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James Smart Clarifies After Statement on Live TV Attracts Backlash

NTV journalist, James Smart, on Wednesday, November 10, was forced to clarify a statement he had made on his social media during his weekly With All Due Respect(WADR) show, after it attracted backlash.

In a statement on his Twitter account, the journalist explained that his earlier sentiments were not his personal views, rather a comment that he had received from a member of the audience. The show's discussion centered around youth employment.

Smart's clarification followed a backlash from social media users who accused him of demeaning a section of professions.

"To clarify: It was a comment on the show texted in by a viewer. They posted this on an estate WhatApp group," the journalist clarified.

During the WADR show on Tuesday, November 9, Smart took to Twitter to publish a statement on how difficult it was to find a plumber as compared to a lawyer in Kenya.

Additionally, Smart added that he had nothing against members of the legal profession.

"I asked for a legal representative, and I had about 20 people in boxing. I had a problem with my plumbing, it took me three weeks to get a good plumber," Smart quoted in his tweet.

Smart’s tweet attracted mixed reactions from social media users, with a section of Kenyans differing with the journalist.

"It is Twitter boss. Go to a construction site or a hardware shop, and give your number to the plumbers. You will get the same result," one social media user stated.

"And we have more drivers than plumbers because even Nairobi Metropolitan Service prefers bowsers to piped water," Wandiya Nyoya stated.

However, some of the online users agreed with the journalist. Former Mukurweini legislator, Kabando wa Kabando, voiced his opinion on the same, stating that it was a true reflection on the state of affairs in the country.

"The problem with our society is that we value jobs differently. Can you imagine a kid telling their parents ‘I want to be a security guard when I grow up?.’ We must embrace every job. The dignity of work," Evans Barno commented.

In an interesting twist, some people also compared the sentiments to those made by Education Cabinet Secretary, George Magoha, on the plumbing profession during an education stakeholder meeting in Nairobi in July 2019.

"How stupid can we be as a community? We are very stupid, including myself, because in my town, there could have been many plumbers, they have a lot of problems with water." 

"When looking for a plumber, a good plumber for my home in Yala, I had to go to Kisumu which is over 40 kilometers away," Magoha stated.

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