Before Eddy Kenzo got stuck in Ivory Coast following the Covid-19 lockdown announcement, he had been trending, thanks to a song he had released. “Tweyagale”, as he aptly named the song, has an introduction line that goes: “nz’eno ensi tenemazamu…” literary telling us that many of the things that consume us are just a bubble.
There is not a singular way to use bubbles in context but it’s basically something that is waiting to bust, regardless of how fun and exciting.
Basically that’s social media, most times. You will see Ugandans paying a lot of attention to what people think about them on social media, what they post and when they post it – they dedicate the most serious part of themselves to an app that became famous for the phrase ‘What’s on your mind?’
I believe from the first time I got my Facebook account, I knew this was not the place to preach civilisation and be politically right, it was the place we had to post things like, “I’ve just had pizza, what about you?”
A few years ago, a death and the court case that followed turned people on social media into intellectuals, lawyers and human rights activists in equal measure; the case involved Mathew Kanyamunyu and his friend Cynthia Munwangari. The two are suspects in the murder of Kenneth Akena.
Akena, a child’s rights activist, died from injuries sustained after being shot. After the incident, many decried ‘impunity’ and called for ‘ justice’.
Do you even remember the things we posted the first time Mathew and Cynthia showed up in court? We criticised them for being smiley and of course, vowed to follow this matter to the end.
But that’s Ugandans for you. We make promises and never print retractions when we fail to keep them. I mean, just the other day we said OTT was going to fail and see us, in a two-year marriage with it.
So, the Akena case wasn’t any different. We dumped it, dumped the activism and moved on to other things that we deemed more important at the time; Rema and her husband’s photos or what Eddy Kenzo was really crying about.
Then on Saturday, we were caught off guard with Kanyamunyu’s visit to Akena’s family for a reconciliation practice.
With the pictures flooding social media, it was hard not to wonder how this case and call for justice had gone off social media and oh, the promise of fighting for the deceased’s justice to the end.
It was yet another realisation that social media is such a fallacy, it is just coding, it projects the voice but that’s all it may do at times, in fact, most of the time.