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Kenya: #KenyaFeb28: Online Call to Nationalism

Monday 28, February 2011 seems to be significant for Kenya's netizens. For quite some time Kenyans have been discussing on Twitter, Facebook and even email as to whether they should use the twitter hashtag #KenyaFeb28 to marshal protest over political issues or whether the same platform should be utilized to spur a sense of nationalism.

The blog ALkags in describing the call to nationalism stated:

a group of Kenyans, of diverse interests, political affiliations, tribes, religions and economic backgrounds have agreed to come together on February 28th 2011 and take a few minutes at exactly 1pm (East African Time) to sing the three verses of the National Anthem.

On February 28th Kenyans will come together and unite in the prayer that is the Kenya National Anthem, to celebrate their unity as a people, and to remind themselves that together, they can achieve much more. On this occasion, Kenyans come together, not to protest against anything but to stand for unity.

Ushujaa composed a prose entitled “We are Extremely Proud to Be Kenyan”:

We are extremely proud to be Kenyan.

We are proud of our beautiful country
We are proud of our diversity cultures and traditions
We are proud of our heroes
We are proud of our high achievers
We are proud of being hustlers
We are proud of our hoods
We are proud of our tribes and twengs(accent)….

On the 28th February 2011 the world will watch as Kenyans stand UNITED; 1pm, 1 nation, 1 people, 1 anthem, united in 1 prayer for 1 Kenya
We are Kenya!

The prose has been replicated on several blogs e.g StoryMoja.co.ke, MentalAcrobatics, and Emanneul Ed as the championing call for Kenyan nationalism. Even the Kenya National Rugby team endorsed the call and a website with the address http://28feb.co.ke has sprung up to support the initiative.

On YouTube there is a video complete with a choir in support of the call to nationalism KenyaFeb28.

However, Diasporadical scoffs at the campaign arguing that KenyaFeb28 is “A missed opportunity to do more to help this country move forward”:

… I see KenyaFeb28 as a missed opportunity. A missed opportunity to do more to help this country move forward. We will unite and sing the National Anthem for all of eight or ten minutes and then what? In response all the supporters and indeed even the organizers of KenyaFeb28 will tell you is that what happens thereafter is up to you. I find this response unsatisfactory. KenyaFeb28 is an initiative which purports to lead Kenyans by calling them to unite for a single event. Once you generate an idea as powerful as KenyaFeb28, you must be willing to see it through its logical conclusion. There has to be a greater plan or else it will be but a mere memory.
Leadership cannot be a one day affair.

On Twitter under the hashtag #KenyaFeb28 we see further interesting conversations:

AmThe Colonel states:

#kenya28feb is somewhat of an anticlimax.someone needs to tell me #thenwhat

His response is perhaps informed by the fact that the KenyaFeb28 organizers did not have in mind a geo-location perspective as to where those in support or against the initiative would assemble as has been the case of Bahrain Protests at Pearl Monument Manama or Tahrir Square in Egypt.The calls were centered on the Internet exclusively.

Rimui states:

#Reason101 for #kenya28Feb :Read all the government scams + PEV( 2008 Post Election Violence) planners

Discussions about KenyaFeb2 are still ongoing on Twitter and Facebook.

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