Edgar Obare and Xtian Dela collage (2)

Dangerous and exciting! Xtian Dela and Edgar Obare’s brand of Instagram journalism

Edgar Obare and Xtian Dela have become household names this year. The reason is the expose’s they have done on various celebs that have gotten tongues wagging furiously.

The two use their popular Instagram pages where they air many celeb’s dirty linen. Their “Instagram journalism” is the new fad in Kenyan media following trends that have been happening abroad.

The controversial celebs use their Instastories to deliver the tea (gossip and hot takes) on various celebs.

Edgar was the first to get into many celebs bad books when he exposed the likes of Terrence Creative, Huddah Monroe and Alex Mwakideu in the beginning of 2020.

His infamy with many celebs reached its zenith when he exposed Natalie Tewa, and was charged with unlawfully publishing private and personal details from the passport.

According to his charge sheet, “On diverse dates between July 9 and July 13, 2020, at an unknown place, within the Republic of Kenya, using your social media accounts, domain name www.bnn.ke and verified Instagram account @edgarobare, unlawfully disclosed to your online followers, personal data to wit visa belonging to one Natalie Wanjiru Githinji without her consent.”

Since then, Edgar has become more subdued with his page rarely having any more revelations about big-time celebs with the chastened Obare exposing bad habits by Kenyans but without exposing the names of those accused.

But it seems that Xtian Dela has taken the torch from his good friend Egdar and last week caused a hullabaloo when he interviewed socialite Shakila.

The conversation caused a lot of trouble for him as Shakila claimed that she had slept with various Kenyan celebs at great cost. One man she mentioned was Kenyan footballer Victor Wanyama, who she claimed had paid her Sh.250k to sleep with her.

Wanyama was quick to respond to the allegation and said that he had launched legal proceedings against the blogger. Through a statement shared via Twitter, Wanyama denied ever meeting Xtian and Shakila, terming the claims in the video as ‘defamatory’ and a ‘fabrication’.

What does Kenyan law say? The Law of Defamation in Kenya states;

“[a]ny person who, by print, writing, painting or effigy, or by any means otherwise than solely by gestures, spoken words or other sounds, unlawfully publishes any defamatory matter concerning another person, with intent to defame that other person, is guilty of the misdemeanour termed libel.”

I am not a lawyer but I have been properly advised on how to run a story by the company lawyers. Two aspects that have stood out to me were;

-The standard of proof/evidence presented in a story should be meet a certain threshold.

-A fair opportunity to reply to inaccuracies must be given when reasonably called for.

While Edgar and Xtian try to meet the first standard (even vaguely) a lot of the time, I find that the second aspect is normally not done.

KTN journalist Ben Kitili even highlighted the problems he sees with the way Obare operates writing,

In conclusion

While Edgar and Xtian’s brand of journalism get’s the heart racing, it is not only dangerous for the person being “exposed” but for the exposer himself, something that Edgar and Xtian (if Wanyama actually sues) are already seeing.

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