What the World Thought Of Kenya’s Presidential Debate

Kenya’s 1st Presidential Debate held on Monday night was indeed a historic event viewed and listened to across the country and beyond our borders. Our local media did a great job covering the event live, while regional and international media outlets offered post-event coverage and analysis of the debate.

Close to 100 regional and international media brands found our debate newsworthy. Among them were Aljazeera, BBC, The Guardian, TIME, New York Times, Yahoo News, VoA, Washington Post, Fox News, Global Post, ABC  News and so many more.

It was a sobering reminder that the world has, is and will be watching Kenya as the General Election draws nigh. Whatever their reasons, be it the 2007/8 post election violence or the ICC cases that followed soon after, or the fact that Kenyans on Twitter (#KOT) had the debate trending for hours, this on a day when the Pope announced that he would be resigning.

Yeah that’s us.

While we found this international attention certainly flattering, we couldn’t help but take note of the comments below articles posted online on various news sites. Here are some we found rather interesting:-

On Yahoo News

“Are gay rights on the table???”

“Hopefully Obama will win this one.”

“So how can they do that (debate) when we have their village idiot over here”

“Where are the white candidates?”

“What no white people, Kenya is nothing but a bunch of racist”

“Why all of a sudden does Yahoo post Kenya news?? If Obama is an American citizen then why should this even be news??”

“Gosh now were going to get Kenya news force fed to us, Because that’s where King Obama is really from…”

On  Al Jazeera

“The win by Uhuru is imminent.The West should start leaving if they can not put up with his administration.”

On the Daily Monitor

“I am looking forward for such debates in our country-Uganda.” 

“Debating is civilized but shooting at opposition is criminal. Kenya is always ahead of Uganda it seems these days, but in early Independence days Uganda was ahead.”

There is a lot to learn from all the comments on these articles whether they be ridden with humour, hate speech, admiration or blatant ignorance.

For us back at home, this debate as historic and memorable as it has been for both Kenya and indeed the African Continent exposes a nascent constitutional democracy grappling to break free from its past.

Kenya’s politics is still largely driven by personalities and less by issues and even less by ideologies. The chorus of candidates hailed the Constitution as the progressive and powerful legal pact that it is, yet none of them were able to convincingly pin-point what exactly are the stumbling blocks in its implementation three years since its promulgation.
The average viewer was left unclear on how the candidates would work with the institutional framework under the Constitution and the areas of weakness or failure in its implementation as spearheaded by Kibaki as President

“An Open Letter to Capital FM”


Editor: The following letter is from @BintiM, a close friend of the blog. It voices an opinion shared by many on the reckless abuse of social media by the Capital in the Morning crew. It’s a good thing she wrote it because she’s a lot nicer than I am; and a lot of the complaints we’ve heard about it were a lot more incendiary. But an issue like this does require a calm voice, lest it get blown out of proportion.

Words By BINTIM

“Dear Capital Fm,

I write this letter to express my strong disapproval and disappointment with one of your Twitter accounts @984inthemorning. Continue reading

One Year Later. 200,000 readers and counting!

Crowd

We hit 200,000 readers!

Archer predicted this.

We can’t begin to explain just how awed and humbled we are that 400,000 little eyes have perused our meager blog. Thank you.

Further, it’s our 1 year anniversary this month.

Oh yeah. 12 whole months of constant blogs from your favorite crew of penmen.

Now, we have 2 reasons to throw an e-party. To kick this off, we’re going to do our first ‘Crew Post’ where each of the crew members will donate their 2 cents on how and why they got here.

But before they do, we would all like to take a synchronized bow and unified hat doff to all the readers. You guys are this blog’s heartbeat.

Now, let’s hear from the crew. Continue reading

Daily Dozen: 10/01

Kenya Ni Yetu. Katiba Yetu. Maisha Yetu. [DR/NiSisi]
New front opened in war on graft in Kenya [DN]
Parliamentary Impunity: Where is the fury? [AlKags]
Disband Parliament before they disband everything? [Mzalendo]
What to Look out for in 2011 [Ratio]
All of Africa celebrates to see this peaceful referendum [Thabo Mbeki]
Africa’s impressive growth [Economist]
African Union: The limits of the possible [hurriyet]
Nigeria: The happiest place on earth [Guardian]
Blah Blah Blama [Magaribina]
The Story of the Late G.K Kirima [KHT]
Kenya Must Go to the Dogs First to Rise Again [KumeKucha]

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Daily Dozen: 27/12

Africa Optimism Rising [Reuters]
Where Kenya Leads, Others Follow [Gathara]
China: Trade with Africa transforming the continent [Mail&Guardian]
Tech Success in Africa is Built on the Ordinary [WhiteAfrican]
Let’s Hear It for The Unappreciated Heroes of 2010 [HuffPost]
Ivory Coast: Life inside Ouattara’s hotel [BBC]
Tea with Mugabe [GlobeandMail]
‘African Politics: The Village and Its Insecure Child’ [AfricanAccent]
20 Things We Learned in 2010 [Guardian]
2010 Images of the Year [Newsweek]
Most Popular Explainers of 2010 [LifeHacker]
2010: The Year of Microterrorism [TIME]

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Daily Dozen: 16/12 (Ocampo Edition)

ICC Case Files [Mzalendo]
“Ocampo’s List of Six” [Shameless Plug]
Ocampo’s Delusions & Why The West Will Never Understand “Africa” [KenyanEntrepreneur]
Reaction as Ocampo Names Six [Kumekucha]
Video Interview with Joshua Arap Sang (Who he is, What he does) [Ukwelii]
Kenyan suspects of Post Election Violence Named by Ocampo [JamiiyaKenya]
Ruto and Uhuru Tops The Hague’s Gang of Six [CKK]
Ocampo list casts a dark cloud over the economy [BusinessDaily]
Ocampo’s Omissions [Gukira]
Kibaki Calls Crisis Talks Over Hague [DN]
Kenya’s Kibaki says won’t act yet against ICC suspects [Reuters]
The Hague Six Photoshop Picture [FunKenya]

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