Friday, March 15, 2013

Moto Sana, Cool Down

Found a cool image for the above. Check these bad boys out. Maybe they know what they are doing!

Wenzangu, can we make an agreement with each other? Can we just have a conversation? I feel that the coverage of this election is polarizing folks. The media,journalists, observers, activists, and scholars are as stressed out and angry after the election (such that it is) as CORD and Jubilee candidates going in. We all need to just take a deep breath and relax. As my very calm Kenyan cousins are always telling me, "Cool Down."

There is a war of words going on regarding media coverage. I research the nexus between science and technology and the state, and lately, have spent a lot of time on information and communications technology (ICT). ICTs include television, radio, and yes, print media, which is increasingly carried online.

To paraphrase Nelly, "it's getting hot in herre" (C'mon, I am in the diaspora) or as a Kenyan might say, "moto sana."

Poor Michela Wrong, she is just inciting the wrath of the Kenyan blogosphere. But it is a fair matchup, World class author, New York Times blogger and well recognized British journo against the beautiful Kenyan TV journalist Terryane Chebet.

Terryanne is not too happy. Wrong is Wrong You really need to read Terry's piece for yourself, but here is the rundown. She writes "being a reporter in Africa does not make you an expert in African matters." In this sentence, she echoes a sentiment which my former classmate, BBC Reporter Komla Dumor made in a recent talk Telling the African Story. (Disclaimer- I am stealing this link from Terry, but Komla and I went to the JFK School together, so forgive me dada.)

So back to Terry. She is rightfully incensed that for some reason African journalists do not get to run coverage on Africa. I was a little puzzled about this in the coverage of the Kenyan election. Damn, I miss Jeff Koinange. That voice! Koinange at Arise . Why was he not front and center on the coverage? I just do not get it.

Terry is unhappy that Michela Wrong has, in her view, unfairly insinuated that the Kenyan media is corrupt. She notes that "there is a weighing scale that measures the peace and economic future of an entire country against the telling of anxiety that couldn't really be filmed, as really nothing had happened yet."

Okay, so read Terry's article and tell me what you think. Then, there is Gathara. He makes some valuable points. I linked to his article in a previous post, so check out his work. I like his thoughts here, although I am not sure I agree with them.

It is said that truth is the first casualty of war. In this case the war was internal, hidden from all prying eyes. Who cares about the veracity of the poll result? So what if not all votes were counted? We had peace. “The peace lobotomy,” one tweet called it. “Disconnect brain, don't ask questions, don't criticize. Just nod quietly.”

What maturity is this that trembles at the first sign of disagreement or challenge? What peace lives in the perpetual shadow of a self-annihilating violence?

So Gathara, ndugu, I watched the election. I think if not all the votes were counted we need a recount for those contested areas. That is the normal procedure. I am not just nodding quietly, really, I am not. I am just saying that let the process play itself out.

So what I am disagreeing with or challenging is this. Is the fix in? Call me crazy, but I saw a peaceful, free and fair election in the 5 polling stations I was at. That is my story and I am sticking to it. I went to one out of 290 constituencies and then to Bomas. I am waiting to hear about the other 289.

I am beginning to feel like I am considered an "apologist" or a brainless, knee-jerk Jubilee advocate for stating this position.  (I think I made it clear in an earlier post that I hold no truck with UK) But I refuse to let my views conform to the hegemonic discourse when that is not what I saw.  Let's count the 30 constituencies that are having problems. Lets see what happened. Let's let our well trained, highly capable Kenyan jurists have their moment. Lets have a discussion about the spoiled ballots, and how to handle that, and rafiki, lets not panic.


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