LGBTQ activist Makena Njeri who switched her name to Chris Muriithi this week has questioned why Kenyans are making a big deal out her personal decisions while blaming the media for subjecting her to cyber bullying.
The former journalist and actress caused a buzz on social media after she changed her profile name on Instagram to Chris Muriithi on Thursday morning.
“Chris Muriithi (them/they), public figure, CEO and Founder of Bold Network Africa, Strong LGBTQ advocacy and rights movement, TedX Speaker, Emmy Nominee (Journalist), I move differently,” she said.
On Saturday, the activist changed the story saying that she had not changed her government name and that she has been Chris all along and that Muriithi is her surname.
“It is my name, Chris Njeri Muriithi. In fact, what is not my name is Makena, it was my acting name from Tahidi High that just stuck on for years. So, I am wondering why people are saying I have changed names, it’s ridiculous and it has caused a lot of cyberbullying and harm,” she said in an interview with Citizen Digital.
“I will continue to advocate for the rights of the queer community in Africa without fear or shame! Such media houses should be held accountable for catalyzing hate,” she said.
She also took a swipe at media houses for publishing misleading reports and subjecting her and fellow homosexuals to ridicule.
“For the last couple of days, I have been plastered all over media outlets in Kenya with false accusations about a name change. What this has done is open up space once again for a queer person to be cyberbullied, targeted, abused and harassed for their own existence,” said Chris.
“As a trained journalist I struggle to understand how false information is given a go-ahead by editorial (if this department even exists in such media outlets) and also how there is complete lack of duty of care when it comes to reporting on issues around LGBTQ folk in this country.”
In addition, she asked social media giant META, which owns Instagram and Facebook, to sensitize Africans so that the queer community is not subjected to online hate in future.
“People can wake up in the morning and decide to change names. It’s not news! Also, it’s not an opportunity for your pathetic media houses to use to spread hate towards the LGBTQ community!” said Chris.