“Kenya at 50” Marked Secretly at Ambassador Sang’s Residence With Diplomats

A side view of the Ambassador's residence

A side view of the Ambassador’s residence where Kenya at 50 anniversary was marked by diplomats as Kenyans commented at KSB.

“As the Kenya at 50” scandal in Stockholm continued to dominate headlines at KSB, the blog site has established that the event was celebrated secretly yesterday, 12th December at the luxurious Ambassador Dr. Joseph Sang’s residence in Nacka with members of Stockholm’s diplomatic community being the only invited guests. The celebration was kept so secret that even some junior staff at the Kenyan Embassy did not know about it.

According to a KSB source, the celebration was kept secret because the intention was to give members of the diplomatic community “the special treatment they deserve” before Kenyan odiangabuks are herded into a ghetto venue in Husby to be given “the Kenyan treatment”.

The secrecy of the celebration could explain why Ambassador Sang went underground on Monday in order to avoid questions about “Kenya at 50”. Although Kenya-Stockholm was already awash with rumours that the Embassy had planned two separate events with diplomats getting “special treatment” on the main day of December 12, those who were spreading the rumours had it that the “special treatment” would take place at a Five Star hotel.

Efforts to get Dr. Sang or any Embassy official on the phone were fruitless as both the Ambassador and his deputy remained permanently out of office since Monday. The Ambassador’s Secretary refused to divulge any information either, saying that she was not in a position to do so.

News that the Ambassador gave diplomats priority by according them the opportunity to celebrate Jamhuri on the main day of 12 December and giving them special treatment at his residence and at the expense of Kenyans in Stockholm will, no doubt, add salt to a festering wound and confirm (in the eyes of Kenyans) that the new Ambassador Dr. Joseph Sang is fake.

According to a KISS agent who was monitoring events, the residence was “packed to capacity” with several smartly dressed diplomats who arrived in style, donning a variety of expensive suits and other top model fashion attires and accessories purchased from designer shops.

In the past, when Jamhuri was celebrated at Hotels in Stockholm’s CBD, diplomats used to mingle with Kenyans freely as drinks flowed liberally down the throats of revellers and classic food stuffs served “round the clock” on clean white plates. Many Kenyans will remember the beautiful, blond haired, blue eyed white waiters clad in short blue skirts crisscrossing the floor picking tonnes of empty plates as Kenyans went for more fills.

John Kamau, a Kenya-Stockholmer who spoke to KSB said that, “you got the feeling that Kenya had a functioning government” although the country was constantly being classified as a “failed state” by various International agencies. According to Kamau, “it was one of those rare occasions that I got the feeling that I was actually enjoying matunda ya Uhuru as some Kenyans starved back home”.

Sang Has More Regard for Diplomatic Friends
Although it is normal for diplomatic staff to be given special treatment by various embassies during national celebrations, the fundamental problem with Sang’s strategy is that he has tended to prioritize the diplomatic community while at the same time treating Kenyans in Stockholm as toilet paper who will be flashed in the toilets of Husby Träff.

Under normal circumstances, and if the diplomats had to be feted, Dr. Sang could have earned a lot of kudos from Wananchi if he had taken care of his diplomatic friends on 11th December to spare December 12th exclusively for Kenyans. By advancing a reception to the diplomats on the main day and pushing the Kenyan celebration to a day that has nothing to do with Jamhuri, Ambassador Dr. Sang could be accused of high Treason. The best compromise solution could have been to follow tradition by mixing the diplomats with Kenyans.

On the question of the venue, there is no comparison between Husby Träff (where Kenyans have been invited long after the main event) and the Ambassador’s residence in Nacka. By availing his residence for use by diplomats and pushing Kenyans to the ghettoes of Husby, Ambassador Sang has confirmed that he has more regard for his diplomatic friends than Wakenya.

The fact that the diplomats were separated from Kenyans with the sole purpose of giving them better treatment will, no doubt, kill any remaining sympathies for Sang unless he has some secret magic works he intends to employ to repair the damage. Worse still, giving the diplomats secret preferential treatment should send the signal that the Ambassador is ready to do anything to please his work-mates at the expense of Kenyans.

