‘They’re known for… and …’: Grand Mullah’s comment on Kenyan TV ladies sparks anger

Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi, popularly known in social media circles as Grand Mullah, has rubbed a section of journalists the wrong way following his Twitter claim that Kenyan TV girls are “hired on the size of their breasts and buttocks”; and not due to competency.

Mr Abdullahi took to Twitter to praise Al Jazeera’s East and Central Africa producer, Catherine Wambua-Soi, who is covering Congo’s general election.

Ms Soi had uploaded a video showing her interviewing Congo’s Head of State after he had cast his vote recently.

Ms Soi uploaded the footage, and captioned it: “Spoke to the president after he voted. Said he’s just concerned about the rain and how [it] could affect the voter turnout #DRCongoElections2018.”

Commenting on Ms Soi’s tweet, Mr Abdullahi said: “I saw this and realised we have many professional ladies i.e Anne Soy, Beatrice Marshall, Sophie Ikenye, Catherine Wambua etc with foreign media and judged on their professionalism, while our local girls on TV seem hired on the size of their bosom and booty.”

The lawyer’s tweet opened the floodgates of criticism from Kenyan journalists, who felt they were being unfairly targeted by Mr Abdullahi.

East African correspondent for South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Sarah Kimani, said: “Did we lose our bosoms and behinds after we shifted from local to international media? You can do better, [Abdullahi]. Respect our women journalists.”

KTN’s Zindzi Kibiku said Mr Abdullahi’s comment was “becoming old and outright disgusting”.

Mr Abdullahi responded to Ms Kibiku, saying: “You can only debunk this with empirical data…then I will listen. Hysteria and emotions won’t help…so go ahead…I am waiting!”

Zindzi did not take Abdullahi’s response lying down, instead, she responded: “Your statement is equally based on emotions and generalises all women in broadcast journalism. Share your empirical data too. Then we compare notes. Yes?”

Citizen TV’s Waihiga Mwaura said: “Could it be a case of a prophet or prophetess never being honored at home. Those distinguished ladies honed their craft in Kenya before they were spotted by international media houses. As the Bible says do not despise nor forget humble beginnings.”

A section of Kenyans seemingly agreed with Mr Abdullahi’s school of thought, with a bulk of the comments faulting the lawyer.

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