There are a number of events that happened in the country in 2013 ranging from the presidential debate to the Westgate attack that got Kenyans divided and united, some of which we want to have a brief look at under the title hot 10 events in Kenya – 2013. The list is provided in chronological order; first major event to last.
1. Presidential Debate
For the first time in Kenyan history the General Elections tasted how it would feel like to direct the elections and the political campaigns towards issue based politics and away from the ever dividing ethnic based fiasco. The media owners association and their collaborators organized two highly successful presidential debates that were said to be highly successful. As much as critics rightly pointed out that the debate did not smoke out Kenyans out of their tribal holes, the fact that for the first time the candidates were made to respond to petinent issues affecting Kenyans was a plus. Apparently, the winner of the two debates was UK who still became the fourth president of the republic.
Presidential debate was so critical to Kenyans that it trended at position one globally on Twitter.
2. Tujuane Episode 12
People have committed suicide thanks to online bullying and our own almost succumbed to Facebook and social media bullying. After Mirfat Musa’s decision to take George, her Tujuane blind date, down to the pits by describing him as “pathetic” and saying “do I look like eating fries?” when George asked her if she could feast on fries, Kenyans on Twitter and Facebook descended on her with insults and funny memes for days. A number of morally upright Kenyans also aired their voices by asking the bullies to stop the cowardice acts…or? Can government regulation tame cyber bullying?
3. The General Elections
This was expected, and there is nothing much to say about it except for kudos to the media houses and the republic of Kenya for keeping the peace during the highly contested elections. Shame on Kenyans who anticipated violence and migrated to their homelands thereby forfeiting their voting rights.
Lest I forget, kudos tweeps who were able to teach CNN a lesson or two on their scripted “doomsday preppers” story.
4. CORD Petition
This is a win for the new constitution. As opposed to the previous elections, the new constitution instituted a framework that a presidential candidate loser can follow to seek justice and seek it fast. After coming second the last general elections, the CORD brigade filed a case in the Supreme Court, a process that took two weeks. Although the Supreme Court upheld the IEBC’s declaration that UK was validly elected, this tainted its name in some quarters (I think Dr. Willy Mutunga has a valid point when he says that political disputes are tainting the courts so politicians ought to know how to accept defeat gracefully). The General Elections, the CORD Petition and the subsequent by-elections has enabled IEBC to appear in Google’s Zeitgeist list at number two under top trending queries. The CORD petition also did not fail to give Felix Ochii some fame with his phrase “Donge”.
5. Presidential Inauguration
Swearing in at night is in the past, again, thanks to the new constitution. There are two major events this year that has given Kasarani Stadium fame, the inauguration of Uhuru Kenyatta as the forth president of the country together with William Ruto as his deputy and the renaming of the stadium to Safaricom Stadium Kasarani. #Kasarani was able to trend to days thanks to the inauguration. One question that a friend has asked twice is this, “did the government take the visitors to Kasarani during the inauguration of UK and the Kenya at 50 celebrations because the visitors needed to see Thika Road?”
6. Cabinet Appointments
Immediately after the inauguration Kenyans started speculating over the Cabinet, but the two inaugurated buddies delayed to give us the news but when they finally did, they decided to break the tradition and parade their nominees publicly, reading their CVs as part of the introduction. We loved it, talked about it, and made fun out of it. What most of us realized after the first four names is that part of the qualification was having two kids.
7. Westgate Attack
I know that a number of things happened between the appointment of the cabinet and the Westgate attack that happened not so many weeks ago. But given that we have hotter topics after the Westgate, allow me to skip them. The Westgate Attack is that event that got us as a country though info out there suggests that we ought to have been more careful. We too gave our suggestions on how the police can better handle info leading to thwarting threats like the Westgate attack.
In every bad news there is a positive outlook. Westgate attack was able to give cridence to social media thanks to tweeps like Robert Alai and co. Kenyans were also able to be united under the hash tag #WeAreOne. Personally I was surprised by the shear amount of blood Kenyans were willing to donate to victims of the attack even though they would call same people insulting names during normal political campaign period.
Our wish is that next time there is an incidence in places like Syokimau the media, Safaricom and the government should be able to come together and unite Kenyans in an attempt to provide support to the victims even of a greater magnitude.
8. Nelson Mandela
I’m not sure but I think this is true; there is no ordinary human being has been able to bring the world leaders together under an unplanned event like Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela was a simple human being who, as part of his endeavor to make ends meet, was a night watchman; until he got fired from the watchman job then he found himself depending on relatives. This however did not stop him, not from looking for better jobs or seeking a better lifestyle, but from fighting the White man against Black oppression. No, Nelson Mandela also did not want the White man get oppressed by Black dominance.
My question is, why did Robert Mogabe attend Nelson Mandela’s memorial service? I hear the guy is already planning to vie for another term in office.
9. Gor Mahia
After 18 years of living in deserts, Gor Mahia one of the two mightiest football clubs in Kenya finally won the Kenya Premier League (TPL) in style. Actually they won so early that they had three matches to spear. Their win was however able to popularize a Luo political term Giniwasekao that has been in used since the 1992 General Elections by the Luos that had been optimistic enough that the elections could be in their favor. Giniwasekao also received some love in Wikipedia albeit for a few weeks. Wikipedia thought that the term Giniwasekao is a ‘self glorification of an ethnic term and thus the tribe’. When accused of demeaning a term that had been accepted nationally, Wikipdedia responded by stating
Wikipedia is not A NEWS website. It is a requirement by Wikipedia that all articles always remain neutral. In fact Wikipedia would not be what it is today if it was not a neutral source of information
10. ICC Trials
The ICC cases have been there but apparently Kenyans did not find them as interesting as the pre-trial proceedings. I personally do not have much of an opinion regarding the zig-zag political and apolitical maneuvers that have been witnessed ever since the cases commenced only wishing that justice will prevail both for the accused and the victims alike.
11. There are number of other events that were in the lips of many Kenyans. For some reason lack of news items in better part of the year made the media houses focus a lot on those Kenyans who were involved in bestiality. It is also a year that Kenyans were treated to revelations that a man could agree to share his wife with another man, and the year that we had a burned drama, the Shackles of Doom that was the number 6 top trending TV shows in Zeitgeist, seek court redress and allowed to play during the national festivals. As we conclude we cannot forget to mention the Otonglo, the most comical narrative by Daniel Owira. If you missed it, watch it here.
Is there a major event you feel we have looked? Buzz us.