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I Am Samuel

5 min read.

The government should support our creative industries, and allow every Kenyan’s voice to be heard, and everyone’s point of view to be listened to.



I Am Samuel
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“I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

We first got introduced to independent documentary filmmaking in 2013, at a gathering of Kenyan filmmakers in a small office of the nascent DocuBox film fund. Pete Murimi, director of I am Samuel, and I, producer, had no idea that it was possible to tell stories independent of a broadcaster or funder. As a service producer, I was used to receiving agency or broadcaster briefs and working according to spec. Pete, as a filmmaker at the UN, was familiar with that style of telling stories.

This intimate gathering of filmmakers (which included directors of The Letter, Kenya’s submission to the Oscars in 2020, and the director of New Moon, winner of Oscar-qualifying 2018 DIFF Best Documentary award) did not know that it was about to embark on an arduous multiple-year journey to tell their stories, and self-release at global festivals. But we all somehow made it through the strength of community and the determination to have complete agency over the stories we felt were important to tell. Pete and I were committed to telling stories of outsiders, people who did not accept the way things were, just because.

Voltaire’s quote above is our fallback when asked about freedom of expression, the freedom we committed to when we decided we wanted to tell these stories. We are a diverse country, with complicated, layered realities. Allowing storytellers to tell these stories, no matter whether you agree with them or not, is a move towards greater inclusivity, democracy, and tolerance.

Shot over five years, I Am Samuel tells the story of a queer man navigating the tension between his life in Nairobi and his rural childhood home. He and his partner Alex want to build a life together, but his father and mother want him to get married, have kids, and live the exact kind of life they have.

Allowing storytellers to tell these stories, no matter whether you agree with them or not, is a move towards greater inclusivity, democracy, and tolerance.

This was not an easy documentary to make. Samuel had to give up a lot of his privacy, and trust Pete and I, who were first-time independent filmmakers, balancing making this film with our day jobs. But Samuel allowed us into his life, without restriction. And that was a privilege that we could not afford to take lightly. Alfred Hitchcock once said, “In fiction films, the director is God; in documentary, God is the director.” We believe this to be true; life as it happens, with all its messiness and unpredictability, is what makes character-driven verité styles so difficult to do, but ultimately so rewarding.

I am Samuel was released at Hot Docs 2020, an international film festival that showcases stories from across the globe. It then toured the Human Rights Watch Film Festivals the world over and showed in South America, the Netherlands, and the UK. But our eventual goal was always to bring it back home. Because we felt this was a Kenyan story, we knew it would connect with audiences back home; mostly because Samuel’s lived reality as a queer, religious, traditional man is not unique. We applied for classification in Kenya to be able to screen it locally, and waited weeks for a response. We were asked to attend a meeting at the KFCB offices on Thursday 23rd September, but we were unable to make it in person. We then heard about the press conference, the ban, and the press release later that Thursday.

We are yet to receive a letter in writing or a certificate that shows our Kenyan rating.

We were deeply disturbed by the discriminatory language used in explaining the ban: they described it as “blasphemous” and “unacceptable, and an affront to our culture and identity.” The restricted classification of the film contained a number of inaccuracies. It referenced a “marriage” that never happened and said we were “promoting a homosexual lifestyle”. The board noted a “clear and deliberate attempt by the producer to promote same-sex marriage as an acceptable way of life. This attempt is evident through the repeated confessions of the gay couple that what they feel for each other is normal and should be embraced as a way of life, as well as the characters’ body language, including scenes of kissing of two male lovers.”

We were simply filming people’s lived experiences.

By banning the film, KFCB is silencing a real Kenyan community and trampling on our rights as filmmakers to tell Samuel’s story. Every story is important. And we are all equal in the eyes of the law and before God, in line with the religion the film board is invoking in this ruling. The arts – from filmmakers and novelists to painters and comedians – hold a mirror up to society and show us some of the difficult realities from which we often try to shy away.

The Kenya Film Classification Board is trying to censor a part of Kenya that has always existed, is a lived reality for millions and will always be a part of us. Several high-profile Kenyans are queer, including government politicians and public figures, but the intolerant atmosphere created by discriminatory statements like those of the KFCB make it impossible for them to live openly – and allow other Kenyans to continue to discriminate, wrongfully so, against LGBTQ+ Kenyans. As I Am Samuel shows, prejudice forces LGBTQ+ Kenyans to live in the shadows, fearful of being beaten up, fired from their jobs, or evicted from their homes. Stigma puts pressure on their families, who fear that if their neighbours find out they have a gay child, they will be ostracised.

