Skip to main content

How News Barely Tells You The Story

Sidenote: Today, when alighting from the bus, a mother took a polythene bag from her small girl and threw it out of the bus. The area was already littered with other polythene papers. Polythene papers litter lots of places in the country, not because the authorities don't clean up, but because we are irresponsible enough not to care where we dispose off our garbage. Please help stop Kenya from being a larger open open air dustbin than it already is. 

According to news, some mechanics were arrested for resisting eviction for
occupying land they did not own. Not in the news, the man was defending
his sole source of livelihood, otherwise he won't even afford the clothes he
has on. (Image: Capital FM Facebook Page
News is a saddening affair, mostly about who got killed in a very gruesome way, or who died with a few others in a sudden, unexpected way. It's the sole reason terrorists exist - murders and accidents kill more people every day, month and year than terrorists can ever dream of, but we got used to them. However, probably in Iraq, terrorist attacks will pass if the unlucky chap only killed one or two people. Heck, even in Kenya, it's barely news when a few people in some low income area are blown out of existence by suspects who will never be known.

A politician making an absurd remark is usually the next top news item, even when the remark will only impact the politician alone.

Third and last main item is usually a human interest story, say, some poor being somewhere with a horrid disease. Or say, some non-gruesome story about, say, two adulterous humans who got caught having sex, or a cat that got stuck in some jerry can.

The above issues are what increases the ratings of news items, don't blame reporters who are basically trying to maximise income. Media houses are profit making entities, even the BBC, and they cover what you like love.

At times though, news really does not portray the depth of what the news item covers.

Take the story of mechanics who were being evicted from a piece of land in Grogan. Apparently, it belonged to a house of worship. After all, houses of worship, be it churches or mosques, have a profit and loss statement to balance. I wonder what will happens to the mechanics' prayers.

Several of the mechanics were arrested and it is suspected that there may have been loss of a life or two (who's counting?) in the ensuing riots.

In news, its about eviction and riots, which is true. The story though, is that 800 mechanics are losing their source of livelihoods. Without the disputed piece of land, rent will not be paid, a young girl and boy somewhere will be unable to foot their school fee and a family will stay hungry. Woe unto them if any of them fall sick, hospitals have never been reported to be cheap.

Think about it, if you were a kid, and your parents are no longer in a position to make money.

The story here, is  800 people who feel their livelihood has been threatened and the mosque, which feels that it needs to recover the KSh. 2 billion it paid for the land. It was later reported that the two parties agreed to settle, with the mechanics agreeing to pay for the land. Where they'll get KSh. 2 billion, I don't know.

Then there's the other story of a kid, no, a 21 year old, who fell several floors to his death. He pressed the "down" button. The "lift" got to the second floor, and the doors opened. He stepped into the lift, with the beautiful lady who had accompanied him to the club. It's a good thing that chivalry is dead, which made this a "men first" rather than a "ladies first" affair. There was no lift, and he was the first to tumble down, and hit the bottom of the shaft, where pieces of meta stood waiting. At least the lady, who fell after him, lived to tell the story.  The news clip came to an end here.

Of course the family was saddened by the death. The reporter did not tell you that they had lost 21 years of companionship. They had washed his nappies, full of shit. Then, Pampers was probably undergoing research at a Proctor and Gamble lab. He had kept them awake, wailing incessantly into the  night. He had gone to school, coming home with dirty laundry, which had to be cleaned. They had toiled to pay his school fee. He had gotten sick at some point, and it had them worried sick. They had struggled through to pay the doctor.

Now he is dead. Just as he was growing into an adult, just as he started walking around with beautiful ladies, he is gone. What could he have been? We never know.

Back to the building that has a broken lift, they do know the lift is broken. But just like the owners, they haven't bothered to at least have a tape blocking out the treacherous path to the lift. Just like the many sewer covers that were sold for scrap metal, they seat back and wait for the government to "do something".

