Former Capital FM media personality Anita Nderu came out to defend herself after being the subject of uproar from Kenyans On Twitter on Thursday July 2.
This followed her dropping of a teaser of her online cooking show The Overdressed Cook involving two LGBT guests.
“The brand under fire was and is in no way involved with The Overdressed Cook , it was just a coincidence it happened to be what we were using in the kitchen as has been with all other episodes.” she wrote on Twitter.
“I will never be bullied into silence. As human beings we have the right to refuse to be defined by what other people think rather we must define ourselves.”
“As people we should celebrate our differences, encourage authenticity & wonder at the diversity of humanity. We all have a right to love and be loved. Have an amazing day.” She concluded.
Launched two months earlier, Nderu’s show wasn’t in the category of popular video shows such as Betty Kyallo lately launched by former K24 news anchor Betty Kyallo and Former Milele FM presenter Felix Odiwuor alias Jalang’o with Bonga na Jalas which have gained a mass following in such a short time. However her show rose to the echelons of trending topics albeit for the wrong reasons.
Her latest episode sparked conversation largely due to the racy subject matter and her two LGBT guests that were clearly on to their shenanigans in the video that she posted on her Instagram.
Episodes normally feature Nderu in various dresses, as she cooks a variety of meals with guests also occasionally brought on.
However this one was shared across social media platforms beginning with Twitter, spilling over to Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram and igniting a barrage of mixed reactions.
In some quarters, it was perceived as a bid by Nderu to use shock value to promote the show whose episodes were averaging a few hundred views on YouTube.
Even worse, she was accused of shockvertising which refers to deliberately, rather than inadvertently, startling and offending one’s audience by violating norms for social values and personal ideals.
She was also appeared to have advertised Fresh Fri cooking oil brand under Pwani Life, which came out to deny allegations of working with Anita but expressed their gratitude to her for being a customer.
Her show is among the latest in a long list of online shows launched by media personalities during the Covid-19 period amid disruption in the industry.
Wage cuts and lay-offs have left the media industry as one of the worst-hit in the pandemic period, but various mainstream stars have adapted to it by quickly finding their footing online.
Nation Media Group could set to join the list of media industries affected by the pandemic after sourced disclosed to 254 News that they could begin laying off employees from Friday July 3.
Anita Nderu is not new to controversy. Despite being on the panel of judges picking a new Hits Not Homework host, she was several years ago picked to co-host the show.
In a candid interview with True Love Magazine, the former radio host said that she was handpicked by her bosses and had no control over the issue.
“I was at the gym when I was called into a meeting at the office. I had no idea what it was about. The communication I was given was that I had been moved from the News department effective the end of that week and appointed as a co-host on ‘Hits not Homework’,” Ms Nderu said.
She further noted that she was a judge in only one stage of the competition. She also intimated that she had not signed up for the evening gig.
“The same way any employee of any organization can be informed by their boss that their department has been changed is what happened to me,” she explained.
After getting the gig alongside Tracy Wanjiru and DJ Jo Kisila, the social media influencer for a while suffered depression and at some point thought about taking her life.
“The people who caused all this, still sleep soundly at night, I don’t get how but they do. To each their demons right? Above all even the one night I cried so much I contemplated killing myself, guys I wanted to blow my brains out, I remember only @dunn_can thought I wasn’t okay that night when he saw me. I asked myself, are they worth it? No,” she wrote on Instagram.
Fast forward to May 3, 2019, Nderu quit her job for “new challenges.”
“It is not that I did not love the organisation or I did not want to be there anymore, but I think I have given my best and I want new challenges,” she said.