The arts – from filmmakers and novelists to painters and comedians – hold a mirror up to society and show us some of the difficult realities from which we often try to shy away.

In their press statement, the KFCB appealed for content that “promotes Kenya’s moral values and national aspirations”. What are these values? The KFCB is assuming that the values of all Kenyans are the same – conservative and Christian. But Kenya is a diverse country and it is the responsibility of our government to represent and serve everybody. Our differences should be acknowledged as a strength, and shown through our filmmaking. Kenya is Africa’s third biggest film producer, after Nigeria and Ghana, making 500 films a year. African filmmakers are attracting international acclaim. Softie won an award at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival last year. The United Nations recently said that the African film and audio-visual industry generates US$5 billion a year and has the potential to create 20 million jobs. I Am Samuel is the third LGBTQ+ film to be banned by the KFCB, following Stories of Our Lives (2014) and Rafiki (2018). Among other movies that have been banned by KFCB are The Wolf of Wall Street (2014) and Fifty Shades of Grey (2015).

Our film is a true record of Samuel’s lived experience Samuel. Gay African men, gay African people, should be recognised and have their rights respected. This includes the right to freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom from discrimination. Samuel himself is a strong Christian, and Kenya has several LGBTQ+-friendly churches that provide a place for queer Kenyans to worship together. Banning of films is a blow to Kenyan filmmakers as our audience is inherently local, and we need to have a wide distribution to reach audiences, to go regional, to go global, for so many reasons: telling our own narratives, correcting the misguided ones, creating jobs, and widening our own imaginations, exponentially, of what is possible for us as Kenyans. The Lupita Nyong’os and Edi Gathegis of this world should not only exist in a rare and unexplored vacuum.

It is time for the government to accept and support our creative industries, and allow every Kenyan’s voice to be heard – because the banning also leaves us with questions about whether everyone’s point of view truly is listened to. The documentary has been released across Africa on the AfriDocs website, and we hope that African audiences will still get a chance to watch a film that is not accepted in its home country. . . yet.

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Toni Kamau is a PGA, IDA and Peabody nominated producer and a member of the Academy for Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.


The Roots of Toxic Masculinity in South Africa

In South Africa and elsewhere, toxic masculinity is an outcome of modern individualism rather than tradition.



The Roots of Toxic Masculinity in South Africa
Photo: Manenberg. Image credit Christopher Morgan via YWAM Orlando on Flickr CC BY 2.0.
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As I stepped into the nightly streets of Cape Town’s most dangerous neighborhoods, I sensed that my journey would be an initiation. The goal of my research project was to document the lasting impact of apartheid racism and gender inequalities on tough and street-smart men. Little did I know that I would make every effort to become invulnerable in my own kind of way, trying to prove my masculinity and academic prowess through ethnographic fieldwork.

Just like many of the men I met in South Africa, I was attempting to shed my vulnerability. However, it never fully worked, even for a privileged European white man like me. Ethnography is an art form rather than a science and it makes researchers vulnerable as they continuously affect and are affected by the research subjects. Moreover, the pressure I put on myself to produce something exceptional to gain respect and impress others took a toll on me.

The paradox of (in)vulnerability made both my research participants and I complicit, although on vastly different terms. For me, attempts to become an invulnerable individual with fixed gender identity led to relationship problems, substance abuse, irritability, and suicidal thoughts. The more I sought invulnerability, the more vulnerable I felt. This (in)vulnerability has received little attention in research, which often disregards the gendering of behavior or turns masculinity into both the cause and solution for a range of social, psychological, and medical problems.

Over the course of more than 10 years of research, I could feel the pulse of (in)vulnerability; the throbbing between disconnection and connectivity, rigidity and disorder, closure and openness. Perhaps this pulse is a fundamental aspect of life for everyone, regardless of social and cultural differences. But the struggle for invulnerability takes on different rhythms based on circumstances. I have been witness to the pain and struggles of the men I interviewed. Some committed suicide, others were murdered, had fatal accidents, or died from infectious disease before they reached their 40s.

Although I stayed in contact with some of these men, I retreated to my safe haven after completing my doctoral research. Writing my dissertation and book was draining, filled with anger and shame over my inability to support the people whose stories I documented, and my own shortcomings. I was not living up to the ideals of a compassionate human rights advocate or a productive academic who could be sharp, unyielding, and daring at all times. But the survivor’s guilt was just another manifestation of me believing that I could be an individual savior.

As I delved deeper into my research, I realized I had fallen into a well-worn pattern—a white European male traveling to Africa to prove his masculinity. It dawned on me, most of the behaviors that are associated with toxic masculinity are an outcome of modern individualism rather than tradition in South Africa and elsewhere. White men imported the gendered ideal of a self-made individual. The trope can be traced back to 17th-century English philosophers who defined the individual as the “owner of himself,”” who owes little to others, with a core identity composed of seamless traits, behaviors, and attitudes, rather than an assemblage of contradictory elements adopted through ongoing exchanges with others.

South African psychologist Kopano Ratele argues that well-meaning critiques of gender ideologies tend to homogenize and retribalize African masculinities as if they had no history. From this perspective, contemporary heteronormativity and male power are not necessarily a matter of “‘tradition”’ as a single and fixed structure. Yet, gender development work in Africa often uses the term “toxic masculinity” interchangeably with “traditional masculinity” particularly among low-income Black men.

During my doctoral research, I found that my own assumptions about the dark ages of patriarchy and their continuing effects on South Africans were based on a teleological model of progress that obscures how modern individualism creates toxic masculinity. My pursuit of invulnerability through ethnographic research was an attempt to “be somebody” in a world in which personhood is seemingly no longer defined by mutuality in relationships. For the most marginalized men I met in Cape Town, this pursuit was by far more distressing, in part, because these men were aware of the fact that they always depended on others for their very survival.

This post is from a partnership between Africa Is a Country and The Elephant. We will be publishing a series of posts from their site once a week.

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Climate Change Conundrum: Is Africa’s Share of the Burden Equitable?

Current data shows that the share of Africa’s climate burden is far greater than is presently reported or imagined.




Climate Change Conundrum: Is Africa’s Share of the Burden Equitable?
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The “climate emergency” is without doubt a global concern and, moreover, the science supporting this claim seems reasonably well established.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that global average temperature may increase by 1.5 to 4.5°C (2.7 to 8.1°F) by the end of the 21st century if nothing is done to drastically reduce the trend and stop any irreversible changes to the earth’s climate systems. However, there is an argument to be made that the burden of addressing this crisis may not have been equitably distributed.

Under the Paris Agreement reached at COP21 in 2015, it was agreed by virtually all countries concerned that collective action must be taken to ensure that global temperature does not increase beyond 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

After agreeing to and formally approving the Paris Agreement, nearly all African countries have shown some level of commitment in tackling the crisis. But looking forensically, how much of the global burden of this crisis has Africa borne so far?

Africa’s share of the burden

Statistics seem to suggest that Africa (which harbours nearly a fifth of the global population), has contributed very little to global greenhouse gas emissions and yet it is very vulnerable to the effects of climate change. According to reports, Africa’s share of global greenhouse gas emissions is approximately 3.8 per cent. By comparison China’s share is 23 per cent, while the US accounts for 19 per cent, and the European Union 13 per cent.

Africa is uniquely susceptible to the effects of climate change because of its geographical sensitivity, a reality that has been confirmed by IPCC scientists. A significant number of African nations are located in regions with low elevation or in coastal areas that can be easily affected by climate-related dangers such as rising sea levels, storm surges, and other related hazards.

The continent’s susceptibility to the consequences of climate change can also be attributed to factors such as its natural resources as well as some distinct social and economic circumstances.

The year 2021 was categorised as either the third or fourth hottest year ever recorded in Africa. Studies suggest that the temperature in Africa will increase at a faster rate compared to the global projections for the 21st century.

It is expected that by 2069 or earlier, the near-surface air temperature in Africa will surpass the projections made for the 20th century. These temperature changes are likely to be unprecedented, especially in more susceptible regions such as West, Central, and East Africa. The projections indicate that the rise in temperature could occur 10-20 years before the anticipated time.

Fifty-three African Parties have recently submitted their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in line with the requirements of the Paris Agreement. NDC refers to plans at the national level that outline various objectives for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The NDCs indicate that droughts and floods are the primary types of hazards that African Parties are most concerned about. Yet the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reports that only four countries have the capability to offer end-to-end drought forecasting or warning services at a fully advanced level.

It is expected that by 2069 or earlier, the near-surface air temperature in Africa will surpass the projections made for the 20th century.

Although NDCs employ a “bottom-up” strategy as per IPCC guidelines for reducing emissions, there are still some gaps in this process, as highlighted in the UNEP 2021 report.

The lack of action or slow progress, by developed nations, in reducing their fair share of emissions raises questions regarding the actual burden of negative climate impacts on African countries.

The WMO’s “State of the Climate in Africa” series of reports seem to be the go-to information resource for the continent as they offer authoritative scientific information concerning climate patterns, severe weather events, and their effects on critical vulnerable sectors.

The current incarnation in the WMO series, the State of the climate in Africa 2021, has drawn attention to the most recent consequences of the changing climate on the continent.

Just like the two previous series (2019 and 2020), the aspects of climate change addressed in the report include an increase in temperature, surging sea levels and coastal erosion, severe occurrences, and food security, health, and economic implications. The complete report is anticipated to be released in early 2023.

Although proof of climate change in Africa is undeniable, recent reports by the IPCC indicate that there are still significant gaps in observing some variables in the region, such as precipitation, and some other fundamental ones described in the WMO’s Global Basic Observing Network (GBON).

There are also reports stating that nearly 60 per cent of the African population is not covered by early warning systems to cope with extreme weather events and climate change impacts. The issue of insufficient coverage is partly attributed to the lack of proper functioning of the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in the continent. This seems very ironic because 92 per cent of the countries in Africa mention climate services in their NDCs.

NMHSs are a critical element of national infrastructure and play a significant role in supporting essential socioeconomic functions, including disaster reduction, water resources, agriculture and food security, health, transportation, and energy.

One of the key responsibilities of NMHSs is to carry out regular observations and data collection, which forms the basis for monitoring and forecasting weather, water, climate, and other related environmental conditions. Additionally, NMHSs also help in issuing warnings, alerts, and advice.

Reports suggest that there are several obstacles preventing NMHSs from adequately monitoring and reporting actual crises. These include insufficient human expertise, inadequate observation networks in many countries, poor telecommunication facilities for exchanging data and products, limited mechanisms for engaging with users, inadequate characterization of current and future weather, climate, and water outcomes and impacts, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on national economies.

Therefore, given that the current state of NMHSs in the continent cannot comprehensively account for a global concern like climate change, what credibility can one give to the accuracy of the measurements of actual emissions as required by the Paris Agreement through the African countries’ NDC climate action plan? As the common saying goes, that which cannot be measured is unlikely to be effectively controlled or improved.

On the other hand, research carried out by CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) in 2019 indicated that eight out of nine states and regions in Africa had been exposed to socio-economic risks due to the effects of climate change. It was also found that six states and regions had significant concerns about their water security in the near, mid-, or long-term due to the impact of climate change.

However, the data reported by CDP only covered 48 African cities which represents a total population of just a little over 150 million citizens. Moreover, the data invariably only covered approximately 31 per cent of the African population living in urban areas.

It was also found that six states and regions had significant concerns about their water security in the near, mid-, or long-term due to the impact of climate change.

From the foregoing it can be seen that, based on current data, the share of Africa’s climate burden is far greater than is presently reported or imagined. There are certainly several worldwide programmes promoting regional action. However, in order to achieve more sustainable outcomes at every scale, there is still a significant amount of work that is required to enhance disclosure at the sub-national level.

Proposed stopgap measure

Although advances in systematic investigations such as those adopted by the WMO, CDP and other related initiatives have provided important inputs in the climate change efforts in Africa, the risks are more severe than has been envisioned. However, these reports are still very crucial in informing significant actions on the way to achieving the goals of the Africa Agenda 2063.

But perhaps in the interim the limitations of climate monitoring techniques and lack of coverage can be mitigated by greater reliance on indigenous knowledge as well as the involvement of local regions and villages. A recent study has provided evidence of the remarkable value of Indigenous and Local Knowledge (ILK) in Africa.

The term “Indigenous and Local Knowledge (ILK)” refers to the knowledge, philosophies, practices, approaches, and skills developed and accumulated by local communities over time through their informal experimentation, experiences and their deep understanding of local contexts. ILK is mainly transmitted through oral and practiced traditions.

There are approximately 50 million indigenous people in Africa, most of whom are pastoralists, agro-pastoralists, farmers, and hunter-gatherers. The importance of further studying Indigenous and Local Knowledge (ILK) has been emphasised because it has been identified as crucial for adapting to climate change in Africa.

ILK has been utilised on a micro-scale to tackle human-induced, natural, and socio-economic risks, such as, hydro-metrological hazards (floods and droughts), and health issues. Given that modern forecasting systems have limitations, combining different types of forecast services could improve the accuracy of the information provided.

Benefits of tackling the crisis and needs assessment

Although African countries are considered as contributing less to global emissions, it is important to recognize the challenges that they face in addressing climate change. These include political instability, widespread poverty, and inadequate infrastructure, which can make it challenging to effectively implement climate change policies and adaptation measures. Moreover, Africa tends to possess the least developed land-based observation network when compared to other continents.

Given that modern forecasting systems have limitations, combining different types of forecast services could improve the accuracy of the information provided.

Despite the challenges faced by many African countries, some regions are taking steps to adapt to climate change while planning for a more resilient future using alternative means. The message of sustainability is also beginning to filter through to the populations in their daily activities, work and business.

However, there is a need for additional resources to support risk and vulnerability assessments, emissions inventories, adaptation planning, streamlined data collection processes and collaboration. It is possible to achieve significant outcomes through the technological and financial assistance of developed nations. This includes generation of employment opportunities, expansion of access to renewable energy, and enhancement of public healthcare services. To enhance its climate change adaptation measures, Africa requires about US$ 7-15 billion annually by 2030; the negative impacts of climate change could cost Africa approximately US$50 billion annually.

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Unpacking the Disinformation Landscape in Kenya

How the misinformation community came together to collaborate and tackle the false information around the last general election.



Unpacking the Disinformation Landscape in Kenya
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In April 2022, I stepped up to lead the collective project, a collaborative journalism project that brought together fact-checkers, journalists, podcasters, digital media influencers, cartoonists, and the tech community to fight false information in Kenya. The year-long project changed the way countries prepare to deal with false information around elections.

The immense opportunity to lead the collective in the fight against election mis-/disinformation in Kenya in 2022 exposed both the players and the layered gaps within our sense-making processes as a country. I did end up in the mis-dis-mal-information space partly as a result of my training as a lawyer, a podcaster (by choice), and a feminist (by necessity), all of which have been crucial tools as we set our eyes on information pollution. I eventually ended up in the information integrity space through the work I was doing with the Mine is a Comment Podcast, a platform that brings minorities together to talk about how social, political and economic decisions affect their lives.

Tackling misinformation was a fortuitous experiment to fight fake news not only around elections but also in the prevalent everyday narratives. For the first time, the misinformation community came together to collaborate and tackle the false information around elections. The community has everyone in it–journalists from independent, mainstream and community media; fact-checkers; content creators like me who were doing amazing podcasts at the time; digital media influencers; cartoonists; journalism students, and even state regulators.

Mal-mis-dis-information issues in Kenya

The desire to bring all on board and address the various strands of misinformation meant we were all coming together with the lessons learned from previous elections about how false information polluted public debate in the 2013 and 2017 elections. We wanted to create public awareness about information pollution, its effect on elections and on our country’s political hygiene, and to teach people how to spot false information, how to debunk it, and how to disrupt the networks that spread these falsehoods. Besides, we needed to be creative about engagement with the media, the public, online storytellers, the government, and social media platforms. Coming together to do these things just made sense. In short, that’s how the collective came about.

We saw Fumbua (the collective) partner with organisations such as Africa Check, Google News Initiative, and the Media Council of Kenya to offer training, including digital literacy training workshops, to the general public. What the collective did was to get the players to offer joint training, not just to media professionals and journalism practitioners, but to anyone interested in fighting false information. We needed to scale that fight, recruit more people to the cause, so that we would have a reasonable number of people pushing back against false information online.

We had targeted to reach 60 people based on our budget, but we received nearly 300 applications. In the end, we retained just over 100, but many of those who applied are still on the waiting list. We hope that when funding allows, we will give them those important digital literacy skills to navigate the information ecosystem, not just during elections, but even right now, in-between elections when false information is still spreading.

The quality of false information during the elections had several waves depending on the phase of the electoral process. With the general election set to take place on 9 August 2022, from April to July, at the height of the campaign period, a lot of the false information centred on the candidates, their qualifications and their track record. The next wave of false information came very close to the elections and seemed to cast doubt on key institutions like the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and the police, and in a way targeted the credibility of the process. The thing with this kind of dis-information is the lack of public awareness about what government institutions are doing, thus creating an information vacuum that is easily filled with false information, wild theories and dangerously unhinged opinions presented as facts.

