0640hrs is when my alarm goes off and the first thing I normally do is run for my Android phone. Twitter, and #stopKony is trending. There is one thing I remember vividly as I got my eyes cleared to read the tweets properly, one of the people I follow tweeted, "Kony is trending, let's tweet and retweet so we make him number one, Go Kony!" It got me wondering what this was about. I felt sickish that morning so I decided to have more rest. At bout 0900hrs I again logged onto twitter and guess what, my timeline was full of #stopKony and #KONY2012 hash-tags.
Before I write this further I want to put this categorically clear that if you read get offended, then run for ice and cool off because I did the same after watching malicious content i.e. "KONY2012 film."
Since this video went viral on the internet, I have silently read most of the tweets on my timeline, Blog Posts by fellow Bloggers and there is lots of things that I could say about this video.
For this whole time that the Kony2012 video has taken rounds on top internet platforms, if I still have my memory clear, I have tweeted 3 times about Kony. The first tweet read "#stopKony?" the 2nd tweet "Where were you for the 20years that the war took" and the 3rd tweet read "Using something famous to become famous." and in my blog this time am going to dwell more on the last one.
The first time I heard about Joseph Kony and his LRA was 1996, I remember our Social Studies teacher introduced a current affairs noticeboard in our class and the first posting on that board was a cut out of a New Vision(Ugandan Daily newspaper) story of Kony killing masses of people in northern Uganda then I got to know there was war in Uganda. Someone will ask why am telling people the first time I heard about Kony and my answer is because some people have just gotten to know about Kony based on the tweets that have come through this whole time and am talking to the likes of Sean Puffy Combs, Justin Bieber, Johnny Depp, Ellen Degeneres, Taylor Swift and rest of you American lads who tweeted asking who Kony is.
The core thing I want to mention is that this video or film what ever you want to call it, is/was never intended for Uganda or African Audience. Its a fundraising campaign asking for monetary support to stop Kony in the year 2012. I don't know how they will stop him after getting the support/funds. Buy guns? Increase the SPLA and UPDF soldiers' salaries? or to pay tuition fees for Russell's child that I saw in the video who apparently has too much love for acting. Mr. Russell could use the funds to enroll him to a drama school so he graces the Oscar red- carpet as Best Actor in some time to come.
What do Africans have to offer anyway? In the eyes of the makers of that video, Africans have nothing to offer to stop Kony so that is why we were never the target audience.
Secondly, the medium(YouTube, Facebook, Twitter) etc, used to pass on the information for a campaign to stop Kony in 2012. Uganda has about 12.5% of its total population with access to internet and about 10% of the 12% accessing internet are subscribed to social networks. That makes it a very small figure to have impact contributing towards a campaign to stop Kony.
That fundraising stunt by Invisible Children right there is what I would refer to as advanced begging, but unfortunately it has been done in a way that tarnishes the image of Uganda and Ugandans. Over the decades we have struggled to build a name, a reputation, and a voice that truly depicts how Uganda is truly the pearl of Africa and it could be worth a visit.
Here comes a purportedly concerned American to spoil everything we built with just a video. Let me tell you something, there is one thing that we Ugandans all have and you can never take away from us and that's the PRIDE OF WHO WE ARE. Teddy Ruge, Mathias Kiwanuka, Shaka Ssali, Lukiah Mulumba are some of the many Ugandans in the diaspora that have come out clearly to show their pride of being Ugandan and why must it not go well with you.
Americans have been known for trying to dominate presence through indirect means of publicizing themselves and at this I must say they are on top of their game. But unfortunately the means they're using are so de-meaning to the Visible Child of Uganda and Africa as a whole.
How about sitting on CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, CBC, CBN, CBS and FOX Television Channels and tell the world that you have sent troops to Uganda to hunt down Kony. The Kony that no longer resides in Uganda.
Below are some of the extracts from fellow Bloggers who have written about and some against the KONY 2012 film/video.
..I am a story teller and i know the danger of a single story . It is something many people can easily ignore especially if we are outsiders to the story...
Click here to Read Full Blog Post
Maureen Agena (Citizen Journalist from Uganda)
... I am a visible child from Northern Uganda. Who are the “Invisible Children”?
Having grown up in Northern Uganda, Lango sub region to be more specific and studied at St. Mary’s College Aboke, a school from which Joseph Kony’s rebels abducted 139 girls in ordinary level, the name Kony is not new to me. .....
Click here to read the full Blog Post
Javie Ssozi ( A freelance digital media consultant)
....The approach this campaign takes is aimed at deriving support from the United States and other western countries to intervene. It’s about time that the whole world realised that Africa appreciates the support (foreign aid and donations) but we – Africans want to be more involved in solving our own problems.....
Click here to read Full Blog post
Teddy Ruge (A global social entrepreneur and Technology Enthusiast.)
...It is a slap in the face to so many of us who want to rise from the ashes of our tumultuous past and the noose of benevolent, paternalistic, aid-driven development memes. We, Africans, are sandwiched between our historically factual imperfections and well-intentioned, road-to-hell-building-do-gooders. It is a suffocating state of existence. To be properly heard, we must ride the coattails of self-righteous idiocy train. Even then, we have to fight for our voices to be respected.....
Click here to read Full Blog Post
'Til next time