On 11th and 12th of April, 2018, twitter was flooded with people expressing their disgust over how teenagers take and post on social media. Tweeting under the hashtag #ifikiewazazi, Kenyans condemned while some were shocked at the rot that is with these millennials. A quick look at Kenyan instagram accounts will show you exactly what I mean by rot. Not only are the photos exposing way too much skin, these wacky individuals take extremely smutty poses that can potentially give the Pope a heart failure. While we should indeed condemn and cane our young generation, I also feel like there are some factors that have contributed to such intolerable behaviour and that that we should not entirely blame the kids;
1. If we are to be honest with ourselves, we have almost entirely lost our social responsibility culture. We have lost communal responsibility to raise our children in the most upright way possible. According to my grannies, back in the day, if you were on your way to wherever and met a kid misbehaving, you would take it upon yourself to correct them even if you were not necessarily their parent. You would take the obligation to correct them and/or report them to their parents who would then serve punishment accordingly. Today, no one cares about anyone. Everyone has become too occupied with their stuff that they have stopped looking out for each other. They call it ‘the subtle art of minding your own business and not giving a fuck.’ This has a direct impact on the morality of the society and good thing is, everyone will feel the effects. When no one is there to guide these kids in this digital age where information of all sorts spreads like wildfire, then it is silly of us to condemn them.
2. Parenting methods have also changed over the last couple of years. Parents of today’s generation have allowed themselves to be blinded by the love they have for their kids. I am not saying it is bad to love your child too much, I am saying do not let that love blind you. Compare a parent who would get called into the principal’s office in the 20th century and one in the 21st century. The 20th century parent would listen to the school, and their child, and the kid would get it at home. The 21st century mommy and daddy will go to the school guns blazing and ready to fight the administration. Today’s parents are scared of hurting their children’s feelings, and this is where the problem lies. Your child cries for a photoshoot and without hesitation you give into their demands lest they become sulky and think that you ‘hate’ them. We should ask our grandparents to remind us how they brought us up.
3. Another problem that I associate with our kids’ atrocious conduct is celebrities and fame. You have noticed how far people are willing to go for their names to be headline mentions on social media? This digital age came accompanied by many weird cravings. At the moment, everyone wants to become a singer, dj, MC and recently, teenagers have created a career called ‘social media influencer’. The issue, is, not everyone fit in the entertainment industry. Study Kenya’s entertainment industry and it’s players in 2018 and you will be astonished. Many modern day artists lack content. They are out to make their names big with nothing to offer in the industry. Here I am talking about the likes of Timmy Tdat, Jimmy Gait, Size 8, Willy Paul and many others who force themselves in a field they are not meant for. If you watch their videos, eg, Timmy, you will not be surprised that your daughters want to dance like whores. In my opinion, they contribute immensely to moral decadence. Rebuking first such kind of immorality in the entertainment industry will help shape our children in the right way.
4. More than 50% of Kenyan youth use Facebook today. Twitter, instagram and snapchat fall close behind. Social media came and revolutionized how information is passed from one person to another. With features like instant messaging, groups and statuses, it is possible to know what someone is doing at the moment in whatever location on the go with a smartphone. Social media is also accompanied by ‘follow the crowd’ fever. A major symptoms of this fever is when you see something trending (like the photos these kids are taking and posting on instagram) – meaning many people are doing something because other people are doing it. majority if not all our fake artists use social media to spread their shallow content that easily gets taken up by our shallowly brought up children. The result is three-quarter naked photos of girls and boys on empty avenues.
5. Lastly but not least, I feel like modern day photography (especially in Kenya) has lost its scientific and artistic traits. Majority of these young and upcoming ‘photographers’ do not understand what photography really entails, as a craft. One thing they do not understand is that not everyone is a photographer. Getting a couple of girls and posing them up on empty urban streets and posting the photos with stupid captions is not photography and certainly does not make you a photographer. The teachers of photography in Kenya have also lost the strictness that is required to teach photography as a discipline. I shall talk more about photography in my next post.
Addressing these challenges first from their root cause will play a big role in helping to clean the mess that is our society. Imagine children of the next 10 years, if we do not correct this now, what will they look like?