Kenya is in the hands of the social media fraternity – finally! Allow me explain.
Main stream media has no effect on Kenyans’ lives in comparison to that wielded by social media. Gone are the days when KBC Radio and Television were the best source of the best and balanced news. Other Television stations and Radio stations have cut their niche in terms of news coverage but the Social media have taken the medal of unbiased, balanced, factual and hilarious coverage of anything.
Something intriguing about this trend is the fact that the Kings and Queens of social media are hardly over 30 years. People who have been empowered by the Kibaki government. I was having a discussion with friends about how the former president Moi had managed to ensure that Kenyans are never informed. Take the introduction of mobile phones in Kenya: how many Kenyans had a mobile phone in Kenya during Moi’s era?
I remember back in the ’90s there was no phone in the whole of our village. My dad could travel for about 10 kms to Yala (ie from the then Western province to Nyanza province ) to access a telephone Booth. Fast forward to 2010 and see almost everybody with a mobile phone in their pocket. Currently, a phone that is not internet enabled is so old fashioned that even a 10 year old child cannot accept it as a toy. Call it the digital migration but the old generation who believe in the status quo are finding it hard to cope with.
They have tried to gag the mainstream media and managed to an extend. However, Social Media activists and whistle blowers have proved a hard nut to crack. With their numbers increasing day and night, they are emerging as a force that must be reckoned with. A small revelation on the mainstream media is enough to set the social media fraternity ablaze. The three sides of the story will be told on social media: the truth, the lies and the hilarious side!
Celebrities, Politicians, Businessmen and Nations are not spared by the social media sword. Enjoying the freedom of expression and some anonymity, social media players players tell it as it is, as they see it. A tough headed, arrogant and insensitive celebrity will be taught the power of humility. They’ll be tossed right and left, made fun off and if need be, killed and buried on social media.
The 11th Kenyan Parliament should be prepared for serous scrutiny by the Social Media fraternity. A single post is enough to shape opinions. News on social media spreads like wildfire. I hope that the Jubilee Government will uphold their digital platform they promised during their campaigns. They need to do away with the old status quo oriented old guard and tap the young vibrant energy that believes in the power of social media.
At the rate with which Social Media has been embraced in the last ten years, we can expect nothing less. Kenyan youths must be happy to belong to this era. The sooner Mr Kenyatta’s government that is taking over tomorrow realizes that social media is a force to reckon with, the better.