On my own behalf …


(Posted 08th August 2013)

First let me thank my new readers for producing an amazing 8.230 additional clicks yesterday for my various articles posted here, most of them of course reading the early morning breaking news about a fire at JKIA and then the regular updates throughout the day.

I got plenty of positive comments about keeping the public informed, details from the airlines which had to deal with the fallout of the airport closure and updates on when flights would be resumed.

That was before eTN dropped a bomb on me with a headline unfit to have my name associated with it, and rightly, people got upset, but wrongly they got upset with me.

Earlier in the morning I had posted this update on my blog, AND sent it to eTN, reading:

Update 2 at 06.34 hrs EAT
This correspondent also urges to refrain from any speculation over the cause of the fire, which will no doubt be fully investigated.
At present there is NO information about any injuries or loss of life.

Kenya Airport Authority Statement:

We confirm reports of a Fire at JKIA affecting part of International Arrivals building and Unit 1 departures. KAA Fire and Rescue Team is on ground being assisted by G4S and Nairobi Fire Brigade.Passengers have been evacuated to safety.

THAT was and remains my position, to refrain from speculation over the cause of the fire, and it was of course NOT lost on me that it happened on the 15th anniversary of the callous and cowardly attack on the American Embassy in Nairobi – and Dar es Salaam for that matter – though I deliberately refrained from mentioning this in any of my updates or posts of yesterday, even as I had already prepared a commemorative article which I then binned in view of the JKIA fire.

Still, I was taken aback if not shocked by the broadsides against me, some very personal, some outright racist, some clearly showing the sender did not think before mouthing off, but all of them failing to ask, apart from a handful of faithful friends whose tenor was ‘Ahem, was that really you who wrote that sensationalist headline’.

I think my track record speaks for itself when I report about what is going on in Kenya, amply demonstrated during the time of the 2008 post election violence and in many cases since, where my take on events looked at the positive side of things instead, as many other international media did, tear into Kenya and cause negative vibes about visiting the country. That though seems to have been conveniently overlooked when offloading their verbal missives in my direction, and that I shall not forget, especially from self professed ‘friends’ who showed their true colours. Thank you for unveiling your true self.

When the eTN headline appeared through their twitter feed, I immediately responded to them and up to this moment, some 12 hours later, not had a response. Thanks here to Jackie Arkle who re-tweeted my tweet to eTN, showing a degree of loyalty I missed in many others. I also wrote to the Publisher of eTN and those mails too were not receiving the courtesy of a response, strange considering that I wrote for them in increasing volumes since 2001.

Those mails are privy though and will not feature here but suffice to say they were sent and my degree of displeasure quite evident.

I guess you get the drift of this message now, that headline was not mine and I took immediate and grave exception to see my name under a headline with used the ‘T’ word, a word I painstakingly avoided and yet got ambushed by whoever manufactured that sensationalist heading. Only recently did eTN include Kenya in a list of countries where the risk of abductions by terrorists was high, causing already consternation at the time among Kenya’s leading tourism stakeholders but at least NOT bearing my name.

Finally, I have not ‘F***** O**’, have not suddenly turned into a ‘Bloody muzungu who at last dropped the pretence’ and have no intention to reciprocate the wishes to commit an unnatural act on myself to those who proposed such to me.

I will continue writing, in my usual style, and when I raise the temperature, stir emotions and cause reactions to my articles, then I stand by it because those were my words.

The words published yesterday in the headline were not, and hence I am not standing by them, of course not and I say it in public because it was in the public domain that my name got dragged into a controversy which is not mine.

And now it is time to move one, because after all, you read my blog for the news and there are more to be told …

10 Responses

  1. Hello Wolfgang, sorry you had to experience that. I follow your blog and have come to trust it. I have visited ETN and seen the article you refer to. The headline really is a big misrepresentation of facts on the ground. Could they be made to change it at least to safeguard their own reputation?

  2. Dear Wolfgang, There is an old Creole saying which says that Stones are thrown only at fully laden mango trees. Clearly you are fully laden and you were right for the picking! Well you are the envy of many and they just could not help themselves.they are a bunch of small minded twits and we have our fair share of them here as well. Take care my friend and keep up your sterling work David

  3. Good Morning Prof, I personally feel the bitterness in you….please cool down l trust what you write and its appreciate by everybody who values freedom of expression. Please keep us informed without intimidation. Happy IDD-EL-FITR

  4. Thanks Wolfgang, I was very shocked but fortunately was not in a rush to pass judgement.

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