Two female journalists, now working for the BBC, have accused local media houses of discriminating against them on the basis of their hairstyle.
Sharon Machira, a former presenter with K24, and Ciku Muiruri, who once hosted The Trend show on NTV, revealed how local TV managers are obsessed with looks and would not allow them on air donning an “inappropriate” hairstyle or frustrated career growth.
The two took to Twitter to relate their experiences and how they are enjoying themselves at the British broadcaster as no one cares about their hairstyle.
Other journalists also revealed undergoing similar experiences as others wondered whether media houses are after talent or beauty. As the posts attracted a barrage of reactions, Ciku Muiruri, however, said she appreciates that K24 gave her an opportunity to air the Alfajiri show without asking her to do a makeover.
When I worked at local TV station, I was told I couldn’t present the news in my Afro coz it was“inappropriate”
I had to wear weaves basically.??♀️
— Sharon Machira (@SharonMachira) October 13, 2018
I was asked to cut my locs by a boss. I didn’t. Opportunities continued to pass me by at that station. I finally left and now I work at the BBC with my four year old UNCUT locs. https://t.co/Tv46LR8DLT
— Ciru Muriuki (@CiruMuriuki) October 15, 2018
Here are some of the reactions:
I was once asked whether I would “do something” about my locs at a job interview. I almost laughed because the person asking me had a terrible weave on
— Wanjiru Gaitho (@shirogaitho) October 16, 2018
I always wondered if the light skin, long weave and fake accents were the standard for all Kenyan media jobs because that’s all is seen on prime time. Those that are shade darker tend to have their face beat and contoured to submission too. What absolute self h**e. Keep soaring!
— Cate Karimi (@C4t3k) October 15, 2018
And then there was this:
However much I want to do locks, I kent coz of the nature of my work. My only remaining option is to cut my hair the police style and admire locks like urs
— Austine Wanga (@AustineWanga) October 15, 2018