With this latest news, it is now possible to understand why the Ambassador has been hiding in a bunker at his residence in Nacka where he has been shielding himself from tough questions from Wakenya in Stockholm.  KSB remains in hot pursuit of the Ambassador because the storo is of “great national importance” especially in the Republic of Kenya-Stockholm.

Okoth Osewe


  • This article confirms the rumor that the diplomatic community would be given special treatment by Ambassador Dr. Sang.

    The Ambassador could have come out a better person if he had presented a program with the invitation for Kenya @50 celebration at Husby Träff. In this regard, Kenyans would have known what to expect in terms of activities and entertainment. If for instance, Husby Träff has a comparative advantage over one of the Scandic Hotel branches in the city centre, by offering live entertainment, then Kenyans would not complain.

    Yesterday in Kenya, President Kenyatta, Kenyans and all the invited dignitaries gathered together in public to celebrate Jamhuri Day. He did not hide in State House with the special guests whom he definitely hosted privately later on. Dr. Sang should have remembered that Kenyans come first. Some of us decided long ago to boycott Kenya Embassy functions when we realized that former Ambassador Muindi preferred to entertain foreigners at our expense.

    What hapened to the expressions: “A new brooms sweeps clean” and “beginning on a new slate”? Dr. Sang gave some of us the impression that he would consult Kenya-Stockholmers to plan the ‘@50’ celebrations. This meant bringing select groups together to capture their views and eventually execute a program which would be acceptable to all. Jamhuri Day is not an activity for a cross-section of political loyalists. Dr. Sang could have used the day to bridge real and imagined rifts within the Kenya-Stockholm community, by listening to representatives from all divides early enough so that the event would not be politicized.

    From the new finding that he entertained the diplomatic community yesterday, it is indicative that money is not the reason for ‘banishing’ Kenyans to the ghettos. Someone must have fed him with the nonsense that Kenyans would misbehave and embarrass him before his dignified guests, and so forth. During past events at various Scandic Hotel branches, Kenyans have always behaved well, save for small incidences which the hotel personnel handled without a hitch. We would mingle with the so-called dignified guests without bothering them.

    Dr. Sang seems to be a continuation of Ambassador Muindi. He had the goodwill; having met a few Kenyans on different occasions, doing photo-ops, and preaching unity. Nevertheless, he will need to re-invent himself to show he is not Purity, given the current Jamhuri Day debacle.

  • Odiangabuks waende lakini wajuwe Sang atazidi kuwadharau. Hela amekula na wenzake sasa anatapikia Wakenya yaliosalia. Mjinga sana huyu balozi.

  • Which pamoja twasonga mbele yet Sang practices Apartheid by isolating Kenyans and throwing them to the ghetto? Many of us can buy our own drinks so it is not the reason for celebrating Independence Day with him.

  • Thanks Mr Jared Odero for your esteemed fews, let us try and analyse a different between a Primitive Tugen/Lumbwa mentality and a Kikuyu learned western educated mentality behaviour and attitudes. Lets take an example of what took place in Stockholm where a mr Sang from Moi/Ruto tribesmen. The new Ambassador in Stockholm how he selectively and foolishly invited his tribes and foreigners secretely denied majority of Kenyans the Most important event of our country the 50@ jubilee by cheating and deceiving the People of Kenya and by discrimination . On the other hand Let us look at what a Civilized and a carrer civilized Ambassador Mr Hon: Ngare did a mammoth Party where every body was invited to celebrate this most famous Party of 50 years of Jubilee. Mr Ngari a modern man of high repute is seen welcomming guests Diplomats, investors lame handikaps without much erablating please visit this site >www. misterseed.com and see for yourselves compare mr sang primitivity and civilization. Note i am not biased i never thought a diplomat can behave in such a primitive act in this era.

  • I think kenyans in Stockholm of good will should demand a civilized and a democrat Ambassador should replace mr Sang and bring about a civility to all kenyans in stockholm . See what a proggressive London Ambassador has succeeded in uniting Wakenya when in Stockholm the primitive 6 a tribalist mr Sang is busy sowing seeds of discord and hate among the kenyans in Stockhol. I am pround to view London Blog of Mr Seed. In Germany ,USA , Japan ,Moscow ,Dubrin and elsewhere how united Kenyan’s celebrated Jamhuri Jubilee year 2013. God bless Kenyan’s everwhere.

