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UNSUNG DIASPORA HEROES: Mwakilishi, Jambonewspot, Ajabuafrica

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BY MAHUGU NUTHU

“Fake news!” “Fake news!” Sadly, we are now used to waking up to anti-press rhetoric. It’s the new catchphrase. Trump’s old “you’re fired” shtick has lost its mojo. His unrelenting attacks on members of the Fourth Estate is something one would only expect from authoritarian leaders. For us Africans, harassment of media is something that sounds too familiar.

For years we have come to appreciate press freedom as the lifeblood of democracy and ironically looking up to USA as the beacon of these ideals. But that’s another story for another time.  That’s not the subject of this piece, but it makes a good backdrop. Everybody understands the power media outlets, but probably less appreciated is the power of the Mwakilishi, Jambonewspot, Ajabuafrica and dozens other online based newspapers. Today, these are the unsung heroes in our community.  The proof is in the pudding.

In a recent case in my own backyard, a family lost a young son in a road accident out of state. By Gosh, no parent should have to bury a child. We know it is not the natural order of things. That’s pain. Excruciating pain and sorrow. But God giveth and God taketh away.

It’s even worse when this happens abroad. As if death is not enough a blow, its followed by unimaginable bureaucratic tangle of paperwork and logistical nightmare. Consequently, the family needed assistance to move their son hundreds of miles to their state for a memorial service and then send him thousands of miles to his final resting place in Kenya.

Mr Mahugu Nuthu. PHOTO/COURTESY

The committee had to reach out quickly to raise the funds though social media and traditional ways. Unsurprisingly Mwakilishi, Jambonewspot and Ajabuafrica opened their pages. They responded quickly. Cases like this proves the importance of community press and the useful role these websites play in supporting the information needs of the Kenyan in USA.

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When it comes to tragedy, they do things that you won’t get from a monolithic newspaper in terms of turnaround time, reach and cost. Their results are very tangible and observable almost instantly, something you won’t get from the so called mainstream media.

These community websites do not usually charge for death notices and you reach a lot of Kenyans. Consider that one-day listing of four lines in a “national newspaper” will cost you several hundred dollars. And you might end up not reaching the people you are targeting.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not actually about money. It’s comforting to know that you don’t have to deal with the advertising department of a soulless intractable entity.  Mwakilishi, Jambonewspot and Ajabuafrica operators understand our community because they’re a part of it. Nobody is immune to tragedies. For the record I don’t know these people personally. But their actions show that they do not merely serve as information providers. Sometimes “death announcement” means “financial help is needed ASAP”.

Only a Kenyan living in USA would understand that and urgency of the situation. New York Times might not. That’s how we handle things. We scream across the country albeit digitally. We are the ones who discovered the “digits” by sending smoke signals piece by piece across the ridges thousands of years before it became “on” and “off” that computers use today. It was stolen. But I digress. I will leave the “alternative facts” to the “post truth experts!”

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While we are on the “appreciation” subject, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the role of Kenyan Churches in USA. They have become the glue which holds our community together. In times of tragedy, hardship and sorrow, as in the above reference case, the local churches become sanctuaries of hope. Allow me to pull another Kansas City Metro backyard example.

Neema Community Church is rooted deeply in its community, and has its membership operating as de facto public servants. Located in Olathe, Kansas, it’s a huge beautiful sanctuary with classrooms, meeting rooms, offices, recreation areas, a large fellowship hall and huge kitchen attached to it. Well, and lots of parking to boot. Under Pastor, Rev. David Nzioka, it’s a community center dealing with needs that go beyond the mission of a traditional church.

A place of worship where local homeless escaping freezing nights often get free food. In a time of crisis thousands of miles from home you are bound to find fellow compatriots here looking for the elusive answers to their many “whys” and seeking comfort in each other. It’s the iconic sacred tree where Africans worship, meet and greet

.  After a year of polarizing elections that rekindled ethnic tensions, it’s very encouraging see Kenyans remaining united at that level. Tribal lines become effectively blurred.  It takes a dynamic, charismatic and inspirational leader to accomplish this. I hope you find your own fashion of “Dr. David Nzioka” in your neck of the woods.

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Back to my subject as I conclude. I understand there are many diaspora news websites whose primary mission is to cover the important issues that affect the Kenya community in USA. Many showcase community businesses for a fee. Yes, they are businesses themselves. They are not obligated to carry your message, however sad. They choose to do it.  While I did not mention them all by name, my biggest hope is that you will continue to support them.

These media outlets make our community better just because of their dedication to it.  Same case applies to our community churches and pastors. We should let them know that we do appreciate what they do. Although we are spread across this continent-size country, sea to shining sea, they make us a cohesive Kenyan community.

