The #Mindspeak that was

16th  February  2013, saw the assembly of great minds in an event coined mind speak, a bid to encourage the undecided 4.3 million Kenyan voters, also called the swing voters of 2013, to vote and avoid a runoff election which may bear out to be a very bad bet for Kenya’s development. The event was held at the intercontinental hotel hosted by Aly Khan Satchu with John Githongo as the main guest. The event pulled participants from different walks of life with the youth constituting a large part of the audience which was  quite impressive, that they(the youth) have decided to take charge and get involved in issues affecting them rather than leaving the decision making to the older generation.
The event attracted public interest as witnessed in social media especially twitter. It was meant to sensitize the public on issues concerning governance and most importantly, the value of choosing our leaders based on merit rather than on tribal lines. John Githongo touched on a couple of issues regarding the coming elections and I quote ‘’the cost of opting not to vote this election is very expensive considering it’s a very tight race’’
Light was shed on the distressing fact that voting is left for the unwaged and the low class and that we are being governed by leaders who were voted for by a diminutive part of the population as the middle class always opts out of participating in elections. He also observed that with the intricacy of the coming elections, it’s critical that the middle class votes as their vote could sway the outcome and we could have a clear winner with the first round. Mr. John Githongo urged everyone to get out and vote saying that each vote counts regardless of tribe for security, stability and peace. We undeniably cannot meet the expense of going through what we witnessed in 2007 as Kenyans have what it takes to make the elections peaceful.
Being on the verge of a huge takeoff, with oil discoveries, our primary asset is our young energetic and enterprising people. To ensure that the environment is favorable for development and to avoid plunging the country into political and economic instability, each person needs to vote, so we can avoid runoff elections. It is possible, let no one sit this one out, it’s your constitutional right to elect your leaders, vote in your interest and be an ingredient of this approaching historic moment.

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My Wordcamp Experience

Wordcamp 2012 was bigger and better than any I have attended in Kenya! By my own judging, there were more people attending, a better environment and the rooms were awesome. The food was also plenty yet we were in Kamba land 🙂 Most of the presentations were awe-inspiring and the evening of  Saturday got better at the bonfire which was by the swimming pool.
The key message I got from Word camp was;  content and internet access via mobile is a key aspect when devising ways to propagate content in Africa. Top amongst them all was “Be a positive influence” which was delivered in soft copy by word of mouth and as hard copies on the T-shirts.
My most out of the ordinary bit was the “night I was exorcised”. Kumbe watu wanaweza fungua roho bila kulima drinks (so folks can talk w/o taking one for the road!). It was a session I would like to attend anytime in the future. The message across the room was clear that 2007/08 was a trying moment for this nation and that nailed the message home to be the +ve influence on social media.
Let me now share some memorable quotes I took with me:
“Social media has given a voice to the voiceless, but at the same time it is a privilege that should not be abused.”
“Whatever is illegal offline is still illegal online”
“The Kenyan bloggers can shape the consciousness of Kenya people. Everyone has a role;If u try you may loose, if you don’t you have lost”
“Politicians promise to build bridges even where rivers do not exist”
All in all  this year’s theme was well-timed, well-put and well-presented. See you all at next year’s Wordcamp.