The general elections in Kenya are slated to take place on 8th August 2017. As the day draws near, Kenyans are being urged to remain peaceful throughout the whole season. The Kenyan youth have also been proactive in spreading messages of peace and unity. Social media is the most prominent platform that has been used, given that roughly 12 million Kenyans are online. Here are few ways young Kenyans are promoting harmony.
This has been one of the most powerful campaigns targeting the youth. The whole point is that young people should vote in leaders who will bring positive change. The hashtag, which has been active on Twitter and Facebook for a while now, also reminds the young that we are a nation united under so many tribes and thus violence based on ethnic and tribal lines should not be a cause for division, calling for zero tolerance to violence. Shikoh Kihika is the 23-year old brains behind the non-profit Tribeless Youth organization. She also sits on the Nakuru County Peace Committee as a civil society representative.
This hashtag that has been making rounds mostly on Instagram and Twitter , is another one promoting peace among youngsters. People share short videos of why peace is important and get to fire up the conversation around the necessity of unity especially at a time like this. Mayuu, an artist with Bendi Huru, is the young chap behind the hashtag and he says, “The Kenyan youth have a special place in fostering peace. The youth are freer from association with excesses of tribalism and political inclination. Which are the major basis of violence in Kenya. Thanks to the amount of exposure and interaction among youth across the cultural demographic, negative stereotypes are erased and diversities are celebrated. The #Chills4Peace campaign stands for the believe that through the youth it is possible to have peace among Kenyans. If the Kenyan youth can stand in one voice to say we want peace it is possible to achieve it.”
This campaign has been mostly felt on Facebook through the page, Changamka 254. The page shares messages of unity and gives the youth some education on the electoral process. One of their campaign videos urges youth not to wear material with a candidate’s face or message in it while going to vote. This helps avoid causing tension at polling stations. They also urge the youth to vote in those who will bring meaningful change.
4. Miss Peace Pageant
Plans were underway to have a Miss Peace Kenya 2017 since auditions begun in April this year. Those who were crowned top at county level would then proceed to compete in the national contest. The pageant has been halted because there has been no communication as to who is Miss Peace Kenya 2017 but that hasn’t stopped young beautiful hopefuls from spreading peace. Miss Kiambu County for Peace 2017, Shiku Margaret, is one who is promoting the message of a united Kenya.