By Mahugu Nuthu | nuthology@gmail.com. Mahugu is the author of the book Nuthology.

 

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Africa

Robert Mugabe’s most famous quotes

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Robert Mugabe, who died Friday aged 95, and who was Zimbabwe’s president for 37 years, had a long history of making colourful or controversial remarks during his nearly four decades.

He was ousted in a military coup in November 2017.

Here are some of them:

  • On staying in office

2014: “Some are saying ‘Mr Mugabe is old, so he should step down’… No! When my time comes, I will tell you.”

 

 

2008: “Only God who appointed me will remove me — not the MDC (opposition), not the British.”

  • On Independence

Mugabe’s speech when Zimbabwe won independence was more conciliatory.

1980: “It could never be a correct justification that because the whites oppressed us yesterday when they had power, the blacks must oppress them today.”

  • On seizing farms from whites

2000: “You are now our enemies because you really have behaved as enemies of Zimbabwe. We are full of anger. Our entire community is angry and that is why we now have the war veterans seizing land.”

2002: “Our party must continue to strike fear in the heart of the white man, our real enemy.”

  • On Britain, former colonial ruler

2001: “The British were brought up as a violent people, liars, scoundrels and crooks… I am told that (former British PM Tony) Blair was a troublesome little boy at school.”

  • On homosexuality and gay marriages
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2010: “Worse than pigs and dogs… Those who do it, we will say, they are wayward. It is just madness, insanity.”

2013: “(President Barack) Obama came to Africa saying Africa must allow gay marriages… God destroyed the Earth because of these sins. Weddings are for a man and a woman.”

  • On Nelson Mandela

2013: “Mandela has gone a bit too far in doing good to the non-black communities, really in some cases at the expense of (blacks)… That’s being too saintly, too good.”

  • On Hitler

2003: “I am still the Hitler of the time. This Hitler has only one objective, justice for his own people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people.

“If that is Hitler, then let me be a Hitler tenfold.”

  • On Trump

2017: “May I say to the United States President, Mr Trump, please blow your trumpet. Blow your trumpet in a musical way towards the values of unity, peace, cooperation, togetherness, dialogue, which we have always stood for.”

  • On the economy

2007: “Our economy is a hundred times better, than the average African economy. Outside South Africa, what country is [as good as] Zimbabwe? … What is lacking now are goods on the shelves – that is all.”

  • On his marital affair
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Before his first wife died in 1992, Mugabe started a relationship with Grace, whom he married in 1996.

1998: “I wanted children and this is how I thought I could get them. I knew what I was doing and my wife knew.”

  • On colonialism

1962: “Africa must revert to what it was before the imperialists divided it. These are artificial divisions which we, in our pan-African concept, will seek to remove.”

2015: “African resources belong to Africa. Others may come to assist as our friends and allies, but no longer as colonisers or oppressors, no longer as racists.”

  • On death

False reports of Mugabe dying were a feature of his old age.

2012: “I have died many times. That’s where I have beaten Christ. Christ died once and resurrected once. I have died and resurrected and I don’t know how many times I will die and resurrect.”

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Africa

Selfie-obsessed man gets his fifteen minutes of fame on live TV

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A man has become an internet sensation for pulling the most hilarious stunt during a live TV broadcast.

The incident happened while a journalist attached to South African news channel eNCA was reporting live on the situation in the streets of Johannesburg, following the current wave of xenophobic attacks in the country.

In the video, the reporter, surrounded by members of the public, is seen reporting with full concentration on her task.

However, one of the people standing close to her then decides not to let the moment of fame pass him by.

He goes ahead to try and document the moment on camera and uses his phone to take a selfie.

And that is not all. He goes as far as trying to get the best angle for the selfie by moving his extended hand in different directions right infront of the journalist.

Interestingly, the reporter goes on with her job unperturbed by man’s meddling.

The video, which has been widely shared on social media, has received varied reactions from the online community.

“Anytime is selfie time,” tweeted @AdvBarryRoux.

“I like hw the journalists is minding her business,” said @ceekay.

“He is even looking for the perfect angle,” wrote @bandzandroses.

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“Father God abantwana bakho, they’re on another level,” commented @kateR30.

“Once in a life time opportunity. You should grab it with both hands,” said @Mvelase.

“This journalist are going through a lot this time on,” responded @Boikanyo.

“And he’s so nonchalant about it. Come on chief,” said @terencemapfumo.

By nairobinews

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Africa

Kenyans among victims of S.Africa attacks

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Kenyans are among victims of arson, looting and physical attacks in the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

Kenyan High Commissioner to South Africa Jean Kamau on Wednesday confirmed that several Kenyans had been attacked in Gauteng Province.

By nation.co.ke

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