  • at 50 in London news


    The Kenya High Commissioner in the UK HE Ephraim Ngare and his wife Mrs. Jane Ngare lead Kenyans in the UK to celebrate Kenya’s 50th Anniversary. The colorful ceremony took place on Thursday 12th December, 2013 at Inter-Continental Hotel in Central London. The ceremony which started at noon was attended by diplomatic circles in UK as well as invited guests. A large number of High Commissioners, Ambassadors and diplomatic representatives attended the ceremony. After delivering his speech the High Commissioner welcomed the guests for entertainment and drinks and food. African dancers entertained the guests with Kenyan independent songs. During his speech the High Commissioner explained to the guests how Kenya has progressed in the last 50 years. (Full speech coming soon). Guests from as far as Glasgow, Nottingham, Bristol, Northampton, Coventry, Oxford, Reading as well is Ireland attended the ceremony.
    By misterseed.com

  • 50 years of struggle

    Behind these faces lie evidence of our struggles, pain and triumph
    Updated Friday, December 13th 2013 at 23:43 GMT +3

    By Standard Reporter


    He was founder of the Nairobi People’s Congress Party, a key figure in the formation of Kanu, and the Minister of Economic Planning and Development at the time of his assassination on 5 July, 1969. Mboya’s role in Kenya’s politics and transformation is a subject that continues to raise interest to date.


    He was the first bishop of the Eldoret diocese and a vocal critic of government excesses. He harshly criticised the handling of investigations into the death of former Foreign Affairs minister Robert Ouko. His death, in a road accident in 1990, remains one of Kenya’s enduring mysteries.


    She was the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace prize for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace. The former Tetu MP and presidential candidate in the 1997 General Election planted millions of trees through her Green Belt Movement. She died in 2011.


    He is remembered for crushing the 1982 coup by a section of disgruntled Kenya Air Force soldiers. The general was credited with leading loyal armed forces to counter the short-lived attempt at overthrowing Moi. Mohamed later became the Chief of General Staff from 1982 to1986.

    Prof Ali Mazrui

    He is arguably the best-known Kenyan scholar. An academic and political writer on African and Islamic studies and North-South relations, he was in 2005 ranked 73rd on the Top 100 Public Intellectuals list of Prospect Magazine (UK) and Foreign Policy (US).

    Daudi Kabaka

    The father of “twist” composed patriotic songs that spurred on freedom fighters. Together with his compatriot John Nzenze he composed and sang Harambee Harambee, tuimbee pamoja, Kenyatta aliteswa. His music is timeless and is played on radio stations throughout East Africa.


    Josiah Mwangi Kariuki (21 March 1929 died 2 March 1975) was a populist politician during the administration of former president Jomo Kenyatta government. He held different government positions between 1963 and 1975, when he was assassinated. He was popularly known as JM.

    Mama Kayai

    For 32 years, Mama Kayai or Mary Khavere has graced living rooms as a comedian on the national broadcaster. She is the first woman to venture into comedy as the wife of Mzee Ojwang Sibuor Ondiek! Together, the two are not only the longest serving cast but also the most recognisable screen couple.


    The CEO and chairman of the Comcraft Group of Companies, a billion-dollar enterprise that has a presence in over 40 countries. He has invested in Manufacturing, Insurance, Transport, Banking, Real Estate and Telecommunication. He has been listed as Kenya’s leading philanthropist and industrialist.


    He is hailed for his humility and outspokenness on social injustices, corruption and police brutality. The Catholic cleric was among church leaders who pushed for democratic governance during the clamour for multi-partyism. He died in 2003 and is on course to be the first Kenyan to attain sainthood.

    Jomo Kenyatta.

