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February 19, 2019

Social media ablaze over fire at jkia

On Wednesday morning we woke up to the news that Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) was on fire. Let’s just face it, Kenyans tend to turn to social media for news before switching on the radio or TV these days. So when the news spread like wildfire (sorry, it had to be done) everyone who had access to a social media account, and especially Twitter, logged on for news and then started their own, mostly critical, analysis of the whole scenario.

The pictures that started coming in had me stunned. The arrivals side was completely up in flames and the thick black smoke billowed in the cold Nairobi morning could be seen for miles around. Traffic was at a complete standstill around the area, understandably, and a lot of people made positive efforts to be involved in sorting this out.

Then came the opinionated people on social media. Suddenly it was a big deal that the president decided to go to JKIA to assess the situation and try and sort things out. Like everyone else, I had an opinion and I shared it on Twitter saying that I actually approved of him going over to the airport to see what he could do. Had he not gone, he’d still have been bashed up for that so I’m just glad he went nevertheless.

Slowly but surely with the messages aimed at me, I realised that people have a lot of hatred for just about everything. They can sit on Twitter all day and give opinions but no one wants to get up and work on these ideas or even get the ball rolling to enable their ideas. The bitterness starts to well up and then there’s this explosion of vile hatred being spewed with language that makes me want to stick a teaspoon of hot chillies in the mouth of the person swearing like that.

Uhuru Kenyatta is the president of this country. Yes I know I’m stating the obvious but sometimes even this simple statement seems to slip the mind of many. I strongly felt he upheld his duty by going to the scene. Had it been a bomb blast or any other huge national disaster, the expectation of him being there will always be high. Our main international airport was almost razed to the ground – isn’t that a national disaster? Yes we have other airports but this is the hub of it all.

I’m not ashamed of saying that I strongly support our president making this a matter of urgency and going to the airport to assess damage. Just like you, I have the freedom of speech, the right to say what I want. I also have an opinion and I don’t want to abused for it just because you have made it your life’s mission to troll and abuse people on social media. I respect your stand on not agreeing with the president going to the airport and I’d strongly suggest you exercise the same tolerance to me and to others with differing opinions. This builds a better society, I feel.

There. I got it off my chest. Weekly rant and tribulation over and done with.


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