Four days ago, a young adventurous 20-something shared what she that would be an inspiration post on her experience in Kenya. Taking to Instagram, the young lady wrote a long caption sharing what she thought were harsh realizations about life in Kenya.
The caption on the controversial post stirred up lots of commentary on social media, that continued on even after the original post was edited. The wordy post led many on Instagram to respond to the common white savior rhetoric popularised by Westerns who come to “give back” or “save Africa.”
A common standpoint that keeps cropping up with unexposed people from the West, is the association of Kenya with slums and underdevelopment. While there is a problem with the widening economic stratification that needs to be addressed, that is not all there is to this country, and many Kenyans are eager to give a better depiction of the land they call home, hence condemning the post which also implied that it is normal for underage girls to get married off to older men, and live in mud houses.
Nonetheless, as Kenyans react to the post, it indicates a pressing need to alter the narrative on Kenya. Apart from the self-serving tone of the post, the image shared also falls in line with many others that are just an opportunity for tourists to show how “generous” or “charitable” they are after a few minutes with a few of the underprivileged children in Kenya. If the reaction from Kenyans on social media is anything to go by, visitors should exercise caution when sharing their posts online, you may think you will get away with being racist because you have a few followers, but as long as it’s public, it will be found.