CNN irks Kenyans again with “The Woman who found whales in Kenya” report
International broadcaster CNN has done it again, this time in its CNN Travel segment it claims one of its reporters found whales in Kenya.
In their latest article about Market Place Africa titled “The Woman who found whales in Kenya”, they claim that 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.
According to CNN, 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.
“Up until recently, most travelers, and even some locals, had no inkling of the aquatic mammals that occupy or pass through Kenya’s waters.”
Spilsbury told CNN, “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.”
“We were amazed, because no-one knew there were dolphins out there, not even the Kenya Wildlife Service,” she added in the report.
The discovery of humpback whales in the area has been a game changer, but Spilsbury says she learned about them in a similar casual way.
“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,” she says.
But according to Turtle Bay Beach Club, Humpback whales, the marine mammal giants of the ocean which is 15 metres in length and 30 tonnes in weight, travel annually in their thousands from the Antarctic to Kenya to breed and have their calves “in our safe tropical waters”.
Both migrations peak between July and September, which means that Kenya hosts the “Twin Migration”, a unique wildlife phenomenon, incorporating both savannah and sea safaris.
This is not the first time CNN has irked Kenyans. In 2015 Kenyans on Twitter roasted the media house for a sensational report on President Barack Obama’s visit to the country, where they said he was going to a “hotbed of terror”.
The broadcaster has been accused in the past of inaccurate reporting on events in Africa. Here is what some Kenyans had to say about the article:
#Someonetellcnn that local fishermen in Kenya on our shorelines were the first to see humpback whales in our oceans and not #JaneSpilsbury
Not all things are discovered by white people! Stop giving her credit for nothing! @RodgersRuthugua @JesseKenya @BenjiNdolo @B3laze @brayo1
— Jax #WhyILoveKenya??? (@Jackie_Arkle) January 6, 2021
CNN says Jane Spilsbury (White) found (read discovered) whales in Kenya after spending months recording whales sightings in the coastal town Watamu, Kenya after LEARNING of THEIR EXISTENCE from LOCAL FISHERMEN. This world is interesting.????
— BRAVIN YURI (@BravinYuri) January 6, 2021
— Lucy Kay (@Lucywaalex) January 6, 2021
No. @CNN, She did not find Whales in Kenya. Kenyan fishermen who found them informed her about them.
"Jane Spilsbury, who had been living in Watamu with her marine biologist husband for several years, began hearing tales from local fishermen of dolphin and whales sightings" https://t.co/uOxw2HZu1k
— Kachwanya (@kachwanya) 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
@CNNAfrica am sure she also found the Indian Ocean in the Kenyan Coast. The local had no idea. They thought it was a puddle of salty water.
— Piao (@mutwocs) January 6, 2021
I also enjoyed the point where she says domestic tourism has increased due to the pandemic and Kenyans are just now realizing how amazing their country is. No mention of the exorbitant rates that were actually the main prohibitant
— Famous Grouch (@shi_nge) January 6, 2021
Just imagine, the audacity! She “discovered” whales in Kenya just as Columbus “discovered” America. Am so pissed
— Lelah Omar (@lelah_omar) January 6, 2021
I think the author didn’t fully understand. But her & some guy vokker bassen were the first to commercialise whale & dolphin watching for tourism. That is correct. Going back to 2009 when we raised funds for marine conservation WMA were already in play & KWS was catching up
— A.W.O.L (@krazygb) January 6, 2021