Gospel singer Jimmy Gait has revealed how cyber-bullying affected him and his career.

After being trolled endlessly Jimmy Gait started a foundation to help victims of Cyber-bullying

The singer has spoken about how he was depressed, lost confidence and locked himself all day because he felt rejected and hated while people came up with memes making fun of him.

Following his experience with cyber-bullying, Jimmy Gait has started a campaign dubbed ‘Hisiah’ which seeks to push for positive conversations and also create a reporting platform for all cases of cyber-bullying and online harassment in general.

He narrated his story and the much cyber-bullying affected him as a person. Read his story:

Discovered he was being insulted

“In 2017 I was a victim of cyber bullying after I did a cover of the song Hello by Adelle. I did the song from a very positive place in heart, then released the song on YouTube. Early the next morning, I received a call from Larry Madowo, the then host of the Trend, from NTV asking me to give him an exclusive interview since I was trending at number one on Twitter because of the song! To my surprise, I was receiving insults and so much hate that I could not even comprehend. My world had come crashing down, and I felt people were unfair to me, and this one that they didn’t seem to agree with made them forget all the music I had previously produced.

I felt like the whole world was against me, I felt alone and dejected. This had severe impact on me and led me to depression, loss of confidence and loss of appetite. I locked myself in the house for two weeks and could not be able to face anyone as I felt like everyone disliked me and knew how low my mood was.”

Quiting music

After talking to some people close to me, I gathered some courage, and with a strong positive attitude, I was back up on my feet again, got to the studio and released another song which you now know as ‘Yesu Ndie Sponsor’. This song was received with a lot of ridicule, and people said I blasphemed God by calling Him sponsor, going by the understanding of the word ‘sponsor’ in the Kenyan social circles. So many memes were created and circulated online with my photo and ridiculing messages. This is when I decided to quit music!

When I was stable again, I reflected on the experience and decided to pay close attention to the issue of cyberbullying and my discovery was quite shocking! Every child has a right to dignity and safety. However, with the rapid increase in internet access and connectivity, it has resulted to abuse of children through cyberbullying, sexual exploitation and harassment, most of which go unreported. Children are usually vulnerable to internet abuse, as they are exposed to psychological and emotional violence. This leads to mental depression, attempted suicides and tragic deaths through suicide and attempted suicides.

Hisiah Campaign

undefinedHence, the Hisiah Campaign conceptualizes a coordinated initiative that brings together actors from the Government, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Academia, Private Sector, Judiciary, Religious and even Political leadership, to build on ongoing conversations on cyber-bullying and accelerate action to make it count for children and the society at large. It envisions children, young people, their parents, caregivers and communities to be key players in innovative ways that reduce risks and create safety in use of technology which has become part of their lives, learning, communication, play and work when they are of age.”

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke