Laughing at the struggling populace

Watching the news over the past year or so has been a generally unpleasant affair with al the antics that politicians and hangers on are up to. Be it murder, infidelity, grand corruption and a slew of depressing stories emanating from hospitals and police cells, there is little to be happy about.

Of all these “breaking news stories” the worst involve supposedly humorous news bits featuring suffering citizens that are painted as ignorant beyond help. Case in point is one Jane Anyango a mother of 6 that lives on the expansive Kano plains to the west of Kenya.

Jane has had her house flooded with such regularity every year that as soon as River Nyando bursts its banks Citizen TV immediately seek her out to hear how many chickens she has lost this time and whether she can trace her children.

Her footage asking for the government’s help has become the fodder for humor segments  for the better part of the year. Former President Kibaki regularly dismissed poor people asking for help throwing the request back at them asking them what they would help the govenment with.

Coming from the highest office in the land, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that small business owners are treated like a crap heap outside state house. Just avoid it and try push it further down the road for the next government to deal with. Lets not even get started on IDPs who are still in tattered tents while the presidential motorcade could buy more land than is needed.

The despise is evident especially considering government policies and actions that have never been pro-poor. No notable subsidies with former Minister Njeru Githae suggesting that starving guys can easily eat rats. He did not say whether he and his family would be joining the rat fest though.

Its rather baffling where this attitude came from what with our super hyped ubuntu philosophy and what not. Some of it is still intact but I suppose we took to capitalism too hard too fast.  The new tax law recently passed also decided VAT is back on just about everything.

I don’t like it because nobody likes taxes but I don’t necessarily oppose it. My problem is with how my taxes are spent. Ideally the populace should have significant input into deciding how taxes are spent aside from participation of parliament which seems to have degenerated to an insipid club of crass talking overpaid goons and goonettes.

The gap that is going to be increased by this new law between the rich and the poor is only going to be made worse.

We need more cheerful news.


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Best Kenyan Ads of all time

Advertising has got to be the best story giving medium there is what with the constrained time that they are allocated and the commercial motives behind their production.

A good advertisement does wonders for a product and leaves such a lasting impression whos value far surpasses the initial investment that went into making it.

If you manage to cram a story, humor and a message into an ad without making it look rushed then you have your lasting impression right there.

Here is a collection of Kenyan focused ads that did it for me in terms of creativity,  originality, humor and product placement.

Trust condoms have always been marketed by the most creative ads in the kenyan space as far as I can tell. The ads below are many years old but their creativity and originality have not been surpassed to date.

Jamii telekom (A local telecoms company) have been pushing their FTTH product pretty hard over the last couple of months promising glorious speeds to their users. These ads that have been running on mainstream TV have really helped the brand along and Faiba is now slang for awesome (atleast around my circles)

This is the Iconic ad by Safaricom that sought to rally the patriotism of kenyans and associate it with their brand. Worked perfectly. There are some awesome shots of rarely before seen sceney that puts the boring campaigns by Magical Kenya to shame

This is a series of ads by Kencell the predecessor of Celtel,Zain and now Airtel. This was at the height of their media battles with Safaricom when they were the only two mobile phone companies in the country.

This is part of a media campaign of the Duracoat house paint brand hyping their product. Pretty funny and communicated well.

Yu Kenya taga mayai

Yu Kenya call rate guy

Fresh Freddy was a media campaign by Close- Up to sell toothpaste. It was funny and very entertaining.

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