Kenyans 4 Kenya: Content Is King!!!

I contemplated, for one regrettable second, to ‘draw inspiration’ for this post’s title from this headline that has been properly addressed by Media Madness aka @mediaMK (and since redone), but I puked a little at the thought. (Moral of the story: do not go with such silly headlines in the name of trying to popularize articles!)

Back to the reason we are here. What is going on? I refer to this Kenyans 4 Kenya business. I think we’ve reached that point we can have the ‘adult conversations’ around this matter. Any (true) resident of the world wide web knows this to be true: CONTENT IS KING!! The good folk at Wikipedia have put it very well:

The phrase can be interpreted to mean that – without original and desirable content, or consideration for the rights and commercial interests of content creators – any media venture is likely to fail through lack of appealing content, regardless of other design factors.’

That being said, let’s look into the ‘key players’ behind this initiative, and their web content, shall we? Why are we doing this you ask? Well, in many a society, whenever there’s a new kid on the block, you check ’em out, do a background search, you know…try figure out what they are about. This initiative was launched on twitter(social media), to my utter disdain(story for another day). I respected the fact that they were addressing a need, but like I said, it’s time for some real talk.

1. Kenyans 4 Kenya.

I am not happy with this website. Here’s why. If you took the time to register this domain, if you took the time to work out the webpage (calling it a website is actually a lie), if you can remind me to donate to this initiative round the clock and fill my twitter timeline, surely then you have time to share some information on what is/has/will be done. You’ve been around for what, close to 3 weeks now? And not even a basic statement on what Kenyans 4 Kenya is about! Just what is now becoming emotional manipulation. The whole point of a website is to spend time on it! So what in the world are you trying to achieve by sending me away??

2. Kenya Red Cross.

I get it. You guys had a job to do,and whoever was gonna help you do it was not going to be turned away.  This is what you have to say about what you do:

“The Kenya Red Cross Society is constitutionally mandated with the responsibility of assisting the Kenyan Government carry out humanitarian work in times of peace or conflict. Natural disasters such as drought, famine, floods.”

(To me, it kinda sounds like the KE government should have been headlining current efforts…but hey. How are you currently carrying out the responsibility of assisting them?)

No further sentiments as to the nature/quality of your website, but at least there’s enough  information to shed some insight. Your site even returns results on Kenyans 4 Kenya. But the question still begs, who/what is Kenyans 4 Kenya? In other words,in true 8-4-4 fashion: Define Kenyans 4 Kenya. (20 mks). (Hint: This is an essay-type question.)

3. Safaricom Ltd.

The Kenyans 4 Kenya web page is an exact replica of yours. I will cut you some slack though, simply because when it comes to sharing your own content, y’all are doing a pretty decent job.

4. Gina Din

So your site has Kenyans 4 Kenya somewhere on the top right side of your homepage. (Quick one, please add a search engine on your homepage, much easier/faster to find content). However, whatever intel there is heavily assumes that I know what Kenyans 4 Kenya is. As the PR firm in charge of this initiative,I preach this sermon to you, CONTENT IS KING. If my sermon isn’t satisfactory, I refer you here. Thank me later.

5. KCB

It took a thorough search to finally find some acceptable explanation to what/why Kenyans 4 Kenya. Seems to be the only one around, too…

Real talk. For an initiative parading itself on social media platforms, you are really failing in the generation of content. And just so that we are clear, boring audit reports don’t count for proper content, just necessary stuff because we are entitled to them. You have asserted yourselves as the brand to identify with when it comes to feeding Kenya. Then do the job from end-to-end! Content is King.

I have a few other issues to address, but let me wrap up this sermonette. I most certainly hope you will apply these teachings to your ways. This is an initiative to be referred to in posterity( I’d like to believe). Some gloomy-looking page with some huge countdown just won’t cut it,unless it’s counting down to the apocalypse!!

Repeat after me. Content is king!!! Now generate some!! Here’s a good starting point. Why did you change the target to Kshs. 1 billion?


Author: Nanjira

Perched at the intersection of tech & governance, media, culture.

