The Kenyan middle class is highly educated, possessing at least a college diploma, and is
knowledgeable about the latest trends in the world.
You would expect that with all these advantages, the middle class would be leading the way in putting the
politicians to task, and helping craft the agenda for the country.
However, this is not the case.
A casual tune in to any of the morning Kiswahili FM
stations shows that generally, it is the poor that are engaged in discussing the country’s major issues in Radio Talk Shows.
The debates are usually captivating.
The audience seems to know what the government is not doing
right, and how this can be fixed.
Quite frankly, I have often been puzzled and equally enchanted by the level of discussions in these stations.
Despite many of the callers eking out a minimum wage, they seem to be the most engaged in civil
It doesn’t matter which side of the political divide they are on, but you can sense the sincerity and genuineness of their contributions.
Of course, these discussions are not serious all the time, sometimes; these discussions are laced with
some gossip here and there, since I guess gossip is a basic human ingredient.
However, callers to English FM stations seem to revile in salacious gossip, which I guess everyone
dabbles in once in a while, but in such stations, gossip seems to be the stock in trade, the one that
boosts the popularity ratings.
In the last elections, anyone that relied on the middle class to come out and vote failed miserably. In a way then, Kenya’s politics, and its policies, are shaped by the rich elite, who provide the finance and campaign money, while the grassroots- mostly poor voters, act
as the foot soldiers.
Any politician relying on the middle class vote is surely sowing the seeds of early ulcers.
But then again, who has the time to think about politics when the race to the top of the corporate ladder, servicing car loans and mortgages, and studying for evening classes takes up all the time, energy, and resources?
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