I am not on Snapchat. Just to put it out there! I try to use minimal social media so as to spare myself from constantly being glued to my electronic devices. Hence, I use Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram. Wow, very minimalistic indeed.
Given the above information, I was not aware that on Tuesday it was Nairobi’s turn to be featured on the Snapchat Live Feed. It was the first city in Africa to be given this opportunity. I soon got the low down from multiple Facebook status updates posted by enraged Kenyans, who considered the responses of some Tweeps as degradatory. Essentially, some people posted negative tweets about the photo’s and video’s which were uploaded on Snapchat from Nairobi.
I live in Nairobi and can assure you that it is a hub of life with a great many cultures, languages, beliefs, social classes and what have you, all embroiled in the constant traffic, events, conversations and business dealings that happen within the city. Nairobi is a boiling pot of persons from diverse and rich backgrounds all adding flavor to the stew that is ever simmering. You can find lush lawns and lavish houses here, as well as slum areas. Humble mkokotenis (two wheel carts pulled by hand) share road space with gigantic four wheel drives. Warmth and laughter is common place among locals. Swahili and English coexist similarly to coffee and milk in a cappucino, frothily bubbling over and wafting the scent of lively conversation into the air. A 40-story business block can stand across from a maize man roasting makai (maize) on the street. Oh how satisfying it is to live in a city filled with the smallest and largest pleasures your heart desires.
Rather than feeling enraged that some people were trashing my city, I decided to think logically. You cannot judge a book by its cover. Main stream media may portray under developed countries as burning heaps of indebted pieces of land with no sense, but that is not always the case. Conflict rears its ugly head in many parts of the world as is evident today. But Africa specifically is portrayed as lacking in many aspects by various media in the developed world. Then, is it really a wonder that a teenager coming from a different continent can audaciously tweet that is it a miracle Nairobi has more than three cellphones?
Atleast open up the book (or pdf) and glance at the pages. Some words may stay with you for the rest of your life. The cover is too “main stream” – stand out, why dont you!