Written by Umamah Bakharia
Amid the growing number of online trolls in Kenya, a mother launches a cyberattack of kindness. Concerned about her kids growing up in Kenya’s toxic cyberspace, banker-by-day Marjoline Kirima decides to launch an online kindness campaign.
She founded the End Cyberbullying Association with dreams of making the online world safer.
In a discussion on cyberbullying in Africa with Radio Islam, Kirima says the issue of trolling is quite dire in Kenya.
“Its quite a bit thing and it does not matter who is a target, it can be a child, it can be an adult,” says Kirima. She adds that there was a time when the Kenyan president had to deactivate his account as he has getting severely cyberbullied.
The campaign, ‘Be Kind’, promotes a culture of kindness at schools, and communities, online and offline. “We aim to make compassion a social norm amongst people in the community,” says Kirima.
She says that the lack of information about cyberbullying is one of its main causes.
Currently, Kenya has a cyber crimes bill that has not been received very well by the public as they argue that it limits the freedom of speech. “Its a middle ground, most people want it because it will help to curb cyberbullying but then a line has not be drawn on what exactly is cyber bullying,” says Kirima.
She reiterates that there is a lack of information about cyberbullying in Kenya.