We have come a long way Kenyans on Twitter. But we have to admit that this technology was new to everyone even though some forsaw it’s potential and sought to primitively acquire/procure influence in a bid to auction it to the highest bidder, or use it for personal gain.
With this, I painfully remember an individual like Machel Waikenda who had a weekly QnA #AskWaikenda where he would intentionally mislead youths purporting to dispense advise and mentor poor misguided rural folk. Waikenda was only using the forum to acquire influence so as to peddle it to President Uhuru Kenyatta in exchange for a plum job, a two-pronged approach that not only benefitted him, but his mother Jane Waikenda who was promoted from a mere secretary to a head of immigration. We all know how that story ended so no need to taint a good piece with those bad memories. Waikenda was since appointed as the County Sports Minister in Kiambu by William Kabogo, and thus his hashtag helped him attain his objective.
We also had other economic hitmen like Alykhan Satchu who positioned himself using journalists like Terryanne Chebet, Julie Gichuru and Jeff Koinange in a bid to portray himself as the only financial expert, north of Limpopo, south of Sahara. Shameless self-promoter! It was an unwritten rule for tweeps to say good morning to him, a view that was reinforced by NTV’s Wallace Kantai who also acted as his henchman. Alykhan launched a talkshow #MindSpeak which was once graced by Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni. Together with his clique of Bob Collymore, Jeff Koinange and a few other wannabe’s, they’d tweet about the expensive whiskies they’d drink, Macallan 1951 which cost around $3,000 a bottle. Shameless display of opulence in the face of extreme poverty, almost like those criminals who looted Government funds to open a restaurant in Westland’s ABC Place that serves a bottle of whisky for Kshs. 3 million. What an insult?
From this pompous, self-righteous lot, a new cartel mutated including the likes of Gina Din Kariuki, Abbas Gullet, Julie Gichuru, Caroh Mutoko who then conjured one of the greatest private-sector heist in history. The #Kenyans4Kenya project meant to raise funds after images of 4 dying Kenyans were circulated by Bob Collymore after he flew his chopper on a sight-seeing trip. In a country where Kenya Mpya buses murder more individuals than Al Shabab, 4 deaths from hunger shouldn’t prompt such an uproar. The same group would also play a major role in the #BringZackBack campaign, even though none of the monies has ever been accounted for todate.
As if they had not disgusted Kenyans enough, the same clique then collaborated with a man who has put the image of Kenya into disrepute Jimmy Gait, to release the most pathetic song ever recorded in the history of song-writing, Furi Furi remix. That alone should have had them publicly executed by firing squad for insulting real creatives. It’s a pity that those individuals still have the guts to make public appearances after such a public display of mediocrity.
From then on twitter was a free-for-all playground to anyone that had good looks and bad ideas. For a moment God’s people appeared helpless as the injustices were committed by journalists promoting all manner of individuals, from conmen like Hesh De Silva, to commercial sex workers like Vera Sidika and Huddah Monroe. The country’s moral compass was heading south, with no hope in sight.
Some misguided individuals tried to impose a KOT logo in a bid to control debate but those efforts were dismissed with the contempt they deserved.
The turning point was when small pockets of resistance emerged, against Jubilee’s stage-managed PR Presidency. It went full-blown on the day he lied to Kenyans that he has flown to Abu Dhabi for bilateral meetings only for photos of him to circulate on instagram with a well-known socialite and ex-wife to France Footballer Claude Makelele. From that day, a movement was born, and even though Uhuru’s online dominance did not vanquish immediately, the countdown had begun.
The rest as they say is history and everyone who had anchored their relevance on Uhuru’s PR mechanism started encountering hostility. We may not have time to extrapolate the whole journey to irrelevance for those so-called leading lights, but all I can say is that social media influence is not built on a firm foundation. What we always advise individuals is to base/anchor their interactions on a cause higher than themselves, not on a career, a job, an individual or a political-party.