When the results were trickling in, the electoral commission did something unprecedented. It released all the result forms from all the polling stations in the country. Anyone with an internet connection, a calculator and the patience to go through the forms, could sit down and tally the results. It is at this point that there was a surge of false information as some people declared the winners, claiming they had done a tally, even while the electoral commission was still doing the maths.

We saw verified accounts spread false information about the leading candidate. It didn’t help that media houses were doing the tallying based on their individual criteria, and so one media house would show one candidate leading, and the next media house would show the other. There was a running joke at the time that people tuned in to the station that showed that their “fifth president” was ahead.

Then, there came the useful but really ineffective advisories that social media platforms Twitter and Facebook put on posts declaring the results—they merely added a disclaimer that the official results hadn’t yet been declared. But that advisory didn’t disrupt the cycle. The falsehoods kept spreading.

We saw verified accounts spread false information about the leading candidate.

As I conclude, I must point out that what stood out for me was the relentless and consistent gender disinformation against women running for office and women with public-facing accounts like activists, political commentators and journalists. They were attacked just because of their political views. Our colleagues at Africa Check wrote about it.

How big tech handles misinformation

The collaboration with social media platforms was made possible by several of our collective members who were working with and researching the role and impact of social media platforms during the elections. These activities raised similar concerns that needed to be addressed collectively.

Meta worked with fact-checkers such as PesaCheck and Africa Check, who were part of the collective, to clean up false information on Facebook. Twitter had a partnership with Africa Check, as did Tiktok which worked with other collective members to deal with false information.

We had a lot more expectations from the platforms with regard to content moderation and taking down content spreading false information. We still need to talk.

Then we had influencers and other content creators put together very engaging content to educate the public about the risks and dangers of false information during elections. These included WOWZI, a digital marketing company and also a member of the collective. We also worked with Esther Kazungu, Njugush, Abel Mutua and Wixx Mangutha. The reason we used influencers was because, as we neared elections, politicians had recruited their army of influencers to spread false information. We had to fight fire with fire, to get influencers who were passionate about facts to help us to spread accurate information and tell the public about the dangers of false information. Our campaign with influencers was important to amplify our message about verifying messages received before sharing them.

Working collaboratively in a space such as this has its own challenges because when you work collaboratively, you have to be clear about expectations and what you bring to the table. When that is not clear, there is the risk of a member feeling underutilised. The election was also a busy period for everyone and so availability was a bit of a challenge which was understandable.  There were also challenges in the form of donor funding. Donors are known to fund a lot of electoral work and this could lead to a sense of competition among members of the collective. Collaboration cures this but not with every member given that the collective was young at that point. The way forward is to cultivate trust and really build on a collaborative way to fundraise together.

As we neared elections, politicians had recruited their army of influencers to spread false information.

But to be honest, I don’t really consider these challenges as such, they are opportunities for coming up with better communication with regard to availability, expectations on both ends and how to engage with each other to build a stronger collective for the work ahead. The challenge of false information is not going away soon; we just have to be smarter about how we fight back. We are happy to see that the collaborative model is being adopted in countries where one of our partners, Africa Check, is working in Nigeria which held elections last February.

The future of combating misinformation

There is going to be a lot more training, dialogue and creative ways to tackle the information pollution we are experiencing. We will have media and digital literacy programs, campaigns against gender(ed) disinformation, and we want to also focus on holding our leaders accountable for the promises they made, not just in the counties, but also at the national government level. There’s a lot of work to be done, and I am excited about being part of it.

The challenge of misinformation and disinformation will be around for a long time. As the economy in Kenya goes through its current challenges, more people will get desperate and anxious about the future. That fear will be preyed upon by the merchants of false information, this time in rip-offs, usually phoney investment opportunities, fake property sales, and outright scams.

As the economy in Kenya goes through its current challenges, more people will get desperate and anxious about the future.

People must always remember that not all publicly available information is accurate. They must be very cautious when consuming it. It is also possible for false information to be amplified by trusted and verified sources like the media so don’t beat yourself up when you believe the information. Don’t judge yourself too harshly. Being deceived happens even to the best of our institutions because mis/dis-information is a problem across all sectors. To be safe, just stay alert.

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