I was a young sport editor in 2003, heading a small team of four behind a magazine called Sports Monthly, a round up of sports news, features, and opinions in Kenya. It was a great time to be a sports editor. Kenya had lit the sporting world with outstanding performances. This was my first foray in the world of sports journalism and away from my weekly column beat as a relationship critic in a weekend newspaper.
The week that was, Kenyan news trended globally for good reason. This small East African country delivered a judicial bolt from the blue and nullified a presidential election. “In Africa, of all places?” asked the baffled Westerners from across the Atlantic. Americans are waking up to the volatile temperament of the Trump presidency and there was open envy in the editorials that followed the breaking news.
A little African country had made a strong case for democracy with the Supreme Court ruling that had nullified a presidential election marred by irregularities. Foreign election observers who had given the election a clean bill of health, fumbled over retractions and penned long winded defenses. Citizens of African countries living under oppressive regimes were hopeful again, that the dim light at the end of a long democracy tunnel was not an illusion. Kenya gained new admirers. The biggest surprise was reserved for Kenyans who had never imagined that the courts could turn on status quo and rule against a sitting president.
Words: Rev. Canon Francis Omondi
Who can refute that Kenya is standing in the need of prayer?
Not that routine, liturgical prayer “of God guide our president. And give him your wisdoms and justice”, chanted in churches every Sunday though with some variations. We must prod for Divine intervention in our catastrophes: brought to us by our own hands, or visited on us by nature.
Words: Anyango Odhiambo
In a move necessitated by the erosion of national integrity by social media hate-mongers 27 people were charged and 250 are under investigation. The crackdown by Kenya’s National Cohesion and Integrity Commission is a great move.
Vice Chairperson, Irene Nyoike, revealed the offensive material and fake news violators were reported by concerned citizens.
Readers in the age of internet are bombarded with FAKE and HATEFUL news from all angles. Not long ago as a rookie writer, the Telex , a global transmission method reminiscent of Twitter in its economy of words was the rage. Sensationalism and exaggeration were strictly confined to forums and publications known for their fluff and entertainment value. Even “dirt” was quantified and rarely hurled. Falsifying data and plagiarism got you fired and ostracized.
Ojuala is a ball made of strips of compacted plastic bags and held together by interwoven sisal rope. These balls were well crafted. They bounced off walls and let out a resounding thud when they connected with a striking foot. Young boys reused and recycled in the days of scarcity and kicked ojuala balls around Nairobi estate roads back when Maradona was the big name in football. Plastic bags were not the standard fare in the 70s and 80s. Supermarkets packed sugar in brown bags, chips was served on square strips of plain paper and meat was wrapped in newspaper. Hence the phrase, “Gazeti ni ya kufunga nyama”.