Mark Kaigwa

Posts Tagged ‘Boniface Mwangi’

Kuweni Serious – Waking a Sleeping Generation of Kenyans

In Perspective on December 15, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Young people in Kenya are no strangers to controversy, it must be said. The perpetrators of Kenya’s post-election violence in the last elections used the youth to execute their agendas.

It’s about time somebody spoke up and like Obama will tell you, there’s no better time than now.

Introducing Kuweni Serious ~ Swahili for ‘Get Serious’


They have some serious points of view for ‘young people’ seeing as they are the firebrands of a sleeping generation.

Kenya’s youth have largely been characterized as hedonistic generation of brand-obsessed youth, moving from party to party in the night and congregating on Facebook during the day – using TV, music and brands as our badges, our ID. We’re the Moi generation – the ones who grew up on the now-defunct “Maziwa ya Nyayo” school milk. We watched our parents root for and obtain multi-partyism, and we watched the country shrivel up and almost die under years of Moi’s rule.

And they are not afraid to call out the issues that plague young people in Kenya today.

We’re detached from the affairs of the country, they say – picking our addictions (which one will it be? Drugs, sex, TV, alcohol or God?) while the country burns. Perhaps it is true – what would you expect from a generation who are continuously referred to as “tomorrow’s leaders” in a country where people like one Mr. Kibaki have been in government for as long as Kenya has had a government? Tomorrow never comes, so we might as well carry on with our lives and forget about politics.

Here’s one of the videos on Kuweni Serious featuring George Gachara of Picha Mtaani of which needs a blog post from me too. He speaks candidly on the role of the media in Kenya, and his prediction of what will happen in 2012.

So as you can see, there is a debate that ought to be going on, young person to young person. More on Gachara’s interview here. Note: Youth in Kenya is anyone under 35. Kuweni Serious are trying to put a spotlight and include thought leaders on what we really ought to be thinking about, seeing as youth continue to be the majority of voters in this country.

It is perhaps only when our country was set on fire that we began to see how deeply politics affects us. A few months later, we were paying hitherto-unheard-of prices for fuel, there was water rationing, and power rationing, and then food started to run out. Only then did many more of us realize that we can’t hide forever in the company of the Lil’ Wayne’s and Prison Breaks of this world. Perhaps it is only when our comfort zones were threatened that we realized that our leaders, our “Honorables” are self-obsessed, thieving, murderous idiots. Honorables, indeed.

Blinky Bill, member of Just A Band and overall inspiring dude is honest when asked why he thinks we’re a whining nation, and why he thinks we keep voting in the same old people into Government.

Which moves us on to the real question on youth. Staring it face-to-face and asking people what matters.

And so we at Kuweni Serious – we’re a bunch of kids ourselves – have decided to go out there and find out: how do Kenya’s youth feel about all the chaos around us? Are we proud to be Kenyan or are we secretly wishing we could get green cards and disappear forever? Where shall we raise our own kids? Are we happy?

Convener of the National Youth Convention, Emmanuel Dennis, gives outspoken insight into why we can’t give up on this nation and why the youth seem so apathetic and detached from politics.

Food for thought.

We intend to seek out all the young people out there who are trying to make sense of all this, the youth groups, the activists, the people who read the news and get so annoyed that they write angry status updates on Facebook, the students, the guys and girls who’ve just landed their first job and have been hit hard by the realities of the economy. We want your opinions, we want your stories. We don’t know what we’ll find, we might step on a few toes, but we’ll do our best.

Join Us. Kuweni Serious.

And there’s plenty more where all this came from including a poignant piece by Njoki Ngumi, as well as interviews with award-winning photographer Boniface Mwangi, journalist Abdullahi Ahmed and more. Follow Kuweni Serious on Twitter and Join them on Facebook too.

As Obama said – The time for change is now.

29th October 2009

Kenya’s youth have largely been characterized as hedonistic generation of brand-obsessed youth, moving from party to party in the night and congregating on Facebook during the day – using TV, music and brands as our badges, our ID. We’re the Moi generation – the ones who grew up on the now-defunct “Maziwa ya Nyayo” school milk. We watched our parents root for and obtain multi-partyism, and we watched the country shrivel up and almost die under years of Moi’s rule.

A Conversation on Conservation – My post at TEDxNairobi

In Perspective, Uncategorized on December 7, 2009 at 6:58 am

I’m one of the curators of TEDxNairobi and though I wasn’t in attendance at the inaugural event (was busy working on my first film – Dawa <– Follow them on Twitter!) I was able to do the awesome planning with the great members of the Dream Team – Joshua, Phares, Sheila, Soud, Kim and Lina. If you’re unfamiliar with TED and their independently organised events have a look-see below.

TEDx was created in the spirit of TED‘s mission, “ideas worth spreading.” The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.

At TEDx events, unique talks given by live speakers combine with TEDTalks videos to spark deep conversation and connections. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis.

One of the speakers at TEDxNairobi was Conservationist and CEO of Wildlife Direct, Paula Kahumbu, of whom you should already be following on Twitter, she’s awesome, trust me. She gave a great talk, of which I blogged about on the TEDxNairobi blog. Have yourself a look-see and enjoy A Conversation on Conservation on the official TEDxNairobi blog:

Engaging Conversation on Conservation in Africa

Paula Kahumbu speaking at TEDxNairobi

Paula Kahumbu Speaking at TEDxNairobi

A self-confessed tree hugger, Paula Kahumbu opened by reminding us how extraordinarily privileged Kenya is as a country as far as diversity is concerned, and how most times, it’s taken for granted by Kenyans themselves. By demonstration when she asked to see those in the crowd who had been to a National Park in the last month, only a handful inferred to the affirmative. It brought life to her statement!

She shared on how Kenya has one of the world’s largest diversities of bees – over 1500 species.

We assume the Maasai Migration is going to be around for generations (for those who’ve not seen it already.)

Her second confession was that she didn’t have a television. Her veranda is her television from her home on the edge of the Nairobi National Park and you can always follow her amazing tweets and extraordinary wildlife pictures. […Read More…]

Make sure you have a look, and a special thanks to WildlifeDirect‘s  Baraza for sharing it on their blog too. If you’d like to know more about TEDxNairobi have a look at the posts on all their Speakers. Amazing list with the likes of Aly Khan Satchu, Boniface Mwangi, Kwame Nyongo and Tonee Ndungu and Nyokabi Musila.

You can always follow my TEDxNairobi Twitter list here.

Don’t forget to stay in the loop on the next TEDxNairobi! Fan them on Facebook and Follow TEDxNairobi on Twitter.