Anita Nderu responds after her BBC story caused backlash

The Capital FM news anchor recently opened up about getting sexually harassed in a matatu.

In the 2017 version of the BBC World 100 Women Challenge the media house challenged ladies to address the four biggest problems facing women today which are ‘female illiteracy, the glass ceiling, harassment in public spaces and sexism in sport’. And Anita Nderu’s matatu harassment story fell under the harassment in public spaces category.

She disclosed that during a matatu ride she was groped by a man and when she asked him to remove his hands he replied with “Why do women have boobs then if not  for men to touch?” and when she reached out to the conductor for help he simply replied with “There is nothing I can do ”. Feeling helpless Anita got out of the matatu crying and called up her father to narrate the traumatising experience.

When Anita Nderu’s story went up on YouTube and others social media platforms, most people were touched by her story but she unfortunately also received a lot of backlash with some people questioning the credibility of the story and others claiming that she was dressed inappropriately and that is why she was groped.

Commenting on her BBC story and the reactions following the video Anita wrote “Sharing this story scared me because human beings can be so cruel and insensitive as I learnt from the YouTube comment section.

Internet users will lie in long paragraphs and attack your character and blame you for what happened to you. Women included (I think that bothered me more). As you share your story people will accuse you of exaggerating or lying or tell you, you could have done more to prevent what happened to you or tell you maybe if you dressed differently or behaved differently you could have prevented it. Some say it happened once so it is no big deal, others will say you are seeking attention. None were there to watch it happen but will become experts on the situation.”

But despite crying over the harassment she received after the video went up Anita revealed that she has no regrets about sharing her story.

“I cried a good cry yesterday but when I woke up today I knew I would never forgive myself if I looked the other way, waited for the story to die when I know oh so well there are girls and women being harassed daily with no solution in sight and this is happening all around the world not just here.

Just because it has not happened to you or someone you know does not mean it is not happening.

The comments will not hurt as bad as knowing I did nothing. I will take various steps to bring attention to harassment in public transport and the streets and together with #100Women @bbc100women in #Teamgo and local leaders agitating for change.

I hurt with all the girls and women who went through what I did, who went through worse or were harassed in any way.

No should mean no. If you tell him to stop he should respect your wishes and stop. Sorry to all the girls and ladies who shared their stories with me, you deserved none of that and no one should tell you otherwise.”


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