    He was born in 1989. He was among other prominent leaders who were arrested and tried at Kapenguria on April 8, 1953 for managing Mau Mau. He was sentenced to 7 years in jail with hard labor. On April 14, 1959, Jomo Kenyatta completed his sentence at Lokitaung but remained in restriction at Lodwar. On June 1, 1963, he became the first Prime Minister of self-governing Kenya. At midnight on December 12, 1963, at Uhuru Stadium, amid world leaders and multitudes of people, a new nation was born and a year later, on December 12, 1964, Kenya became a republic with Kenyatta as the President.


    Kenya’s first vice-president is remembered for his principled stand against single party rule throughout his life. Odinga was the most outspoken critic of the colonial government during Kenyatta’s detention in the 1950s and led calls for his release. But in April 1966, three years after independence, Odinga resigned his VP post to form the Kenya People’s Union (KPU). In the crackdown that ensued, Odinga was hounded and jailed and KPU banned. He re-emerged as leader of the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy in the early 1990s. He died in 1994 aged 84.


    Joseph Shikuku (1933 died August 22, 2012) was an eloquent politician who played a key role during the Lancaster House conference. He is also prominent for his push for multiparty politics. In 1969, he was appointed Assistant Minister in the Office of the Vice-President and Home Affairs by founding President Kenyatta. He was, however, detained by Kenyatta after he sarcastically remarked in Parliament that the Kanu government was “dead”.


    Pio Gama Pinto (March 31, 1927 February 25, 1965) dedicated his life to the liberation of the Kenyan people and became independent Kenya’s first martyr in 1965. Pinto was shot at very close range on the driveway while waiting for the gate to open.


    His stab at the presidency at the height of the clamour for multipartysim in the 1992 General Election placed him second. An outspoken critic of the Kanu government, Matiba made history when he resigned from the Cabinet and was among founders of the Opposition’s Forum for Restoration and Democracy (FORD). He remains in poor health as a result of his stint in detention at the Nyayo House torture chambers in the 1990s.


    Ngala was born in 1922. He began his national career by being elected to the Legislative Council in 1957. In the 1957 elections to the legislative council, Ngala was elected to represent the Coast Rural constituency. Following these elections, Ngala, along with Tom Mboya, Oginga Odinga, Lawrenze Oguda, Masinde Muliro, Daniel Moi, Benard Mate and James Muimi formed the African Elected Members Organisation and signed a controversial press statement declaring Kenya’s Lyttelton constitution on which they had been elected, void.


    He served as the second president of Kenya from 1978 to 2002, rising from the vice-presidency between 1967 to 1978. When Jomo Kenyatta died on 22 August 1978, Moi succeeded him. He was popular, with widespread support all over the country. He toured the country and came into contact with the people everywhere, which was in great contrast to Kenyatta’s imperial style of governing behind closed doors. He left State House in 2002.


    Kibaki is the third president of the Republic of Kenya. Kibaki was appointed vice-president by Moi in 1978. He continued to serve in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning until 1983, when he moved to the Ministry of Home Affairs and National Heritage. He served until 1988 when he moved to the Ministry of Health. Kibaki was also the Leader of Government Business and Chairman of the Sessional Committee from 1978 to 1988. He was the Kanu vice-president from 1978 to 1988.


    Raila Odinga (born 7 January 1945) served as Prime Minister under the National Accord adopted following the controversial 2007 General Election. Raila is also a victim of detention without trial. Raila was placed under arrest for seven months after it was alleged he was collaborating with the plotters of 1982 failed coup, in which hundreds of Kenyan citizens and thousands of rebel soldiers died. Several foreigners also died. Raila was later charged with treason and detained without trial for six years.


    The first African mayor of Nairobi and former Cabinet minister was among those that fought for multi-partyism. Rubia was detained at the infamous Nyayo House torture chambers and was at one point accused of importing arms to overthrow the government.


    She is credited with promoting education, particularly of girls, in Kenya. The former nominated MP started the Riara group of schools with her husband in 1974. Gachukia, who has authored several education publications, has also served as president of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) and Maendeleo Ya Wanawake.

    Mzee Ojwang

    His real name is Benson Wanjau, a comedian of unqualified success who, for 32 years, has featured in Vitimbi (and Vioja Mahakamani) TV drama on KBC. He is the flipside of Mama Kayai. Together they have been decorated as national heroes having received State commendations for their role in developing the entertainment industry.


