In 2017, Baby Pendo became the face of police brutality in the country. She proved to us that once again, the police officers go above and beyond but not in the interest of the people. Her case just like the recent Yasin Moyo's case is a show of our police force and judicial system as a whole. Kenyans protested on the streets and on Twitter we want justice for Yasin and while we are at it please serve Baby Pendos memory too. Then came COVID-19. Everyone was panicking. The measures from the Ministry of Health were rolled out, hand washing, sanitizing and social distancing.I’m yet to hear our very own social media influencers” shed light on these issues despite there effect on all of us.
Social media influencers are people who have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic. The topics range from beauty to automobile. According to January 2019 We Are Social report, 3.484 billion people actively use social media — that’s 45% of the world’s population. Influencers have the capacity to move crowds and somewhat set an agenda. They can comfortably change an individuals perception about a product. They just as the name suggests the influence.
To whom much is given much is expected. Radio personalities have talked about issues like COVID-19, why? Because that is their platform and they are obligated to use it effectively and for good. Companies and organisations have put out different messages and ads not only on TV but also on the different social media platforms to raise awareness on the virus and the effect it has on everyone. Isn't is time for the same influencers to speak on the same? Isn't it time for people to curate brands along social issues as well? Isn't it time for our very own influencers to talk about the issues that affect the common mwananchi? I’m not asking anyone to fight the government or attempt a coup de’ eta, the ask is simple, when social issues crop up, please take a moment and speak about them on your platforms.
Why is this important? The average influencer in Kenya has a following of at least 20,000 followers. Young men and women who idolize and look up to them. It would be imperative for them to use this platform for some god right? It would make sense if their storytimes would include the cases of police brutality or at least the effect of the pandemic on the followers? I am I asking for too much? I doubt. Isn't it important to also prioritize moral and ethical issues in their work?