Social media is a wonderful tool. For the first time in history anybody can literally read the mind of the public. In earlier centuries some people could only accurately guess public opinion but they profited enormously from their guesses, one wonders what those clever chaps would have done with the info freely accessible on social media today.
But spend a little time on social media and you will realize that our so-called elite and cream of society do not have any thoughts of their own. It is amazing how people repeat exactly what they have heard in the media like the obedient parrot. And folks that media iko na wenyewe and they have their very clear agenda. Or is the problem our educational system in recent years that encourages cramming and memorizing what is written in the text books so that you can reproduce it word for word in the exam room. There is never any time for students to delve into free thought, experimentation and discovery and the result of that seems to be coming out very clearly.
It is also crystal clear that most people don’t understand politics at all. They believe that American politics is “safi kama pamba” and Kenyan politics should be the same. I wish somebody could make a Nigerian movie (the only way a vast majority on social media learn anything about this life) that focuses on the global nature of politics. But meanwhile I would recommend a popular TV series called Boss which is captivating tale in the backdrop of big city politics in the US. Trust me it is anything BUT boring. Incidentally to most folks on social media that is the most dreaded six letter word (boring). Many young people fear it more than they fear Aids.
The other big problem Kenyans seem to have is this total trust for mzungus. I read between the lines of many comments and this clearly comes out. But I met this guy the other day who spelt it out for me and left no doubt. He reckons that just because the Synovate opinion poll is done by a mzungu it is 100 per cent accurate. He added that it is impossible to corrupt a mzungu because they have principles. This guy is a university graduate no less, albeit in the sciences. I kid you not. I pointed out to him that his perception of white people is dangerous and told him the story of this guy from Europe who went to Uganda a few years ago and started collecting cash all over the place from people who believed they were investing in a brand new airline that was set to be launched in East Africa. The poor Ugandans were falling over themselves to give that mzungu conman cash. They were sure he was not a conman because he was a mzungu. I will talk a little more about opinion polls in Kenya and their dark history in a future post very soon. But you can begin to understand why Kenyans have such short memories and nobody remembers the Synovate fiasco of 2007.
There is another friend who has suggested that the main problem online is the fact that all the major political players have too many of “their people” on social media and their mission is to make their candidate look good all the time.
Whatever the problem is, clear headed debate and political discussions are impossible. Many are even quick to accuse you of incitement when you start asking some hard questions or analyzing what should be obvious to a primary school kid.
Oh shucks what’s the point. Maybe I should just get used to supporting TNA because it has a lot of young guys with swag. Swag will probably create employment and solve our other pressing problems over the next 5 years. Or support Raila because he has suffered a lot for this country, never mind the fact that many others have suffered more like Kenneth Matiba who has had his health damaged permanently in his crusade for a better Kenya.
Or even better, lets vote for Peter Kenneth because he is the most handsome man to ever stand for president of Kenya.
Those Kenyans who have been calling for issue-based campaigns must be mad. To discuss what issues with whom? That’s rocket science in Kenya with the kind of “swag-related issues” being discussed by the elite of Kenya.
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