In this regard, I hereby present a list of individuals and/or handles who will be instrumental in the coming years in shaping the course of Kenya’s history. Unlike Business Daily’s Top 40 under 40 riddled with individuals who bribe their way into that list, the handles listed below do not seek publicity or recognition. They rarely do TV interviews or use Twitter for any other reason beyond interaction. The individual don’t know each other, have never met, probably hate each other’s guts, but on rare occasions, their ideologies or causes align like a solar eclipse. Woe unto those that may stand in their way, because they pose a direct threat to careers.
DISCLAIMER: Nobody has paid a bribe to appear on this list. This is not Business Daily’s Top 40 under 40.
1. @WanjikuRevolution: This handle stands for the truth, justice and equality. The handle’s administrator is only known in his respective NGO circles but unlike other celebrity-activists who only participate in conversations that directly benefit their pockets, Wanjiku has always diversified his offering and message to the widest audience as possible.
2. @WanjeriNderu: She took the #SouthSudanFive campaign personally and made sure her voice was heard in corridors of power. We may not be in a position to detail all her achievements but this is a handle that will be part of establishing a new order in Kenya.
3. Reinhard @Asamoh_ is an economist who elicits mixed reactions on both serious and immature twitter. Outspoken, political and forthright with his messaging. He will definitely be in your face whether you like it or not. I myself don’t even like him, but we have to give credit where due. I’m not a journalist who will promote only those that bribe.
4. Dikembe @Disembe is a blogger who gives Government sleepless nights. A leftist and unapologetic CORD defender, his principles will be put to test the day Raila takes over presidency and he has to screw over guys in his own party based on his principles.
5. @KinyanWest is a multi-faceted individual who covers a host of issues. Very political. Good following, and the future of Kenya.
6. @LeonLidigu is a radio presenter at Nation FM. Even though he has been forced to toe the line due to the commercial obligations of his employer, we do hope he will rediscover his footing at a radio station that allow him to express himself.
7. Jacob Juma @Kabetes has been a maverick and his expose’s have shaken the core of the Jubilee regime. He is the one who detailed the link between NYS scandal poster-child Ben Gethi and Deputy President William Ruto. Expect more from him in the coming months.
8. COFEK @ConsumersKenya is the defacto voice of Kenya’s exploitted consumers in a market where regulators remain toothless and legislators remain on the payroll of corporate as was evident with the BAT scandal, this handle is a necessity. COFEK shares a lot in common with Cyprian Nyakundi especially in energy sector reforms where both have been consistent in calling for the resignation of key individuals behind industrial-scale scums like Simiyu of GDC and Chumo of Kenya Power.
9. Francis Gaitho @KenyaFootball is said to be a match-agent who arranged fully-paid international matches for the Harambee Stars. He does all the work and Nyamweya takes all the money and credit, according to football insiders. His opinions are hard-hitting, and loves punctuating his rants with “motherfucker.” Currently in litigation with Supersport South Africa over his tweets so not a small-timer by any means.
10. @ODDP_KE is the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutings which has overhauled the manner in which the DPP interacts with the public.
11. Ole Laibuta @Olez is also a lawyer who tweets on a wide range of issues. He has clarity of thought and his opinions don’t seem influenced by any quarter.
12. @ModernCorps is a security related handle that is well connected in the disciplined forces, exposing what the mainstream media is bribed to cover up. Due to the sensitivity of security matters, threats on his life from overzealous military generals and police commanders have been rife.
13. @KahawaTungu is a blog associated with firebrand activist Robert Alai. Credit to the blog for exposing the Kenya Airways mess years before Kenya Airline Pilots Association released a statement calling for the disbandment of KQ’s management this past week. These are the true patriots of Kenya.
14. @ColinceBey is not your usual analyst. It’s just unfortunate that he may not have the funds to bribe editors like Linus Kaikai/Tom Mshindi in-order to get a slot on air or in the print media, but his words are extremely powerful.
15. Last but not least, @C_Nyakundih remains a servant of the people, at your service.
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