Jimmy Gait knows only too well how cyberbullying can affect an individual. At the launch of Hisiah Campaign, the gospel star narrated his ordeal.
“In 2017 I was a victim of cyberbullying after I did a cover of the song Hello by Adelle. I did the song from a very positive place in my heart, then released it 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 face anyone as I felt like everyone disliked me and knew how low my mood was.”
He also narrated his second encounter with cyberbullying.
“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!”
He suffered a great loss, including cancellation of performances and endorsements, as well as losing friends, mostly due to his dented public image. “Of course, given that I wasn’t earning a living, I incurred major debts, and worse, it affected me emotionally, spiritually and socially! It was a dark season for me!
“With God’s help, I was able to rise up again from my misery and recovered in every aspect of my life, became even stronger through the support of family, friends, counselors and investors.”
The Hisiah campaign seeks to educate and inform on the presence of cyberbullying and its effects on victims. It also seeks to create a safer internet experience.