Political blogging is fun but is also risky. If you want to try your hand at political blogging in Kenya, you must develop a thick skin. You may also find yourself at loggerhead with the law, especially if you report defaming or untrue stories about a politician. Political Bloggers are really influential people and help millions to make decisions politically. Nevertheless, if you are passionate about political blogging and can report objectively.
What Do Political Bloggers Do?
Political Bloggers don’t do ordinary blogging. Just as the name suggests, they focus on politics. The report/posts can also include analytical posts on politicians, politics, and elections. Generally, their posts can be classified under six main categories, including:
- Election overview
- Analytical articles on politicians and politics
- Political news
- Articles criticizing politicians and political policies
- Political recommendations
- Promoting a course of justice
How Do Political Bloggers In Kenya Get Their Information?
Political bloggers have several sources of information. Some of these sources include:
Political bloggers are consistent readers of newspapers. There are many publications in Kenya, including Daily Nation, The Standard, The Star, The EastAfrican, Business Daily Africa, Taifa Leo, Kenya Times, The Sub-Saharan Informer, People’s Daily, and Daily Monitor.
Some of these papers are published daily, and they hit the streets as early as 4.00 am. Many Kenyan bloggers read these papers, pick political stories, do a little research, re-write the stories, then publish them on their blogs.
Social Media Platforms and Applications
Kenyans love social media. This can be attributed to the fact that there’s high internet penetration in the country. In fact, Kenya is ranked 4th in Africa in terms of internet penetration.
By January 2020, there were 22.86 million internet users in the country. Of these, 8.8 million were active social media users. Social media is where many bloggers get raw information that hasn’t been published elsewhere. All they need to do is to verify the information, then post it in their blogs.
Just like newspapers, television is a great source of information for political bloggers. The leading television channels in Kenya include Citizen TV, KTN, NTV, KBC, K24, etc. Kenyan bloggers are very keen on following television news, particularly the breaking news.
The radio falls in the same category as newspapers and television. There are many radio stations in Kenya that these political bloggers use as their sources of information.
Other Political Blogs
Kenyan political bloggers also follow other political blogs. That’s why you may find one story appearing in many political blogs but with different wordings.
Other sources of information for political bloggers include:
- Political party representatives
- Family and friends
- Reliable Informants
Top 5 Political Bloggers In Kenya
The top political bloggers in Kenya include:
Robert Alai, HSC
Robert Alai Onyango is a cyber-activist and a political blogger. Alai isn’t new to controversies. From having his social media accounts suspended to arrests, Alai has seen it all.
Alai was born in Nyanza in 1979. He attended Onjiko and Boya primary schools and later joined Onjiko High School and later Lela Secondary School. After high school, he pursued a diploma in Information Management from the Kenya School of Monetary Studies. He also took an Information Technology course from Kenyatta University.
He currently runs the Kahawatungu blog where he posts political content. He has faced several challenges in his career, notably when he was arrested for sharing the president’s contacts and the pictures of KDF officers who were murdered in the North Eastern.
Edgar Obare is a top Kenyan gossip blogger and videographer. He has crossed the line of many public figures for revealing their controversial love stories. One interesting thing about Edgar is that he accompanies his allegations with video or audio evidence. Edgar is loved and hated in equal measure.
His YouTube channel, Bandana News Network (BNN), is dedicated to celebrity and societal issues. Edgar is remembered for the story he did about Governor Joho and the gorgeous Natalie Tawe, a story that landed him behind bars. He’s also the blogger behind an expose on Jalang’o (Felix Odiwuor) and his “Boys Club.”
Political blogging and Cyprian Nyakundi are synonymous. Nyakundi seems to know political issues even before they reach the mainstream media. He’s a straight-shooter, is fearless, and will expose the rot in the political and corporate world without looking over his shoulders.
He has been sued/arrested more times than all Kenyan bloggers combined. He’s an alumni of St. Mary’s School Yala and Meru University of Science and Technology. Nyakundi was born in 1991, the same year as Edgar Obare. He now runs the blog cnyakundi.com which he established in 2013.
Anthony Mburu alias Waime Mburu is another top political blogger in Kenya with hard-hitting political posts. He mainly focuses on Kiambu County politics. Just like all political bloggers in Kenya, Anthony isn’t free from controversies.
In 2016, he was arrested and charged in a Mombasa court for publishing what was considered false information. In his Facebook post, he alleged that William Kabogo, the former Kiambu Governor, was involved in the importation of substandard eggs.
The case also involved Charlotte Wangui, the Kwale’s head of Sea Cross Farm. Anthony was remanded at Shimo La Tewa where he stayed for three days before his bond ruling.
Whenever the name of Yassin Juma is mentioned, what probably comes to your mind is the fact that he’s the Kenyan journalist who was arrested in Ethiopia following his story about injustices in that country. The late Ken Walibora helped Yassin Juma to get an interview with the Nation Media Group. The interview was successful, and that’s how he started working in the media industry.
Yassin is a respected journalist whose works have won him many awards. He has been covering countries including Djibouti, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia.
As you can see, political bloggers in Kenya face lots of challenges. Being a political blogger needs courage. For more about blogging read our article on how bloggers make money in Kenya.