  • Very interesting angle. 1. i think K4K is an awesome initiative (Kenyan in me). In a way we feel that we are doing a great thing, probably the greatest we have ever done as a nation to address the sad state of our decay…yes decay…since independent this country has aged like milk, moral bankruptcy and corruption that has led to our death. We were birthed by a generation that did not know how to take care of its self but Kenyans for Kenya has shed a ray of hope into our nation that MAY break the cloud cover and help us see the light that we are the cure of our own plight. that having been said, i will move on to point number two 2. You are right Nanjira, we are bloated with excitement and probably high on it too that we really cannot answer, what is K4K? it is an initiative to feed Kenyans by Kenya, that part we get. Question though, how much money is needed, how many kenyans are we feeding, will it be a success? We will surely, without no doubt save lives but the reason that most people give is because we believe that we will alleviate this disaster if we may call it that. but can we? will we? we do not know because this are questions that were not asked or answered at the beginning. we do not have the information we need to answer that. At first we though we could do it with 500M now we need 1B, what happens when we get to 1B? will we have fed all the hungry ones? well we have cured the wound or merely bandaged it. I do not think any of the organizations running the campaign can answer this. Brings me to my third point 3. Nanjira, you have raised the issue of content and it being King, but have you considered that there lacks content because there isn’t content? what do i mean? i mean that K4K may have been an idea born in the spur of the moment when no one knew exactly what to do or even how to do it. Knowing that we have Kenyans dying and that our contributions could help that situation is basically the inspiration to the plan….not the plan. we are selling it as the content whereas the content really should be a little more solid with a definite target and definite goals and logical assumptions. We did not think this through, period! no one wants to take full commitment and lay down a plan, need i retort maxims like ‘if we fail to plan we plan to fail’?
    There lacks content because there lacked sufficient information, planning and a committed team to execute. I do not want to sound like a broken record, repeating everyone’s word but again it has to be asked, where is the government in all of this? where is the ministry of Planning? where is the Ministry of special programs? where is the ministry or Agriculture? K4K is getting to that awkward moment when it is mirroring the duties of government but with no real structure nor people nor plan and hence NO CONTENT to publish with regard to this effort.
    The task is bigger that the players thought….we can either step up and do what needs to be done or keep faking it til we got it.

    • Wow,feels like you should write something on this as well 🙂

      Content,my dear,is there. The efforts,the pledges,the sentiments…that’s content.

      I have found myself wondering if we put the right sentiments into the wrong initiative. As for where the govt is,take a quick trip to the Office of Public Communications website,where through their spokesperson, the govt has declared it needs 30billion to address this drought situation!

      The issue remains, we didn’t pressure the govt,so they are wallowing in the deep end of folly. I wrote about this a while back.

      I believe there is content. K4K took the risk, they have to deal with realities such as these. Content: the photos they’ve taken,the plans they professed, why kshs 1 billion. If they can tweet it,then they got it!
      Sent from my BlackBerry®

  • There are my sentiments exactly, and more. My status update here!/martingicheru/status/103711755481513984 went unanswered. I wonder whether it was not as important as the tweets proudly talking about the contributions being done. What have these guys done to demystify the theories being built around Kenyans4kenya.
    Save for the information we are being bombarded with about the contribution statistics, there is no info about the impact, distribution statistics and what strategy they have with the 1 billion target they got.

    Great initiative but questionable execution.

  • I see your point. Kenyans4Kenya Initiative deserves all our support. But their site is lacking in updating people with information. Humans are curious and they want to know the strategy and the way forward and not just the figures collected. Otherwise there’s no doubt this initiative is noble. Content is the missing thing here.

    • I hear you,Martin and Francis.

      There’s something Mbugua has said in his comment that’s worth discussion. K4K is now mirroring govt efforts. I asked the Kenya Red Cross where the govt is in all this,and what underlying message this initiative is telling us about the govt and its duty to its people, and it took a while to get a good enough answer.

      Just the same way we do not pressure govt for relevant info,which is our right, we risk doing the same thing with K4K. We need to break this vicious circle, so let’s hold them accountable.

  • So in general, there is a duplication of roles here – the government provides/sets aside some ca$h for the famine, then someone decides to run faster, and blackmails ‘sirikali’?

    I hope accountability will not be a blame game.

    • You and I both! Kenyans have for far too long not been treated with the respect their efforts deserve!

  • sage

    Content is king as you put it. all I asked is has anyone wondered why were all about reacting and not being pre-emptive. Last year in June I put it all on Fb and twitter, no one responded. I said “teach a man how to fish and he’ll never borrow the rest of his life.” we give aid as opposed to looking for a lasting solution to this problem.
    Am not saying we should not give but look at the players on the frontline championing the cause. Same people every year. Its all marketing for them only after Kenyans decided to go ahead without their blessings. Seeing they’re going to be undertaken by events the organiwed a Kenyans 4Kenya initiative find raising hmmmmm.

    “your acts of righteousness are like dilthy tags before me” verse from the bible. Why five to be seen ur giving knowing you’re not offering a long term solution (which you have the capacity to do)

    • I think the problem also lies with us as a people. Our culture is to handle issues at a last minute stage. Think about it, exams,deadlines..and now crises that plague the country. Our leaders are from our society(though we imagine them to be from a special hell), but it’s no wonder then,that they’ve been caught pants down on this one. We need to go back to the drawing board,whatever it is and wherever it lies,and find ourselves as a people.

  • Eric

    Interesting read, interesting comments. I wonder what “Content” it is that we need to believe that we have what it takes to change the world…..our world. When will be say that we want to stand up and do something worthwhile, for our people?

  • If at all there is anyone who had doubts that I wrote this with the best of intentions, I refer you to this insightful website that echoes my words, just stumbled upon it.