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.
— IFRC (@Federation) May 5, 2015
School children in Baringo spend 8 hours searching for water. They spend 1 hour in class to learn on an empty stomach. A PRESIDENT who ruled Kenya for 24 years comes from the County. The son of the former PRESIDENT is their SENATOR. Sad. Sad and shameful.
— juma (@jumaf3) February 11, 2018
— Wish Fm (@Wishfmradio) July 4, 2017
Kenyatta National Hospital in the Spotlight over ‘Rape” of Women in Maternity Wards https://t.co/OFejWkP615
— David Indeje (@David_Indeje) January 24, 2018
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.
I, Crazy Nairobian, solemnly swear that I will truly & diligently serve the tweeps of Chokora Twitter in the office of the President; that I will diligently discharge my duties & perform my functions in serving & protecting Chokora Twitter, so help me God.
— Billy™ (@Crazy_Nairobian) February 11, 2018
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.
I take this chance to thank H.E EGH @Crazy_Nairobian ,President of Chokoraa Twitter for entrusting me with the lucrative docket of Land.Tuko Pamoja.
— MAPESA KURIA, OGW. (@KuriaOGW) February 12, 2018