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August 2020
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In Celebration: Ory Okolloh

I am always excited by people who challenge me mentally, intellectually, creatively and in all aspects of life. From individuals who are silent achievers to those, whose achievements are in public sphere because they have been recognised for their work, they get the baby inside me kicking and jumping when they talk about their passions and visions. Today, my choice of person to celebrate is Ory Okolloh, popularly known as the Kenya Pundit. Okolloh is changing the way we relate to our politicians, each other and handling crisis on the African continent, using social media. Her blog is politically and socially challenging. I love it when she says, we cannot just sit back and complain. We have to take action and call our politicians to order by making them accountable. They are not entitled to run us out of town with their poor decisions. They are there to serve us. We elected them and the last time I checked, democracy is government of the people and by the people.  I look forward to seeing what she has done in Kenya with her blog and online projects, Mzalendo and Ushahidi, replicated in other African countries. Her work goes to show that social media is beyond ‘Facebooking,’ and chatting away gibberish or leaving hateful comments on websites, when we can use it to call each other to action on matters that are pertinent to us, our future and that of the next generation. Okolloh is a good example of  what we can change and change, if we would find the one thing that brings people together and in so doing, they find and unite things that affect them all. Below is Okolloh’s interview on CNN African Voices. Enjoy.

Smart and eloquent, she knows how to say what needs to be said without sugar coating it.

Imagine how one idea is changing the world, this is the kind of impact I would like to see my generation evoke in us all…it starts with you, it starts with me.

You have to admit, Okolloh has got this one right and if we keep at it, we can use the internet to revolutionise the way we think about our involvement in the political, social and economic matters of Africa. What our politicians do with our money and national resources. Open your mind and think for a moment, if there was a website which documented the amount of oil drilled on the oil fields of Nigeria or one that details the amount of natural minerals mined in the Congo, what a world of difference that would make to a lot of people and national accountability, as well as international accountability. Of course, there is room for mistakes and human beings will always be human beings but if we can get honest people, whose aim to to evoke change, like Okolloh has, it is more than doable. I am not naive to think this will happen overnight but if we all got the idea to do something similar in our individual nations, we could establish anew form of transparency that Africa lacks. We can also use it to initiate change in other ares of life, from the medical field to education, it only takes one blogger to get started, share the information you have and watch the ripple effect.


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