    He is one of the central figures of the second liberation push, credited for the return of multi-partyism in the country. In 1989, Muliro teamed up with Kenneth Matiba, Charles Rubia, the late Martin Shikuku, Phillip Gachoka and late Oginga Odinga to form Forum for Restoration of Democracy, a pressure-group agitating a return to pluralist politics. FORD became a party.


    He single-handedly placed Kenya firmly on the world athletics map with a series of Olympic and Commonwealth gold medals shortly after the country’s independence. He is 73 and president of the National Olympic Committee.

    Eric Wainaina

    As a musician, he is a cultural hero for his promotion of the Afro-fusion genre that is part of the pop culture since the 1990s. He represents a generation that is a transition between the benga and rhumba genres on the one side and the hip-hop, the new generation dancehall fad. His composition Nchi ya Kitu Kidogo elevated him to celebrity status. Through his music, he has contributed to the fight against pervasive corruption.

    Henry Chakava

    The renowned publisher ventured into the field after completing his studies in literature and philosophy in 1972. As long serving editor at Heinemann publishers of textbooks and fiction, he influenced education in Africa. He published the works of Ali Mazrui, Chinua Achebe, Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye, Meja Mwangi, Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Okot p’Bitek, among others.

    Mzee Ojwang

    His real name is Benson Wanjau, a comedian of unqualified success who, for 32 years, has featured in Vitimbi (and Vioja Mahakamani) TV drama on KBC. He is the flipside of Mama Kayai. Together they have been decorated as national heroes having received State commendations for their role in developing the entertainment industry.

    Fadhili Williams Mdawida

    He is synonymous with the hit song Malaika, the first Kenyan song to go international in the 1970s. The song, which has won multiple platinum awards, has since been remixed by more than 10 bands in the world.


    Born in 1932, Mungai became the first African Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Nairobi. He was one of the earliest Africans to engage in scientific research work and began with neurologic research while studying for his doctorate in London. He continued with production of scientific research papers in the 1980s and is described as a pioneer medical researcher in East Africa. He died in August 2003.


    The world-famous paleo-anthropologist and conservationist once headed the Civil Service under the Kanu regime. His tenure as director at National Museum saw it grow into an international research centre and yielded dozens of fossil finds within Lake Turkana, including the famous 1.6 million year old skeleton nicknamed “Turkana boy”, in 1984.


    Merali is regarded as Kenya’s most-suave business mind and wealthiest resident. He founded the first privately-owned mobile service provider, Kencell, with French telco Vivendi. Kencell has since changed hands and names several times on the way to becoming today’s Indian-owned Airtel. In the most dramatic of these transfers of ownership in 2004, Merali reportedly made a cool Sh1.6 billion in one hour. As one of the leading industrialists, Merali has contributed greatly to bringing commercial investments in Kenya for more than 30 years.

    Prof Calestous Juma

    He shot to fame first as a science writer. Prof Juma is now an internationally acclaimed scholar in the area of applied science and technology for sustainable development. He is recognised as one of the most influential 100 Africans in 2012 and 2013 by the New African magazine. He is professor of the Practice of International Development and Faculty Chair of the Innovation for Economic Development Executive Programme at Harvard Kennedy School, among other high profile positions he is holding.


    Macharia has invested in telecommunications, banking, agriculture, transport, insurance and real estate. He is a media tycoon who owns the biggest radio and television network in Kenya with a huge audience. According to a survey conducted by Forbes, an American magazine that carries research on world billionaires, Macharia is believed to be worth more than Sh112 billion.


    She is credited for moving the Affirmative Action Motion, also known as the “Asiyo Motion” in Parliament in 1974. This birthed the Kenya Women’s political caucus and catalysed the push that has today seen better representation of women in elective and appointive office. The former Karachuonyo MP was also a member of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission (CKRC), and has headed Maendeleo Ya Wanawake, among other positions she has.


    He is the Chief Executive Officer of Equity Banking Group. From humble beginnings, Mwangi rose to become an internationally recognised entrepreneur. He won the Ernest and Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 award; the world’s most coveted business award. He has won other business awards. He also has three honorary doctorate degrees in recognition of his contributions to the Kenyan society. He is also the Accounting, Banking and Finance Chairman, Vision 2030.


