Media figure Sheila Mwanyigha has initiated a discussion on the issue of cyberbullying following a recent incident in which she became the target of harassment by a Twitter(X) user.
On November 1, the ex-radio and TV host shared a photo on the widely-used online platform, only to face an attack from a troll.
“Hello November,” Sheila captioned the photo of herself at the gym.
Under the post, an X user, @RomanosNiche, commented, referring to Sheila as a ‘Shosh'(Grandma).
Sheila immediately hit back, writing: “Hey child with no inheritance.”
This sparked a back-and-forth between the media personality and the internet user, who persistently hurled age-related insults at Sheila while body-shaming her.
“Midlife crisis and childless is worse than not having an inheritance…fallen soldiers,” wrote the X user.
In another tweet, the cyberbully wrote: “Would consider adopting a young man to massage your aging joints since you got no kids of your own? I can’t mind replacing your dildo.”
To which Sheila responded: “Oooooh you poor dear. So that’s where your hurt is from? I wish you healing and acceptance. It can’t be easy being you.”
On Monday, Sheila Mwanyigha took to Instagram to spark a conversation about her encounter with the cyberbully.
The ‘SheilaLivesOutLoud’ host reflected on the journey of growing up as a young woman, highlighting the various milestones and responsibilities that come with age. She mentions the societal expectations and warnings given to women, emphasizing the perpetual target on their backs and exposing the prevalent issue of ageism against women.
“Can we talk…? As a young woman growing up, you mark every milestone and celebrate the years as you get older and handle more responsibilities. One minute you just learned how to walk. Next, you’re making your first ugali! Then comes high school and you big girl your way through 4 years away from family. When you return you have an ID that says you’re ready to vote. Then comes a multitude of markers through your adulthood as you pursue your dreams,” she wrote.
Adding: “Much is said to you about being a woman in the workplace, or a woman in society. To always keep your wits about you. To always watch out. Because you will always have a target on your back. Even when you’re hydrating and minding your business, there’s always going to be someone coming for you. And boy did something come for me last week!”
With the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence approaching, Sheila drew attention to the persistence of abuse and violence against women in online spaces, where trolls hide behind anonymity to attack women based on marital status, motherhood, and aging.
“A post I recently put up on X had these comments (see images) from a random stranger. His finest basket full of insults consisted of barbs dipped in the cauldron of the pervasive nature of ageism against women. All he could bring to the table was a litany of age related takes as he desperately mined clout.
“Growing older will be used as an insult against you. How that even makes sense beggars belief. But it can and will happen. Age is the weapon fashioned against ALL women. What about men? I choose not to answer that, but men, please feel free to do so in the comments!” Sheila wrote.
Sheila concluded by questioning the sense of using age as a weapon against women and encouraging women to embrace aging without shame or ridicule, inviting others to share their experiences with this form of bullying in social spaces.
View this post on Instagram