The recent past has seen a huge rise in social media frenzy that has not gone unnoticed. From
the time when Nigeria “attacked” Kenya to the time that CNN fabricated a video of militia men in
training in Kenya, the social scene has been very busy. Every waking day, there is a new topic,
a new trend in the city of Nairobi. There is always a topic to discuss, someone to criticize and
someone to praise.
The kawaida Kenyan on Twitter, popularly known as #KOT has had his (universally also
including the female gender) share of melodrama. Every day, there is a new topic, with the
most current being the “exposure by Ngilu of who were the brains behind the Lang’ata Primary
scandal. She said that Four Singh were the people behind the scam. Mostly unknown names
in political circles, the news of these men left more questions than answers in the eyes of
Memes were created, quotes made up and the #KOT was at it again. Check out
#NgiluSinghJokes poking fun at the fact that all Kenyans have a feeling they already know who
the REAL Weston Hotel owner is, but the government cannot just name and shame a big fish.
The owner is known and unknown at the same time, but if you dare speak his name out loud,
you risk jail time, and accusations of inciting violence and promoting tribalism. This has become
the go-to option for the current government. My question each day, “How is Moses Kuria still
enjoying his freedom? Why hasn’t the government not stepped in with the fury that they did
against Wadi Allan? Why was Abraham Mutai caught in the first place? Can’t the government of
the day actually encourage the citizens to hold them accountable? In a nutshell, that’s what the
average blogger and Kenyan wants to do. I voted for you (even if I voted for someone else) and
I expect a lot from you.
Jokes aside though, after the Singh jokes and the memes, what next? The day when Boniface
Mwangi led #OccupyPlayGround, what was the rest of #KOT doing? When the children at LA
Primary School were busy bringing down the walls of the Private Developer to access their
playground, where was the average #KOT?
I will tell you where, behind that laptop, tablet, PC and smartphone tweeting all about it. Some
of the people were on Boniface’s side, while others condemned him for “using” children to fight
their battles. They are warriors with armor of screens and swords of keyboards throwing darts at
every passing comment that comes their way. Anything in the newsfeed or in the news is fodder
for a tweef.
People like Dennis Itumbi will tell you that it was a bad move to “use” kids in the demo.
Boniface, on the other hand, says that the demo, with children was perhaps the best thing to
ever happen to civil activism in this country.
The Boniface Mwangis of this country are what this nation needs. This is my rationale, if Hon.
Orengo had never been chased out of a 64 stadium rally in the year 2000 by the government
of the day, he probably would have never been really known by his people. Fifteen years later,
he is a senator and you will now see him on the streets protesting or declaring mass action like
Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o always preferred. He will be at conferences addressing the media. He
will criticize the government of the day while in his custom made suit. In other words, his time on
the streets is already over. He is already in the Promised Land.
The tweets and retweets will not save our country. Actions will. The Arab Uprising did not start
and end on Twitter. It was only organized on Twitter, but they still stormed the city streets and
made protests. They endured the policemen brutality, but the fact is the Egyptian government
Kenya needs you and me to stand against the ills of this country without fear. The intellectual
Kenyan should get off the high horse and get to the streets to change things. This country will
not change, unless I change. Unless I change my way of thinking and actions, this country is
doomed. The transformation for this country will only come when the outrage spills past the
keyboard keys and into the Nairobi streets.
Until the government does more than open a new road, and actually enforce road safety, we
are not going anywhere. Until Kenyans are guarded with as much security as is accorded
those within the UN Nairobi walls, insecurity will remain as is. Unless the MP, Senator, MCA,
Governor lower their pay and we increase the pay of the teacher, it will not be business as
So, let me get to the streets and abandon the Social Media warrior Mode.
Check out an interesting article on the same.