Strathmore University: Popular TikToker Was Not Invited

The university asserted that by lending its auditorium for the function, it had informed the organizer of the adherence to its dress code policy

Strathmore University: Popular TikToker Was Not Invited
An image of Strathmore University. /FILE

Strathmore University in Nairobi has broken its silence after a famous TikTok user revealed in an explosive rant how she was denied entry into the premises over her dress code.

Speaking to Citizen Digital, Strathmore University Dean of Students Paul Ochieng’ revealed that in line with the protocols of the organisers, Speyside, the university had to strictly follow the guest list presented to them, hence the barring of any uninvited guests from the event.

Speyside Group is a firm that specializes in corporate affairs and public policy and had hired the auditorium from the university. Hosting alongside Speyside was an NGO - Article 19 - and TikTok with the university tasked to solely provide the venue and students interested in the cause.

The university, through its list, had indicated that the TikTok content creator, Swiry Nyar Kano, was not among those that were expected at the event. This was despite the fact that she revealed in a video statement over the matter that she was invited by TikTok.

TikToker Swiry Nyar Kano. /INSTAGRAM

The dean additionally denied claims that she was harassed at the entrance by fashion enforcement personnel known as "fashion police", adding that they treated her with uttermost respect and dignity and that they have CCTV footage to prove it.

The university asserted that by lending its auditorium for the function, it had informed the organizer of the adherence to its dress code policy so that the institution would retain its moral standards.

“We have the dress code that is appropriate for the nature of the industry our students join once they leave the institution. We train lawyers, business people, finance experts, engineers,” the dean said.

Multiple attempts to reach the dean and the institution's administration by Viral Tea independently for more clarity on the matter were fruitless by the time of publication.

Kano revealed that she was to attend a panel discussion revolving around #TikTokForPeace in Kenya ahead of the August 9 general elections. While attaching a copy of the invite to her video statement, she said that there was no mention of the dress code written on it.

With that in mind, she showed up at the university wearing a dress she made by herself as part of showcasing her work to events for marketing purposes in terms of her brand. However, when she showed up at the gate, she was met with rudeness and embarrassment from a female member of the fashion police who summoned her male counterparts to confront her in front of students.

"This was the invite I was sent and as you can see, there is no indication of dress code because TikTok has no dress code. As the fashion designer that I am, I made myself this outfit to use for the event," she said, showcasing the outfit which was a mixture of maroon colours.

"But when I got to Strathmore, I was met by rude, aggressive embarrassment from the gate when the female gatekeeper saw me. They called their male counterparts to come and shout at me in front of students that I need to turn back because I'm not dressed appropriately for the university."

While noting that the invitation for the discussion was a paid job, Kano begged the fashion police to let her in to simply do her job and go home, confessing that she was not made aware of the dress code. However, they ignored her pleas and told her to leave the university compound, an issue the institution denied.

Strathmore University's fashion-trained personnel dubbed "fashion cops". /STRATHMORE.EDU

She then tore into the university for barring her to access the premises over her attire which she revealed was traced back to African traditional customs. She also claimed that she was treated by the institution in a manner that was the after-effects of colonial rule.

Kano added that TikTok had called her to apologize for the incident, but she is yet to receive an apology from Strathmore University, which is yet to issue an official statement.