Former BBC presenter Makena Njeri has taken the step to change her name on Instagram from Makena Njeri to Chris Muriithi.
Muriithi prefers to be referred to with the pronouns they and them.
Despite how controversial the move may seem, it’s actually not surprising among Makena’s followers since ‘they’ has been open about individual sexuality and stance on gay issues for a long time now.
Makena is the founder of Bold Network Africa which is an advocacy and rights movement for the gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) community.
The journalist’s profile on Instagram currently reads, “Chris Muriithi (them/they), public figure, CEO and Founder of Bold Network Africa, Strong LGBTQ advocacy and rights movement, TedX Speaker, Emmy Nominee (Journalist), I move differently.”
Makena/Muriithi spoke about themselves last year and opened up about their gender position.
In a video published by TedX, Makena said it took many years to accept and admit the truth of what ‘they’ was going through.
The journalist admitted that it was a great relief after finding the courage to talk about the sexuality issue.
“My name is Chris Njeri Makena, I am happy, free and confident. For a very long time, I could not identify myself like this but somewhere along the journey I began to discover the meaning of living your truth. I began to discover who I am and I decided to be true to my reality,” Makena said.
The former ‘Tahidi High’ actor said for the past decade, ‘they’ struggled to live a normal life, “according to different social norms that have been imposed on us from a very young age”.
“At the age of 19, when I came to the city, I wanted to act and become a superstar participating in different television shows. But I knew for sure that the battle I was going through as a young man would be tested in this city, I realized that what the society wanted me to take was not so for humanity and me,” Makena said.
“I remember for the first time in my life after many years looking at myself in the mirror and I said to myself, I am gay, I am unique and this is my truth.”