The deportation of Congolese musician Koffi Olomide on Saturday from the Kenyan capital Nairobi after he was caught on camera assaulting a female member of his entourage may sound like an ordinary controversy to any other African but to a Kenyan on Twitter that is an example of the Kenyans on Twitter successful activist causes.
The Congolese musician had his field day with Kenyan Twitter users after he was caught on camera assaulting one of his dancers immediately after arriving at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport which is the largest airport in the country ahead of several scheduled concerts.
The video went viral causing public outrage and Olomide would later spend the night in the dreaded Kenyan police cells before being deported back to his home country.
Kenyans on Twitter Compel CNN to apologize
The most memorable activism cause championed by the dreaded Kenyans on Twitter often abbreviated as KOT remains the CNN controversy where the American-owned news network was forced to apologize to Kenyans after labeling the country as ‘A hotbed of terror’ ahead of US president Barrack Obamas visit to the country to attend the Global entrepreneurship Summit in July 2015.
This report angered Kenyans prompting them to react with the hashtag #someonetellcnn which trended for several days not only in Kenya but also worldwide.
Tonny Madox, the CNN executive vice president and Managing director later flew to Kenya to issue an apology to the Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta.
“It wasn’t a deliberate attempt to portray Kenya negatively, it is regrettable and we shouldn’t have done it. There is world at war with extremists; we know what a hotbed of terror looks like, and Kenya isn’t one.” Madox said in August 2015.
Kenya may have had its own fair share of attacks by Somalia headquartered Islamist group Al-Shabaab but the report rubbed Kenyans the wrong way since most of them were anxiously waiting for president Obama’s visit considering his Kenyan roots and the fact that he had not visited the country since he was elected as the president of the US.
The KOT selective activism
Kenyans on Twitter may have been successful in stamping out ‘external threats’ which in this case are example by the CNN controversy and the Koffi Olomide assault scandal but the group has failed massively in confronting internal problems affecting Kenyans.
Tribalism which is one of the biggest problems facing the country has not spared the twitter users. Politicians and government officials implicated in graft and other unethical scandals in the country have taken advantage of the rise in internet activism to urge the public to rally in their support.
Several prominent bloggers in the country have been severally accused of being under the payroll of the various political parties.
The blogger has been accused of creating hashtags and counter-hash tags in a bid to rally support for their opinions in regards to various public scandals.