Biko Zulu wrote a post called that thing in Jadudi’s head and it went viral. Kenyans have again showed that they can relied upon to make a mark. In under 48 hours, they raise over sh6 million, way above the needed sh1 million. This offers some lessons for the rest of us;
1. There is power in good storytelling. Biko Zulu is a great writer. His blog always elicits comments and debate. Going through his blog, hardly any post, however long, lacks comments. In Kenya, too few online platforms can boast of such religious following. It was therefore a wise decision to use him to tell the story of Jadudi as he delivered it so warmly that hearts were opened to compel pockets to give. They gave in plenty or is it mercilessly?
2. Using a brand matters. Biko Zulu is an online brand. If the same message and campaign had been done by someone else, it would probably not have had the same intensity and response.
3. Kenyans are generous. Kenyans showed their support in huge numbers. Some campaigns like Kenyans for Kenyans have been done before but over the period, lack of transparency led to lethargy among Kenyans but this showed that Kenyans have big hearts and care about their fellow citizens.
4. The online community is part and parcel of our society. Some people have dispelled the value of online campaigns and messaging. Some examples in the past have shown how the platform can be used for various courses including #ReleaseMutai and Langata Primary School land grabbing saga among others. They showed that the online space is a great platform to inform and mobilize. This has added another feather to the cap. It is not just about #SomeoneTell so and so, Kenyans can be relied upon in times of need.
5. For online to work, it needs the offline presence. This statement can be best explained by politicians Martha Karua and Peter Kenneth who vied for office in 2013, with more followers and comments online than the real votes they go at the ballot. As noted above, online is purely for informing the masses and mobilizing. It gets its real worth when it is taken offline. In this case, the offline was contributions on M-PESA, from as little as Ksh. 50, Kenyans contributed in large numbers.
Next time you think about an online campaign, you have some lessons to think about.
You can find Shitemi on twitter at @oleshitemi.