Kenyan Twitter Users Disintegrates into Groups: Is there a Reason to Worry?

By Soko Directory Team / February 13, 2018


Social media has taken over the world by storm. The train long left the station and those not on board might never catch up.

Social media has been a key element in the day to day lives of most Kenyans. With such tools as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, Kenyan online enthusiasts have been able to interact with each other as well as the articulation of various issues.

Most Kenyans use both Facebook and Twitter to communicate and articulate issues. Of the two, however, Twitter has come out as a tool that is being used to both construct and deconstruct both the mighty and the lowly.

A research done by Sochin Limited revealed that 86 percent of Twitter users in Kenya are concentrated in Nairobi With GeoPoll saying that more than 70 percent of Kenyans consume their news online before confirming it with the mainstream media.

This shows just how important social media, specifically Twitter is important to most Kenyans, not just individuals but groups and organizations as well.

Kenyans on Twitter or KOT as they call themselves have come to be a force to reckon with. By the click of the button through Twitter, Kenyans have been able to bring to the surface various issues affecting the society.

For instance:

      • Kenyans have used Twitter to drive fundraising for individuals who either needed to foot their school fees of medical bills. They have also come together during a calamity to pull resources together. One of the most memorable events that brought Kenyans Together was that of #Kenyans4Kenya which saw Kenyans come together to assist others who had been hit by hunger and drought.

     

        • Kenyans have used Twitter to criticize poor governance, pretense, and mediocrity that has led to poverty and suffering in most parts of the country. Last week, Kenyans were infuriated with the images that were coming from Baringo County of school children spending hours looking for food and water instead of being in class. More than 9 schools had closed down as a result of inadequate water. Baringo is home to Kenya’s longest serving Head of State, Daniel Toroitich Arab Moi who ruled the country for 24 years.

        • Kenyans have used Twitter to expose some of the highest corruption cases in Kenya. Twitter has also been used to call for the prosecution and resignation of the culprits. The NYS scandal as well as the saga surrounding the famous Eurobond, as some of the cases that have been determined in the ‘High Court of Twitter’ in Kenya. It was pressure from Twitter users in Kenya that forced the then Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and currently the County Governor of Kirinyaga, Anne Waiguru to step down.

        • During the Kenyatta National Hospital patients’ rape claims, the whistle was blown on social media and Twitter carried the day. This forced the government through the Ministry of Health to start a probe into the matter. The reaction of Twitter forced the management at the hospital to carry out some structural changes in the security system just to enhance the security of their patients.

    These are just some of the cases that Twitter has been able to ‘solve’ in Kenya. This is not forgetting the spirited move of most Kenyans in criticizing the government in the majority of decisions it had to take. During the week, Twitter went crazy as Kenyans criticized the vetting process of the Cabinet Secretaries’ nominees in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cabinet.

    Using the hashtag #CSVetting, Kenyans took to social media to give their views on certain nominees such as Rashid Achesa who had been nominated to take up the position of Cabinet Secretary for Sports and Heritage.

    In short, social media has been instrumental in setting the agenda, holding the government accountable, and promoting unity as well breathing reality into the sometimes-boring life of Kenyans.

    As the long antiquated adage goes, there is no single straight road without a corner and Twitter use in Kenya has had its own share of disadvantages.

    Many a time, Kenyans have used Twitter to channel out hate messages as well as propaganda. In 2017, during the electioneering period in Kenya, there was an upsurge in the dissemination of fake news and Twitter was one of the main channels.

    The use of Twitter to spread lies and propaganda almost brought down Chase Bank of Kenya which went into receivership for two weeks after panic was created among customers through Twitter.

    Politicians, through the use of unscrupulous social media influencers, have used Twitter as the main tool for disseminating propaganda and hatemongering.

    Due to our peculiar behavior as Kenyans, we have now broken into groups on Twitter (Twitter A – Z) taking on each other like there is no chance of seeing tomorrow. The idea of breaking into smaller groups on Twitter should send shivers down our spines because some people will start using that to drive their ill agendas.

    However, if there is a group I should commend for making a group that is enlightening the society on a lighter note, mirroring serious issues using irony and satire, then it is @Crazy_Nairobian and @ChokoraaNews.

    These accounts have been running some hilarious posts about the Chokoraa Cabinet in our Chokoraa Country, showing what exactly is going on in our society. It started with the Crazy Nairobian himself swearing himself.

    This was then followed by a series of ‘appointments’ in various ‘ministries’ that have left Kenyans reeling with laughter but deep within, for those who can learn, learning something.



About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system. Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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