Kenyans are irked by an article penned by CNN in which a British woman supposedly discovered whales in the coastal town of Watamu.
In the piece, “The Woman who found whales in Kenya”, a former lawyer in London, Jane Spilsbury moved to Kenya with her marine biologist husband, Steve when she heard tales from locals about whales and dolphins.
Apparently, a curious Spilsbury took it upon herself to document and photograph any existence of the mammals which locals said they had known about for over 30 years.
“We literally came from a point of zero information and zero awareness, it seems ridiculous to imagine that nobody knew that the dolphins or whales existed here,” Spilsbury told CNN.
In fact, she told the television channel headquartered in New York, that she discovered the humpback whales in a casual manner.
“It was as simple as talking to a fisherman at the bar and asking if he’d seen any humpback whales and he said ‘Sure, we’ve seen them for 30 years.'”
According to her, the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) was unaware of the existence of the mammals in the coastal town.
“We were amazed, because no-one knew there were dolphins out there, not even the Kenya Wildlife Service,” she added.
Her discovery, she told Cable News Network, has led to the opening up of the tourism sector in the area that locals had no idea existed.
“Local people didn’t even know where Watamu was [before]. But there’s a huge shift now. It’s exciting,” Spilsbury said.
She also noted that she has been gathering information about the mammals via a WhatsApp group that consists of local fishermen.
But her story did not sit well with Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) who castigated the channel for running a “rubbish” headline.
Here are some of the comments:
1. 'The woman who "found" whales in Kenya [and other TALL stories"] by @Ash_Stewart_ via @CNN https://t.co/L5AI6NcHtZ@kwskenya @theelephantinfo @wmnjoya @m_ogada @AdhiamboKE @gmurunga @johngithongo @DavidNdii #ßomeoneTellCNN#KOT #RaiseTheCostOfFoolishness
— Zinduko (@Zinduko) January 5, 2021
@CNN please do better. Revoke this nonsense.
— Tanisha (@somaphor) January 5, 2021
Give me a break! Are we expected to think African fishermen didn't know about 20 ton whales off kenya? Of course they knew about them, as the article admits. But the media can only give credit to a British woman. And who owns Hemingway's, Kenyans or colonial minded foreigners?
— Christopher Haslett (@CJ_Haslett) January 5, 2021
What is this psychological need/ psychotic propensity to always need to structure stories of human experiencing this way? Why is the the Occidental media so gluttonous about centering their type in the middle of an Old African site? What is this behavior? Lunacy? Insecurity?
— Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor (@AdhiamboKE) January 5, 2021
So whales migrated to Kenya when they heard she is around? just in time to be discovered by her?🤔
— Calvin Steven (@ocalvinsteven) January 5, 2021
This belongs in the stupendously silly articles hall of fame! The framing is a complete MESS! pic.twitter.com/Ud9ZmASuAV
— Rita Biamah (@mzchana1) January 5, 2021