Veteran Kenyan songstress Suzanna Owiyo on Friday attracted the wrath of Kenyans online following a tweet in which she seemingly defended police actions during the government-sanctioned curfew over the coronavirus crisis.
Ms. Owiyo’s tweet came on the backdrop of videos shared online and in media circles of police brutalizing Kenyans found outside their homes during the stipulated curfew period.
According to a majority of Kenyans on Twitter (KOT), these actions were a violation of human rights; however, in Ms. Owiyo’s perceived opinion, the actions were provoked by civilians.
The multiple award-winning star, in the now deleted tweet, implied that Kenyans are tough-headed hence may have forced the hand of the men and women in blue.
“We are not at war yes but at times policemen/women are forced to go hard on Wanjiku simply becoz tuko vichwa ngumu. Plan yourself not to be caught up on the wrong side of the law. Your safety is important as well as your health. Can we all have an understanding her,” she wrote.
The tweet has since elicited angry reactions, with most of them castigating the singer for allowing her alleged ‘privilege’ to cloud her judgement:
Priviledged Kenyans like @SuzannaOwiyo justifying #PoliceBrutality because they can afford to hire housemaids to go on errands 4 them as they quaff wine from the comfort of their lawns in suburbs & think every Kenyan can afford such luxury! Pathetic entitlement! #CurfewinKenya pic.twitter.com/KTjTuBjYN2
— Cde, Dr. Ouma (@davidjesse34) March 28, 2020
Ooh Suzzanna I hope you’re happy now
I see you flexing on the TL with your stupidity
Suzzana I hope you’re happy now
I see you showing your empty brain cells https://t.co/LatybQPMx9
— Kimanzi®™ (@Kimanzi_) March 27, 2020
You can't tell me Suzanna, a UNEP goodwill ambassador isn't intelligent enough to recognize what the police did yesterday was horrible.
It only hurts her when it hits home but completely fine when it's Wanjiku on the receiving end. pic.twitter.com/u2VHIGLQNC
— Escape Artist (@justrioba) March 28, 2020
Dear Sauti Sol,
Thank you for the beautiful song 'Suzanna'. I pray that your inspiration was not this @SuzannaOwiyo because then, I will not listen to it. Thanks for Tujiangalie and all else. More power to you @sautisol .
Greetings, in the name of MOST HIGH Jah.
Give thanks. pic.twitter.com/jicKWEOCdB
— Dr. John Njenga Karugia, PhD (@johnnjenga) March 28, 2020
Nonsense, Owiyo. People like you disgrace the name "education." You glorify police brutality either because you have an IQ of 65 or you are a callous wild beast. There is no justification to physical abuse, maiming and murder of Kenyans. Goon! #uhurumustgo
— Dr. Miguna Miguna (@MigunaMiguna) March 27, 2020
Whenever classed people in Kenya describe others as “Vichwa Ngumu” please know they’re referring to poor Kenyans. It’s not the first time we’ve seen such vocabulary of “hooliganism” being used to profile poor people so as to make permissible state sanctioned violence on them. https://t.co/Fm25zDO6qU
— Mwaura Nyakio (@mwaura_i_isaac) March 27, 2020
How do you 'plan yourself' when police start teargassing you *two hours* before the lockdown? Where are these police when I'm getting robbed or when potential carriers who should be in quarantine, the real threat, ARE FREE TO ROAM AS THEY WISH? I'm sorry, but your take is trash. https://t.co/3yPuEz3wTV
— Eric Mugendi (@mougendi) March 28, 2020
Suzanna said the truth. It's all about priorities. You know well matatus zinabeba watu wachache, then plan how to get home early.What if there was a total lockdown?Uhuru anatuhurumia sisi hustlers but sisi hatujihurumii. KOT let Suzanna be😂,sasa mshatoa cover song ya sauti sol😁
— Ngaiwa Okinyo (@ngaiwaokinyo) March 28, 2020
Suzanna is right. Wakenya ni vichwa ngumu… I have seen some defy a simple /kind request to wash their hands before entering a supermarket..Just see what Kilifi deputy governor has done.
— Gitonga Githinji (@gitongagithinji) March 28, 2020