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Part Two: Activism 101

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Have An Online Voice

This simply means spewing your vitriol on social media. You don’t sit and watch comrades in famine-stricken zones getting wasted by malnutrition while politicians salaries. Punch those QWERTYs and get those hashtags trending because that can make a difference.  It’s massively effective. Such channels have been used by successful campaigns to achieve their goals. The Executive Director of Young Democrats of America for the 2012 elections, Emily Sussman, by terrific tweeting, is famed for her significant role in coaxing the Senate to vote in the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ repeal bill. Well, it allowed gay servicemen to feel free in the U.S military. That’s impact.

 

The #LipaKamaTender baby was born in a similar fashion. Road demonstrations, work boycotts, and court battles are celebration events that follow the baby. The medical students followed suit by going to the streets and doing what Kenyan campus students are famed for. The tag enabled (and still does) like-minded patriots to share their concerns whilst encouraging each other. See how this works?

Need we mention that blogs too are the grapevine of the internet? No?

 

Volunteer

It’s does not second nature for me to like doctors. They make me feel sick. They wear ugly white coats. They carry jabs. They look geeky. They must be quite the intimidating lot. But I like my health enough, and I did at that time, to fancy getting dirty painting a few cool placards and lose weight distributing ‘class boycott’ pamphlets. Meanwhile, graffiti and chewing gum make good a day when lecturers are on strike. Ha!

 

Volunteering is in every essence ‘leading by example’. Volunteering as an activist can be in diverse forms. Leading by example obviously, entails giving your time and services for a passionate cause. Need ideas? Simply raise money or create public awareness for the cause.

 

Volunteering is also infectious. Cool down, that doesn’t mean like a venereal but more of, like a yawn.  Friends and family will most likely follow suit and voila … you have a gang.

 

READ ALSO: Dummy Activism For A First Timer Part One

 

Get involved

This doesn’t necessarily have to be in full rant mode. One can do it like my statistics professor who walks into the supermarket with his own plastic bag tucked in his trousers’ back pocket. He’s used the same one for six years. He gives much credit to the ‘Permanent Head Damage’ pseudonym but it’s all about plastics, the environment, and such banter.

 

Standing baked in the sun powering a good cause with just tons of screams and waving placards, I must confess I was fuelled by frustration. It’s frustrating when one works hard in school and goes out there to earn a pittance. It felt faked. Things we do feel fake sometimes. But I did it anyway. Do it.

 

Somehow, we raised public awareness. I can tell from the stares I drew. Or maybe, I was just the short dude in a cheap blue suit. Well, this is the hardest part. Ranging from work boycotts and carrying placards to threatening to commit small felonies with stones (disclaimer: don’t carry out the threat), you obviously need to play the part. There will be setbacks.

 

There’s a part of this story that involves sirens and police cars. Nothing ‘crime’ though, just the normal drill. I remember ending the day being frisked by men in jungle uniform and getting sniffed by sniffer dogs. I enjoyed that last bit the most. Don’t get shot, though.

 

 

This article was written by Joe Lweya.

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