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Self sponsored: Kate actress responds to fans on details of her US visit

Award-winning actress Catherine Kamau, popularly known as Kate Actress, has said that unlike what is being insinuated on social media, the government did not sponsor her trip to the US.

The veteran actress, who is also a mother of two, clarified that she is not part of the entourage for President Ruto’s state visit to the United States.

The controversy arose after Kenyans reacted to reports that the trip, involving at least 30 people, had cost taxpayers an estimated Sh250 million in travel costs alone.

One particular comment made by a fan, Rokazkibui, on Kate’s photo taken in the US attracted a lot of attention.

The comment read: “Keep enjoying the taxpayers’ money…it’s sweet”.

In a pointed response, the actress pinned the comment and made her position clear.

“Your thinking is so limited. Some of us don’t need government money to thrive. This trip is completely self-funded. This is me investing in my brand and taking care of my business. Get it?” she wrote.

Kate went on to explain that her invitation to the US was courtesy of the US Embassy in Nairobi, emphasising that her trip was a personal investment.

“My invitation was courtesy of the US Embassy in Nairobi and this trip is completely self-funded, just in case you thought my brand was beans. Breathe, my beloved, I have only just begun”.

Kate was part of the delegation that accompanied President Ruto on the visit, which began on Monday, May 20.

The trip has come under scrutiny after details emerged that hiring the luxury jet that President Ruto used cost Sh2 million per hour and that the expected meeting with American actor and film-maker Tyler Perry did not materialise.

While Kate is being roasted online, comedian Butita is being praised on social media after his viral photo with TV host Steve Harvey. The post has received mixed reactions, with some celebrities coming to Kate’s defence.

Fashion designer Nimrod Nick wrote: “Not everyone is going to love your success, for Christ’s sake Kate is one of the best actresses we have in this country and if any actor deserved the exposure at Tyler Perry’s studio then I think she deserved it… Let’s learn to clap for others when necessary because you might be next in line waiting for your chance to be clapped for… Taxes or no taxes Kate deserves every bit of this trip and so does Eddie Butita”.

PR manager and event organiser Slahver advised Kate and other celebrities not to respond to everything that is said online.

“When it comes to such sensitive public reactions, my advice to a brand is to hire a professional firm/agent who can draft an official press release. Rule number one as a brand: Never respond to someone online when you’re angry, because it will come back to bite you as the public will not see you as a responsible public figure.”

Other public figures who accompanied President Ruto on the US state visit include Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, Defence CS Aden Duale, Health CS Susan Nakhumicha, Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga and her Machakos counterpart Wavinya Ndeti, Anne Waiguru and Dennis Itumbi.

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