    The former Funyula MP was the first woman to be elected MP in the former Western Province and the first woman to be appointed an assistant minister. Ojiambo is also a former nominated MP and heads the Labour Party of Kenya. A nutritionist by profession, she has authored dozens of publications in the field and helped steer negotiations that led to establishment of the UN-Habitat headquarters in Nairobi.


    Mwendwa was Kenya’s first African Chief Justice and was in office between 1968 and 1971. He died in a road accident in 1985. He was at the time the Kitui West MP.


    He was the spearhead of Anglican clergy pushing for an end to Kenya’s one-party rule in the 1980s. From the pulpit, Okullu pushed for constitutional change and called for a two-term limit to the presidency at a time when doing so was considered subversive. The first black provost of Nairobi’s All Saints Cathedral was a strong advocate of human rights issues. He died in 1999.


    He was the first chair of The University of Nairobi’s Student Organisation (SONU). Adungosi was a critic of the Kanu government and was jailed for 10 years for sedition in 1982 after an aborted coup. He would later die in prison under unclear circumstances in 1988.


    She is the Managing Director and founder of Keroche Breweries, the multi-billion shilling Naivasha-based firm. Having quietly fought to make her company competitive in the alcoholic beverage market, Ms Karanja has emerged successful in her business. The company has made strides in the market with ready-to-drink spirits and beers. The brewer controls at least 20 per cent of Kenya’s alcoholic beverages market.


    She was the first recipient of the Japanese Hideyo Noguchi African prize that honours persons with outstanding achievements in medical research and medical services to fight infectious diseases in Africa. Were is recognised for her role in promoting community-based programmes that promote women and children’s health in the East African region.

    DR OKI Ooko-oMBAKA

    He was a legal scholar and human rights activist. He served as the first vice chair of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission (CKRC) and was instrumental in the Constitution review process. The one-term MP also chaired the “Ufungamano Initiative” during the cmapaign for constitutional reforms. He died in 2002 aged 50 years.

    Michael Werikhe

    Nicknamed Rhino Man, he became famous through his long fundraising walks in the African Great Lakes region and overseas. He started his campaign after learning how endangered Black Rhinos were in Africa. Wherever he walked, his arrival was greeted with much public fanfare and media attention. This helped to raise funds for conservation of Rhinos and other endangered African mammals.

  • This is unbelievable. I am a Kenyan living in London and can’t believe that your Ambassador could treat you people like second-class citizens. We had our Kenya at 50 celebration on 12th December at Inter-Continental Hotel with many delegates coming from outside the City of London and we joined the diplomats and other foreign guests. This is a shame and to imagine Sang also worked at the London Embassy, it is shocking. Too much power has blinded him.

  • Jubilee nonsense

    Recently, I spotted a list of Kenyans nominated for awards and honours as part of the Kenya at 50 celebrations. They were a fairly motley bunch of civil servants and loyalists. An earlier list was headed by Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo who has done nothing since his appointment to make the country safer.

    The public was requested to give comments on the nominees’ suitability, but most Kenyans wouldn’t bother to reply and even if they took time, would most probably say ‘none of the above please’.

    Yet, such lists are very telling about the ruling elite’s priorities, loyalties and values. Those selected confirm that Kenya ina wenyewe and the past 50 years have mostly been about them, their comfort, perks, grabbed land and their very lopsided perception of patriotism.

    There is no interest in honouring Mama Koigi or Wanjiku; no place of honour for Nyayo torture survivors; no posthumous awards for JM Kariuki, Tom Mboya, Alexander Muge or John Kaiser.

    Threats and insults are what today’s heroes like George Kegoro, Njonjo Mue and Gladwell Otieno who dared to defend victims’ rights recently in the ICC receive.

    Sports stars, religious leaders and artistes who pose no threat to the status quo will be honoured but critics, investigative journalists or human rights defenders must rely on prayers of the marginalised for encouragement.

    The beneficiaries of Thursday’s awards are mere actors and tools in the official historical script that the establishment would like Kenyans to adopt. But there are other narratives and brave stories not heard.

