A US-based Kenyan woman, Achieng Agutu, trended on Twitter early Friday for claiming she attributes her proficiency in written and spoken English from watching popular TV show, The Ellen Show, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.
A section of Kenyans on Twitter said they did not believe that claim.
Achieng is in my audience, and hasn’t seen her family in 2 years, since they’re in Kenya and South Africa… which is weird, because I’m pretty sure I have some people from Kenya and South Africa backstage. pic.twitter.com/Sa4L0xMby8
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) May 2, 2019
Ms Agutu, who was hosted by Ms DeGeneres recently, said she grew up in Kisumu County, where she gained interest in watching The Ellen Show.
“Before the show starts, I am usually in the backstage at the dressing room, where I watch my audience dance before I come out here, and I saw this one audience member dance before the show…,” said Ms DeGeneres before inviting Ms Agutu to the stage.
“I wanted to meet her, where are you; come on down… What is your name?” said Ms DeGeneres.
“My name is Achieng Agutu,” said the guest.
“Achieng Agutu, where are you from?” asked Ms DeGeneres.
“I am from Kisumu, Kenya,” responded Achieng Agutu.
“I actually know about you more than I am pretending. I know that you used to watch the show while in Kenya, and that you learned some English from watching my show…,” said Ms DeGeneres.
“Yes!” responded Achieng Agutu
“How did you do that?” posed the host.
“People told me that the best way to learn a language is through watching music [videos] or listening to music. And, so, when I use to watch artistes on your show, I used to take down notes on the songs that they wrote and then I would go to a cybercafe and look up the lyrics, and, therefore, learn English,” said Ms Agutu.
“I moved to the USA five years ago. I came here for higher education. It has been amazing, but hard for my family back in Kenya because they have honestly done every single thing that they can do, including selling land to taking loans, borrowing money to be able to pay school fees and ensure that I am comfortable,” said Achieng Agutu, who told Ms DeGeneres that her 5-year stay in the US has seen her do five jobs to survive.
“I work one full time job as an admissions counselor at Holy Cross College from 9am to 5pm. I also babysit for two families, I wash people’s cars, I clean their houses, I am an Uber driver and then I also teach English to international students,” said Ms Agutu, who shortly, thereafter, opened up about her parents’ generosity.
“My parents really want to give back to the community because they feel like they are really blessed. They are helping 10-plus kids from our family and the village that they live in – they pay their school fees.”
More questions arose when Achieng Agutu claimed that she last saw her family two years ago, yet there were pictures shared on Twitter showing her in the company of her parents on graduation day last year May.