are dating or not, are too available, too lose, too willing, or too desperate, and is that the reason they get themselves in such situations?” Shaffie asks.
He continues to tell women to stop going out to drink with men whenever called upon. In the background, Neville can be heard laughing.
In their statements on Friday morning, Shaffie and Dj Joe issued almost similar apology statements to the victim, for uttering words that may have caused her harm.
“I realize and accept that my statements about the unfortunate incident that happened to Eunice were very insensitive and hurtful and could be interpreted by some as encouraging the already ongoing and unacceptable culture of violence against women and girls. I do not, have not and will never condone any form of violence against women and I will do my part to help put an end to it,” read their statements in part.
The hosts’ conversation centered on an ongoing case in which the woman narrated to a Nairobi court how her boyfriend, whom she met on Facebook, allegedly threw her from the 12th floor of Ambank House while they were drinking together on their first date.
She told Nairobi Principal Magistrate Esther Kimilu that she had been invited by one Moses Gatama Njoroge and while drinking she rejected his sexual advances, angering him leading to a fight that saw her being thrown from a window on the 12th floor landing on the 9th floor balcony.
She suffered serious pelvic injuries and was taken to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) where she was admitted for two months.
Njoroge was charged with one count of causing grievous bodily harm.
On Wednesday, Shaffie’s former co-host at Kiss FM, Adele Onyango reacted to what they had said, saying that she was sending all her love to all sexual violence and abuse survivors. “I am sending all my love to survivors – every day we have to interact with people pushing the narrative that our NO isn’t worthy, shouldn’t be respected and should be met with violence and abuse. That is not true. You are not to blame.”
Bien Aime of Sauti Sol said the conversation being had in the studio was tasteless. “Why is this still on here? This conversation stinks. This is not the way brothers. Victim shaming is as stupid as the act itself. Do better.”
This is not the first time Homeboyz Radio presenters are apologizing for victim shaming.
In 2019, the Radio station pulled a show and suspended Didge who had made fun of the macabre murder of medical student Ivy Wangechi.
Didge, a presenter on the then-popular show, Mtaani, is said to have made jokes and puns about the murder that happened as his co-presenters laughed.
In his remarks, Didge told girls to be mindful of the person they are dating because that is how they might die.
Ivy Wangechi was killed inside Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret where she was doing her final exams.
The suspect, Naftali Njahi Kinuthia, is said to have hit her with an ax before slitting the throat with a sword.
In a lengthy post on Instagram moments after his suspension, Didge said he regrets his utterances after realising his mistake and apologised to his fans and the public who might have been hurt by his comments.