Moving with the times and in line with the global trends, more and more people in Kenya are adapting the use of new media in their daily lives for personal, social and business use. To put it blankly everyone from governments, NGOâ€™s, companies and individuals from various backgrounds can integrate and use social media in their daily lives to connect, causes, campaigns, agenda or various other uses. With the proliferation of mobile phones in EA as the tool of choice when accessing internet and mostly social media sites that changes then when and how we consume information online and this shall change lifestyles and the business landscape to brands and individuals who know and understand how to leverage on the potential there is on social networks.
We no longer search for news, instead information and content in various formats is being pushed to us by our friends on social media. A group of four students from the University of Nairobi; School of business have conceptualized and spearheaded the formation of social media clubs dubbed â€˜SocialPro Clubsâ€™ in universities across the country. The four students namely; Gitonga Munene, Muthuri Kinyamu, Victor Mutua, Munene Marete and Wangari Munene are working with Social Edge Africa, a social media agency they founded in February based at Nairobi Hub. The core objective of these clubs is to teach, educate, create awareness and impart knowledge & skills of various disciplines of social media and platforms to the university studentsâ€. The initiative seeks to develop a talent pool of graduates with a solid understanding of new media to bridge the knowledge gap and demand there is today for people with skills and expertise in various disciplines of social media especially.
These clubs will bring together different social media enthusiasts, students, speakers, lecturers, entrepreneurs in various fields, bloggers, industry experts, digital agencies and organizations who have immensely contributed to the growth of social media in Kenya and create a platform to help people embrace the new media and promote responsible use of various social media platforms for the good of the society. This initiative is endorsed by the ministry of information and technology and Dr. Bitange Ndemo; the PS at the ministry will be the chief guest among other invited guest speakers at the launch of the social media clubs on the 25th of October at the University of Nairobi, School of Business. In the launch of university chapters these students shall be working with Marketing Students Association and Business Information Students Association, both of University of Nairobi. In the pilot phase they shall combine efforts with the marketing, PR and IT clubs in the proposed universities.
The pilot is proposed to take place in 4 universities around Nairobi in November namely; Kenyatta University, Strathmore University, USIU Africa, Multimedia University before the roll out in January 2013 to other universities & campuses across Kenya. These clubs in a nutshell will unlock the potential on social media to the students, expose them to the limitless possibilities online and help faculty integrate various social media networking sites to teaching to ease content sharing and make learning more fun. The faculty will also learn how to create, optimize and share digital content in various formats with students across various platforms as well as help them embrace new media and thus use it to connect, engage and gain valuable feedback from the students.
Through these clubs the faculty shall establish processes that control the publishing and monitoring of their content online & globally. As we launch the clubs we shall also use the platforms to recruit social media ambassadors for the campaign dubbed â€œI am A SOCIALPROâ€. As we approach the March 2013 elections social media will play a big role, as a communication medium it will be misused by politicians or people with selfish interests and agenda to incite Kenyans, spread propaganda, rumours, create and share content full of hate. The idea is to sensitize Kenyans (through digital and mainstream media) on the legal risks of engaging in such acts online and promote professional engagement, interactions and conversations online to promote peace.
Social media in Africa is growing rapidly and young African university students are now able to boost collaboration between universities byÂ harnessing the power of social media.