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How memes are ‘robbing’ Kenyans of accountability

By Winnie Onyando September 7th, 2023 2 min read

Social media platforms have fundamentally transformed the world bringing people closer. However, despite its positive attributes, many Kenyans have found solace in the realm of memes.

While recreational activities like sports, movies, and social gatherings have traditionally been seen as ways to relax, the majority of Nairobi residents are now seeking refuge in the world of memes.

With a strong penchant for finding humor in almost anything, Kenyans have wholeheartedly embraced the creation, sharing, and enjoyment of memes. This might seem peculiar to some, but for Kenyans, it’s a way to inject humor into serious matters.

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In Kenya, communication has, in many ways, been reduced to memes. When people feel hurt or down, they turn to memes for solace, and when they face financial challenges, they often express it through meme posts on their social media statuses.

It has become increasingly common to gauge and interpret people’s thoughts and emotions based on the memes they share.

During a breakup, many turn to memes to find consolation, as it doesn’t feel like a direct attack on their feelings.

However, this culture of turning everything into comedy has put Kenyans in the spotlight for hate speech and emotionally hurting others.

Even serious political issues have been turned into comedic material, eroding the country’s sense of accountability.

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Many Kenyans spend hours pursuing comedy to alleviate the tension they feel, and social media managers can attest that memes tend to go viral more quickly than serious content.

In Kenya, if you want information to stick in people’s minds, turning it into a meme is a surefire way to achieve that.

Memes like Murife don’t run, Mambo ni Matatu, Mpoa wangu and etc are used lightly to create humour.

While seeking refuge in memes might be seen as a way to escape, it has a downside — it discourages accountability and meaningful engagement with authorities and leaders.

Instead of demanding accountability, Kenyans often respond with laughter. Nevertheless, the level of creativity witnessed in this meme culture is undeniably commendable.

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