THE DEEP DIVE 21ST EDITION
For the love of money and power
Welcome back! We're glad you are here for this, the 21st edition of our newsletter. This week, we continue in our focus on money. Our continuing series, #THAO, has explored some of Kenya's history with money, and it hasn't always been pretty. In the series, we left off with Kenya facing the toughest economic period in its history after the infamous Goldenberg scandal. Looking forward to days ahead, Kenya may be in for similar times, with the country's debt obligations rising to over 700billion shillings in the 2023/2024 financial year. Stalking Kenya's potential to meet all its obligations is a kleptocracy that seems to have become even stronger than the pre-1992 electoral period that gave way to the Goldenberg scandal. Kleptocracy on Kenya was the focus of our last twitter space co-hosted with our friends over at financial research firm, Mwango capital (our most popular one yet with over 11000 of you tuning in). This week's twitter space looks at the other side of the coin. The title of the space is "The Kenya we want -a fresh perspective". We hope you can tune in.
One more thing...
While on the subject of twitter spaces, the African institute for investigative journalism based in Kampala, Uganda, hosted a twitter space focusing on torture. This came in the wake of news of the detention and torture of now exiled novelist, Kakwenza Rukirabashaija. It was a sobering session, but one that reassured this writer that voices of reason on Uganda are far from silenced. Our kudos goes to Solomon Sserwanja and the team at AIIJ for a hosting nsuch a powerful discussion.
As always, dive in!
THAO: THE FAKE MONEY EPISODE
Episode 3 of #THAO takes you into the world of counterfeiting. it is a world where the currency may be fake, but its impact is real.
This episode explains how fake currency has been used over the course of history. Thao tells us about the danger that lurks when "bizness legit" becomes all too common in Kenya's economy. Watch the episode here.
THE KENYA WE WANT
A discussion about Kenya's future
Ever looked at the state of affairs in Kenya and asked yourself "if I could change things, what would I do?" We're asking ourselves the same, and thought, well why not talk about it! So this Thursday, we are co-hosts of the discussion titled "The Kenya we want- a fresh perspective". Speakers this Thursday include Kenyan researcher Nanjira Sambuli, acclaimed author and political analyst Nanjala Nyabola and politician Farah Maalim. Set your reminder here!
Mwango Capital and Africa Uncensored have come together to host a number of discussions about money, leadership and governance in the country. The discussions, inspired by learnings from the Africa Uncensored series "THAO", aim to root our audiences understanding of the country both in its current realities, and the potential pitfalls and opportunities it faces.
TRAINING JOURNALISM'S NEXT GENERATION
For the past two weeks, the Africa Uncensored has been conducting physical training in both Mombasa and Lamu counties. These trainings looked to impart young journalists with skills in investigative journalism, an understanding of the laws that govern journalism in Kenya, skills in Fact-Checking and mobile journalism.
With close to 50 participants from both the Mombasa and Lamu american spaces, they will be expected to produce stories which will be featured in Africa Uncesored's platforms. This doesn't end here though, with two already existing communities of Fact-Checkers from both counties, the trainees can now counter mis-information, ahead of the general elections.
Africa Uncensored's CEO, John-Allan Namu mentoring young journalists on investigative journalism.
Africa Uncensored's Project Manager, Khamadi Shitemi, training journalists on Media Law and Ethics.
Africa Uncensored's Fact Checker, Nyakerario Omari mentoring young journalists on Fact-Checking.
A picture of young journalists in Lamu American Space.
HOW SOLAR-POWERED BOREHOLE IS TRANSFORMING LIVES IN BARINGO COUNTY
Africa Uncensored's Reporter, Cynthia Gichiri visited a remote village called Lelen in Baringo county. She writes about how a solar-powered borehole has shielded the village from the drought that is ravaging Baringo county. For the first time in decades, the villagers have not witnessed a single death of their livestock as they can access water at anytime of the day,thanks to their water ATM. This story was supported by the Women In News Social Impact Reporting Initiative (WIN-SIRI). Cynthia was a WIN fellow in 2018. Read the article here!
ENGAGEMENT BAIT SCAMS
Everyone has at least once shared a WhatsApp message that read; "share this to 10 people if you want your mum to live long". Or Facebook posts that say "Like if you're a Sagittarius'. In the current political atmosphere, such would come in form of tweets like this one, which says retweet for President Uhuru and like for Ruto.
They are a scam!
How they work: Engagement Bait Scams would have users interacting with a social media post by liking, sharing or commenting. Like every good thing that can be used for evil, engagement bait tactics have been used to promote and market legitimate businesses. A joke is often made about Instagram giveaways. How they make you go above and beyond before you stand a chance of winning. In the true fashion of social media promotions, you would have to like, share and comment. At times you'd painfully have to go the extra mile to tag a number of friends.
According to a statement from Facebook, engagement baits seek to take advantage of the platform's News Feed algorithm by boosting users' interaction. Engagement baits are tailored to artificially gain reach on users' News Feed. This is what informs the kind of content that automatically appears on your timeline.
Piga Firimbi recently came across scams that employ this tactic with the aim of circulating fake jobs as much as possible, all while phishing for personally identifiable information. They include claims that IEBC is gifting voters fact-checked here, fake jobs in Canada here and a fake National Youth empowerment Fund here.
YOUR FEEDBACK: THE “THAO” SERIES
Jay Okal: There is a difference between talking and expressing ones self, here with the sheng you can tell that it's a Kenyan expressing himself. Quality production ones again from John and team.
Andrew Kurgat: This was a very insightful documentary. Everybody should understand how money works as much as we all seek it on a daily basis. Plus I like how simple the explanation was tailored for most Kenyans (especially the youth) to understand without too much use of the heavy weight economical terms we have become accustomed to when talking about money. Knowledge of money is fundamental for growth, fostering accountability, improved mechanisms of tacking poverty and better financial participation for each and every individual on the local, national and international stage. Kudos Africa Uncensored for this much needed information to the public.
Dennis Muchaba: Amazing narration and production 🙌👏 Kudos guys! This is why we need blockchain tech and cryptocurrency in order to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor in not only Kenya but also Africa as a whole.
Brenkah Michael: Powerful!!!!! It's a really complicated subject and you have done well in trying to communicate it to the common citizen "kijana wa mtaa" like me.
Allen Mwema: The narration complements the visuals and sound effects harmoniously well 💯
Nathan Ngumi: Nice illumination of the history of money and how Kenya has been affected.
Mark Shark: John and team deserve their flowers while they can smell them. Too bad we don't give him the attention and wide range attention he deserves.
Editorial Director: John-Allan Namu
Assignment Editor: Sam Munia
Social Media Manager: Cecilia Ashioya
Contributors: Linda Ngari, Clement Kumalija, Cynthia Gichiri and Nyakerario Omari
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