Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Resurrection of a Kenyan Blogger

Onyango Oloo Returns to a Passionate Pursuit

Aaahh….

It is with a sigh of relief, sense of accomplishment and feeling of contentment that I joyfully revert to the spicy world of political blogging after a twelve month hiatus punctuated by a transcontinental hop, skip and jump from a frigid, sprawling Northern metropolis (Montreal) to a sweltering overgrown Southern urban village (Nairobi).

Blogging is cinnamon; it is cardamom, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, black pepper; it is in fact, oregano, saffron, rosemary, thyme, cumin and coriander to me.

For the last one year I deliberately and purposely abandoned the wide-ranging Kenya Democracy Project blog to concentrate on building, maintaining and administering the nascent and fledgling, but by no means floundering JUKWAA discussion forum that concentrates with an almost maniacal zeal and laser focus on contemporary Kenyan politics to the exclusion of virtually everything else.

JUKWAA itself first saw light as an initiative conceived in rage, bewilderment and despair at the mushrooming degeneration of many mainstream Kenyan online communities after their tragic take over by a handful of hydra-and-empty headed toilet mouthed cyber urchins intent on transforming healthy discussion forums into a series of platforms for tribal hate, frivolous, content free chit chat, demonic cyber stalking, under-age heckling and infernal blathering blah blah blah yada yada yada yakety yakety yak.

I must confess that there was, in addition, a very personal motive in my attempt to launch a new Kenyan discussion forum.

For years, I had been a prolific contributor to Mashada, kisii.com. kikuyu.com. Mambogani, rc bowen, kenya ni yetu, Kenya Online, Kenya Community Abroad, Kenya Community in Ontario, Africa-Oped and other online communities populated largely by members of the Kenyan Diaspora (the majority domiciled in North America, especially the United States).

From my respective Canadian lairs in Toronto and Montreal, I jostled and tussled with far-flung netters in Boston, London, Stockholm, Johannesburg, Vancouver, Jeddah, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, Harare, Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and all points in between.

We talked about Democracy, Pan Africanism, Socialism, Reagonomics, Islam, Christianity, militarism, peace building, homophobia, gender equality, tribalism- you name it.

It was all clean virtual reality fun, no matter how feisty and over-heated it often got.

Rarely did we keep cyber-grudges with our unseen online net adversaries.

This went on for what appeared to be eons in cyber space.

What sullied this vivid panorama, at least for me, was the entry into the fray of a handful of louts of no fixed internet abode-multi-handled online terrorists whose only mission after logging on was to disrupt, annoy and pester whoever they found in the respective online forums.

As if this was not bad enough, some morphed into serial cyberstalkers targeting high profile Kenyan contributors.

Having been identified as one such “high profile” contributor, Onyango Oloo soon became the “darling” of certain deranged elements who bombarded him on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, with unsolicited hate mail-both private and public.

At one point I was the unlikely object of a bizarre, steaming hot, not so suppressed desire of a certain twentysomething 24/7 closeted gay Kenyan man living in the United States-this, despite my much publicized heterosexual orientation and affiliated liaisons.

Having tried in vain to catch the eyes and capture the ears of the respective owners and moderators of the above named Kenyan online communities, I finally, in August 2005, decided in disgust, to practice what I had hitherto preached and set up a Kenyan discussion forum characterized by sobriety, maturity, intelligent and respectful discourse that implemented zero tolerance against racists, sexists, homophobes, tribalists, religious bigots, trash talkers and cyber stalkers.

JUKWAA is the ongoing manifestation of this anguished attempt.

After more than a year in existence I can proudly say that yes, Onyango Oloo did achieve and surpass the objectives he set out to realize at the beginning of the eighth month of the year gone by.

Today JUKWAA is a serious, well-respected Kenyan online community free of the frolicking childishness that so appalled and repelled me and many other Kenyan netters.

Today, despite the existence of an active administrator, JUKWAA is largely self-moderated.

And so, having achieved that minor milestone, I retreat, without retiring, from active forum administration to the more relaxed pursuit of omnivorous blogging.

Onyango Oloo

Nairobi, Kenya

9 comments:

Mocha! said...

Welcome back!

Acolyte said...

Beta ate my comment!
Welcome back and when you are taking on new members for your forum do get in touch with me!

mzakai said...

Welcome back Bwana Oloo. You have been sorely missed.

sokari said...

got a shock when i saw this - thought the KU aggregator had regressed to last year! glad you are back

btw since you've been away my blog address has changed - as things do!

Echo - you have been missed

Anonymous said...

kenya kenya wo wo wo.
lukio had a bungalow.

Luke I'm your father, and took råslgagsbannan home to Fliskåsvägen in Hägenäs.

What tha hell Matabel.

Eat bananas in cam, black Pam.

lukio had a bungalow. iay iay o.

Anonymous said...

hi

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jamen said...

Ok..are jukwaa and demockrasia the same? Did you change somehting somewhere? I think that pink color may not reflect the serious nature of political talk you are trying to convey...just my 2 cents and of course know one must be cautious as a guest but i say this in a clean manner. The white shades exudes maturity and seriousness. Also the requirement to login/register is counter to the meaning of public talk.. i know its more work, but it comes with the territory.