    The poor who have endured corruption, greed, poverty, hardship and political violence for half a century were omitted from the establishment’s narrative. But they too have produced mothers and children whose names are surely written in heaven alongside Madiba even if they never made the Kenyan Gazette.

    Their heroism and faith have kept Kenya sane, progressive and bravely resisting repressive regimes. The next 50 years belong to them.

    We can no longer afford to sideline, bulldoze, enslave, bully or intimidate the 60 per cent who only create joy out of scraps that fall from the decadent ruling class’ table.

    A radical transformation of society begins with a fundamental option to hear the narrative of the poor.



  • Kenya trending at 50

    13 December 2013 Last updated at 16:23 GMT

    .#BBCtrending: Is Kenya #sickat50?

    It’s the 50th anniversary of Kenya’s independence, and many Kenyans are celebrating using the hashtag #Kenyaat50. But a highly critical hashtag – #sickat50 – has also proved very popular.

    Kenyans are big on Twitter. They are – after South Africa – the most prolific tweeters in Africa, according to a recent study. And in the past few hours alone, there have been tens of thousands of tweets using the hashtag #Kenyaat50. Many express a sense of national pride. “Golden Jubilee for Kenya, great strides have been made. Happy Birthday Kenya,” is one typical example.

    But running in parallel to this is another hashtag, #sickat50. It started as a reference to a strike by medical workers across Kenya, but is also being used to express a wider sense of dissatisfaction with the state of the country as a whole – including corruption and poverty. “When you look at the developmental indicators, what exactly are we celebrating?” asks blogger and journalist Betty Waitherero. In the past few days, #sickat50 has been used more than 20,000 times on Twitter.

    “If you want something to trend among Kenyans, either make it hilarious or make it emotional,” advises Waitherero. She has been tweeting vociferously using the hashtag in an attempt to raise the profile of the strike. It’s an issue she feels passionately about – her brother is a doctor and she herself has undergone serious medical treatment. Kenya is devolving responsibility for healthcare to the counties, but unions argue the process is being rushed through, and that existing agreements on pay are not being respected.

    “We discussed many options”, says Karl Daniel, a recently qualified doctor in Nairobi, who was the first to use the hashtag 10 days ago, after a discussion with fellow doctors and nurses on Facebook. They were keen to find a hashtag that would resonate with the public, who tend to oppose strikes by medical workers, he says. The strike has been widely observed – almost all public hospitals across the country are shut. Some Kenyans on Twitter have criticised the negativity of the comments on #sickat50. “I am proud to be Kenyan and #greatfulat50” tweeted one.

    Reporting by Cordelia Hebblethwaite

    Are you in Kenya? What does #Kenyaat50 or #sickat50 mean to you? Tweet using using #BBCtrending and follow us @BBCtrending.

    Here are are some of your responses so far

    @PSituma: I am a doctor and it’s sickening how little the government prioritises health. A sick nation cannot develop.

    @adekorir: I’m proud of what Kenya has done in the last 50 years. I feel strongly patriotic and African now.

    @RavenclawNjeri : To all those who think I am unpatriotic, I dare you to shadow me on my week on call, 24 hrs,7 days. No break afterwards.

  • #FuataSheria by #SarabiBand featuring +Juliani Musik
  • Balozi Sang lazima akiri kwamba ni yeye aliyeweka ujumbe kwenye tovuti ya ubalozi wa Kenya hapa Stockholm kuwaalika Wakenya kupanga sherehe za Kenya at 50. Basi ni yeye ambaya alikuwa na jukumu ya kuwaleta Wakenya pamoja ili kupanga sherehe hizo. Kama aliamuwa kuwaleta watu wake kupanga wanavyotaka, basi ajilaumu mwenyewe. Ni aibu kuu alivowatenga Wakenya ili wasisheherekee na weupe huko nyumbani kwake ambako pia ni nyumbani kwetu! Aliwasanya weupe kusherehekea kabla ya wenzake weusi na inamaanisha hana heshima kwetu.

    Itatubidi tugome kushihirikia sherehe zijazo kwani huyu Sang ni mweusi ngozini, lakini mweupe rohoni.

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