Pulse: Corporate accounts have never responded so fast to a trend. Do you think they took advantage of the situation?
Mwirigi: First of all, I wish all those corporates that even mentioned me and promised grand gifts and consolations would actually deliver! I mean the likes of Kenya Airways and KFC who I admire and even Zuku and AAR whose services I keep complaining about had something to say on that day! Yes, they took advantage of the situation.
P: Have any of the corporates reached out to you yet?
M: Yes. Store 66 for which Sharon Mundia is a brand ambassador actually kept their word. They called me up, asked me for my shoe size and gave me some impressive VIP treatment when I got to the store to collect my pair of shoes. Remarkably, they had all shoes in my size. All I had to do was pick what I wanted like a celeb.
P: What was the most impressive comment you received amidst all the hullabaloo?
M: Except for the exaggerations, I loved how Kenya Airways assured me that they were not engaged and were willing to fly me wherever I wanted so I could forget the stress and heartbreak. My plan this year was to work hard, play hard and travel so, if they could make the travelling a reality, I shall appreciate.
P: Back to the trend, how did it all start and did you do anything about it?
M: Having been on Twitter since 2008, I have seen a lot of trending topics and I understand how they work. Soon after Sharon put out the post about her engagement, some of my friends simply decided to make me the “miserable crush” that was left heartbroken. At first I thought it was a joke, but after the first few #PoleKwaMwirigi tweets, it took on a life of its own.
P: Why did they pick on you? Was your crush on Sharon that publicly acknowledged?
M (Laughs) That is the power of social media. Truth be told, I had never held a private conversation with Sharon, leave alone had a crush. We had met at Bloggers Awards Kenya (BAKE) where she won the Best Fashion Blog award last year, but that was it.
I think many men on Twitter had a crush on Sharon but they simply decided to make me the scapegoat for all their disappointments and frustrations.
P: Then there was the email screenshot that showed you keenly following the blog.
M: Yes. As a BAKE awards’ official, it is my responsibility to keep tabs on all the blogs that we work with so that we can monitor their progress. Rather than manually checking the blogs on a daily basis, I subscribed to all of them so that updates come straight to my email. That was how the email screenshot from Sharon’s blog came about.
P: Talking about BAKE, as a founder, who else do you work with for the awards?
M: BAKE was started in 2011, by Wamathai, Kachwanya and I because we were bloggers and we felt that not much attention was being given to the blogging fraternity. So we came up with the concept and invited other bloggers to be part of it, after which we launched the event, and were able to access more resources and approach corporates much better.
P: How do you decide on the best blog and ensure that even newbies are appreciated in the industry?
M: Anyone can be a blogger, but we are always on the lookout for those who have quality, consistency and commitment to their crafts because it means that they appeal to the audience. The nominations are a chance for bloggers to showcase their works and ask fans to vote for them and that is where we appreciate everyone across the board.
P: Back to the Sharon story; so you didn’t even know Lonina, Sharon’s fiancé, who pulled off the grand engagement?
M: No, not at all. It was actually slightly disturbing to see that people compared me to him with regard to the engagement yet, I had nothing to do with it. I even had to reach out to the couple and tell them not to worry about the social media and trolls who were blowing things out of proportion for no reason.
P: Given the chance would you make such a grand proposal?
M: Yes. Probably better or more frugal, depending on what I wanted. People made it look like Lonina’s proposal was the new standard with regard to engagements, but I would make mine an out-of-the-box affair that would leave her impressed and not really care about social media.
P: That said, do you have someone special that you would impress?
M: Not really. That even made it much more difficult when some corporate accounts were offering getaways for two because I think I’d use them both. That said, I am not searching. Neither do I have a crush on anyone.