How I use Social Media to help the less privileged-Ndung’u Nyoro

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My name is Ndung’u Nyoro. I was born in Igure Farm, Maji Mazuri (then within Baringo District, but now in Koibatek District). My parents would later relocate to Molo, Moto Farm and it’s here I would start my elementary schooling.

Ndugu Nyoro

In terms of representation at the civic level, my MCA for Turi Ward is Michael Wangombe.  The Nakuru Senator is James Muigai while the Governor is former AP Commandant Kinuthia Mbugua.

Growing up in Molo was tough because we lived in an area affected by the tribal clashes of the 90’s (1991, and 1997). These clashes would also come back to haunt us in 2007 during post-polls chaos. Our family, just like other families around our area, had to move from the village to Molo town to escape tribal clashes.  We were refugees in our own constituency, in our own country. Families of five would be herded together in one homestead until the turmoil was over. I look back and think about the friends and neighbors we lost through the skirmishes and I thank God that I am alive today.

In spite of growing up stuck against all these odds-odds for survival, we never gave up. My parents insisted on the importance of getting an education no matter the circumstances we had to deal with. Most of the times I would not finish homework and I would get punished by the teachers. Other times I had to do the homework while in camps, and the only source of lighting at night was provided by the moon. It was a real struggle.

These clashes took a toll on our family, and left an indelible imprint in our lives.  It became difficult to practice any type of farming. Cattle theft was the order of the day. This really affected my parents’ income and health. For example, my dad had to resign from his job with the government on medical grounds. He could no longer take in the constant uncertainty about the security of his family. He had to commit to one thing-he chose ensuring his family was safe.

The 2007 post polls chaos was another blow to our family. By this time though, I was working and together with my brother, we managed to relocate our parents to Nyandarua County which had relative quiet and calm. Our aim was to put them in a stress-free environment. They have coped so well in the new environment, doing fruit farming as well as dairy farming-they are ageing gracefully.

Other than the tribal clashes, what I remember about growing up in the 90’s was Maziwa Ya Nyayo. That still stands out for me. I loved the free school milk. President Moi was a genius in his way of doing things. I still crave for that tasty Ultra Heat Treated (UHT) milk.

The 90’s was also synonymous with president Moi gracing the news bulletin! If there was no news item about Moi, people would be alarmed. He was a colossus in Kenya politics and he had a unique way of influencing people through his presence in our everyday life. Our parents and grandparents could not dare criticize him in public out fear of the then dreaded spies. These spies seemed to be everywhere, or Moi had succeeded in planting the fear within us, so much so, that whenever you saw a stranger, the first thing to come to mind was, ‘this must be a spy!’ I cannot forget the Forum for Restoration of Democracy (FORD) political party and how the party threatened Moi’s political dominance. Even though the party would later split into Ford-Kenya and Ford-Asili, I recall leaders of both parties, Jaramogi Odinga (Ford Kenya) and Kenneth Matibe (Ford Asili) playing a big part in shaping our then young multi-party democracy.

In a sense, and in my sincere belief, Moi deserves credit for trying his best rein in on the tribal dragon. It could also be safe, though controversial, to argue that multiparty has messed this lovely country because of the part it has played in creating tribal leaders and balkanizing our country along tribal folds. To this end, we never get leaders we hunger and yearn for; all we get are tribal lords who make this country bleed without caring to put a bandage on the wounds of tribalism.

Fast forward to the era of social media! I believe this platform has presented a good opportunity for people to interact and network for a good cause. Social media is the new meeting spot for all and sundry. I have been using social media for quite some time. I have been blessed with a network of friends who are keen on being there for each other.  We use social media to identify needy cases in different parts of our country and we rally together in the spirit of ‘harambee’ to solicit assistance to the causes we have at hand. Our campaigns have been running consistently since early this year, on a monthly basis, and in some extremely needy or emergency situations, twice in a month.

Social media comes with its challenges, as any other medium of communication would. For example, social media connects you to another friend via an interface meaning you interact with people you have never met in person and as such you cannot tell who a person really beyond what they write and post. So when someone comes up with an issue that requires financial support, I have to do thorough background check using various institutions to ensure it is a not a fake cause. This may run for months and if the issue is medical related, the solution may end up being time barred.

Since most of my campaigns involve seeking funds from my networks on social media, and most of them don’t know me personally, I have to work extra hard to convince them and win their trust and assure them that their contributions are going towards a legitimate cause.

I have also realized social media users are choked with so much negative hate information be it politics or tribalism. I am trying to establish a social media family that cuts across tribe, race or gender. Ours will be purely on philanthropy.

In terms of the state of our country, I am impressed with the Jubilee Government and how it has elevated several youthful leaders to key organs of government. Some of them have been very impressive in their work while others are on a learning curve.  But it’s obviously disappointing when you find some of them are deeply embedded in corruption networks. They seem to be on a roll; they are not patient enough to go up the ladder and want to make the quick money ‘now.’

In order to safely secure the future of the youth, we need to establish mentorship programs that will also instill and safeguard the positive values we have as a country. The government must also consider giving more opportunities in key positions to the youth to boost confidence that the tomorrow the youth are promised, has a today.

The youths must also graduate from handout culture. Stretching our begging bowls from one office to another may not help. Let’s prove to our employers that we are fit for the jobs by acquiring necessary skills but more importantly delivering in our assignments. That way, our future as a country will be safe in the hands of our youths.

I religiously follow a number of people on social media. I never miss the President and his Deputy’s updates. They inform me on that the two are doing for our country. Kameme FM’s Njogu Njoroge regularly updates on charity work and I derive a lot of inspiration from him.

From Sandra Njoki, Joe Maina, and Isaac Kamau’s social media, I can get a different scoop on politics-something that may not be available in mainstream media. I learn a lot from their bold but informative updates.

I like reading what Dennis Itumbi, Edith Fortunate (my mentor), and Captain Collins Wanderi have to say because they have a deep undersyanding on how the government works.

I follow Mike Sonko’s updates because I feel he has turned out to be an enigma in Nairobi politics

Currently, I am actively engaged in Import & Distribution of Pharmaceuticals with experience of about 13 years. My future plan to do charity work full time. I am trusting God for guidance in this immense task. With good friends like I currently have, plus a helping hand from Corporate Institutions, together we can help the unfortunate in society who need a hand.