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Beers in Kenya: A sober opinion

I have had a short beer swigging stint in my life. It has however been long enough for me to share my opinions of Kenyan beer. Interestingly, over the course of sharing such opinions with other drunkards connoisseurs,  I have found that we all have different views as to what beer is the best, which one makes you too drunk, or which one gives a free,  extra hangover for every hangover you get from it.
For starters, like everyone else, I discovered that beer isn’t as sweet as it looks like in those adverts that show golden barley swaying in breezes,  happy men smiling and toasting chilled, foaming glasses of beer as a deep voice does some narration in the background.
Beer is bitter! Now, it turns out beer is intentionally made bitter. See,  beer shares the same ingredients as bread. The major difference is that bread isn't fermented. Bread is sweet, so why isn't beer sweet?

Why Kenyans love Kigali (Part 2)

See part 1 of why Kenyans Love Kigali, which this articl is a continuation.

In my previous post on why Kenyans love Kigali, or Rwanda for that matter, I had mentioned on the security of the city. The post however widely dealt with the feel and appearance of the city, and a little bit of the country.

Both of my visits to Kigali have been through the airport, though you may opt for a more adventurous journey by road. Getting to Kigali then required a Kenyan passport, but no visa. Now, all you need to go through both Uganda and Rwandan borders are a National Identity Card.

For travel by air, Rwandair is a cheaper option for Kenyans as compared to our national flag carrier, Kenya Airways. Ironically, most other Africans get to Kigali via Kenya Airways, thought most Kenyans will opt for the cheaper Rwandair. The flights are comfortable and the service on board the 1 hour 15 minutes flight is great.

Depending on the weather, your landing can be quite full of turbulence in Kigali. The airpor…

Why we loved Mixcrate and Where to next?

There are two types of music listeners: those who listen by artist or by album, and those who listen by top hits. The second lot of us do not care much about what other music made it to an album besides the top 2 hits.

Mixcrate served the second lot of us very well. You could search for a song title or an artist, and you would have dozens of DJ mixes to choose from which contained more than the one hit you searched for.

Listening to music on Mixcrate also meant that once you settled into a mix, you had uninterrupted music for the next one hour.

A Kenyan's view on visiting Stockholm, Sweden

My directing editor at CIO East Africa, Harry Hare, seems unconvinced with my criteria for judging how much a country is developed. It is based on your view of the cities at night from the air. The more the yellow of street lights and other lighting, and the easier you can map the city at night from lighting, the more developed it is. That certainly holds true for Stockholm, and much of Sweden's neighbour as I could see (Poland).

Well, I have a new development index. Food. Yes, a country with more variety in what they place in the plate in front of you, and more variety in what it tastes. There's lots to pick from the menu on Sweden, starting from a variety of seafood from their neighbouring sea, to mouth watering Italian Lasagne, to choice steaks and sausages, to their herbivore salads, which the Swedes seem to more than love.

They don't come cheap though. In the old town (Gamla Stan), we ventured into a home restaurant. We did order the mouth watering Lasagne above, and …

Why can't Kenyan banks voluntary lower their lending rates?

In one of those episodes where history is doomed to repeat itself, September 2016 saw Kenya implement interest rate caps, which had been done away with in 1991.

Many Kenyans rejoiced, mistakenly thinking that it would result in easy and affordable loans. The result, however, was a distorted market. It is safe to claim that most Kenyans have never borrowed from a bank. Cheaper loans weren’t going to see them rushing to borrow from banks.

Capped interest rates also saw banks become more careful with whom they lend to. Many small businesses will naturally fail - business is hard, for those who have attempted their hands at one. It therefore makes no sense for a bank to lend to many of these businesses - you simply won’t get your money back.

The other thing with this country is that it’s very hard to tell who will repay a loan and who will not. Those who have lent to their friends and family can attest to this. There are also fewer ways to make those who have borrowed repay loans. Given b…