Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The World of Information Flow from My Own Spectacles!

Last month (August 2012), I had an opportunity to travel to Kampala- Uganda on our scheduled mentorship program organized by my employer (Nairobits Trust). During the mission, I had the opportunity to ‘criss-cross’ the streets of Kampala mostly in the day time because I’m not a night person. At night, I generally prefer to relax either by watching television, reading a book or doing something on my computer. This might sound boring to you, but I love what I do! I want to acknowledge the team of Kampabits staff and students who are dedicated to working tirelessly to seeing the Bits (www.nairobits.com) philosophy expand its roots to the deepest part of Uganda. Usually, when I meet and work with passionate people anywhere in this planet, I get inspired by the environment, people, daily routines, transport system just to mention but a few. The outcome of my learning expeditions either results in personal traits, creative projects or even deeper appreciation among others.

The bottom line is that I get to learn something new which is part of self discovery that never ends. Like the Chinese saying “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step” I am embracing exactly that to infinity. On the contrary, when I was on a mission in Kampala, I was surprised to see what content (content is King or Queen as asserted by many authors!) is exposed to the public especially the children without mentioning any newspapers or publication. I was shocked to see especially one type of newspaper that is accessible to all and to me I could term it ‘adult content’. I might be wrong in my understanding and interpretations, though it is amazing to see and learn from diverse cultures and to realize what the young minds are exposed to without their knowledge on what the consequences of this might be.

During one outing in Nairobi with my friend Mr. Mbarak from Zanzibits, we had a chat in a joking manner explaining that we have been sold almost everything in this world as consumers; and  I don’t know what is left which has not been sold to us on the streets... Just a few weeks ago, somebody was claiming that if you drink your own urine you get some therapeutic medication.

I’m not a scientist neither I’m I a doctor to ascertain the claim, but to me the ordinary ‘mwananchi’ (citizen) I’m puzzled by the events that surrounds us.

If the type of information or content spread across isn’t a concern to stress my point, on the weekend before the opening of schools for third term, I decided to attend this event which was supposed to be a family fun day .I like the zeal which they created the awareness in all media platforms without leaving an inch of information which indeed pulled a big crowd thus this was really encouraging and strategic.
Before the event kicked off, I captured some interesting points that are worth learning from;
  • If you create big expectations you have to match them even if it’s a free or a paid event.
  • Keeping time is still a taboo; this was quite evident by the event starting late.
  • Test you systems prior to the big day and get quality equipments. Remember that cheap is always expensive. During the event the systems did fail and I can’t confirm the reasons…
What left me wondering is where our nation is heading to especially in nurturing the next generation of responsible youths. During the event, I was awed from the way the master of ceremony spoke to the children when they failed to be the best during the dance competitions. Even though it sounded funny to the parents, I wonder if it was the same for the children trying to fit in their shoes. Secondly, the type of music played and the outfits of some artists’ to me wasn’t fit for the audience present; bearing in mind that most of them were children. Or it is me who is growing old? Please help me here...

The children in the event were accompanied by their brothers, fathers, sisters, mother s etc. These are people who are very dear and close to and the artists ought to check their language and gestures when they are addressing this group. Additionally; the Dj’s ought to choose an appropriate mix of songs since there is a pool of playlist/genre for different audiences.

Let us not use creativity in the wrong perspective at the expense of holding to good practices or traditions like dressing and the style of dancing, especially when your audiences are young minds. Let us not intoxicate their minds by thinking in a certain direction.

It is high time for parents to follow what their children are exposed to; either music, games, film, television programs, fun days etc. It is a shame when the event organizers somehow don’t put a keen consideration on their target audience and the impact they want to create.

Life isn’t about selling products only without contributing to the well being of the consumer even if it is information oriented. It is my plea to event organizers to re- think and give an in depth awareness campaign when organizing events. For example, by having appropriate playlists or even live performances that match the expected audience.

Are you familiar with this term GIGO! It’s mostly used in computer programming meaning Garbage In Garbage Out! So don’t be caught unawares!