Thanks to the Kenyan syllabus, it is very easy to draw analogies that we can relate to. Remember Dr. Stockmann in the set book, ‘An Enemy of The People’? He vouches for a social revolution and the town hall meetings play a crucial role in engaging the citizens. Remember Dr. Stockmann pushing for a social revolution? A most unforgettable scene would be the meeting in the town hall.
The Town Hall is a space where people would convene to discuss social (and political) issues. Every society deserves a place like this, one where anyone is free to go voice their opinion on the current affairs.
“The PAWA254 hub houses, fosters, and catalyzes creative and community-driven projects for social change across Kenya. It is the first of its kind in Africa,” claims the Pawa254 website. www.pawa254.org
Boniface Mwangi, an award winning photo journalist and founder of Picha Mtaani (www.pichamtaani.org) has created this forum where young people can meet, discuss and explore ideas. Mwangi runs Pawa254 where professional and amateur artists convene to foster social change through a variety of art pieces. The largely youthful attendants are invited to benefit from the multiple events that are hosted either by poets, journalists, photographers, musicians and graphic artists at the hub. Most of the events such as poetry workshops are free for aspiring artists. Mwangi also gives free photography lessons at the Pawa Hub.
The hub is more than a political youth town hall though. It is a place where young people get mentorship, nurture their talents and form a network to propel their skills and career. It is a place that aims to bring a social revolution through a peaceful manner of expression; art.
Town Hall meetings can be effective forums in putting to task our leaders especially at the local level. In the US and UK, local and national leaders engage with locals in an issue-based discussion. US presidential candidates are known to utilize Town hall meetings to address and connect with local residents on local issues.
Perhaps the meetings can be more effective than presidential debates and huge political rallies that shield candidates from the ordinary mwananchi. But that’s a debate for another day.
If the ever crowded and stuffy telly room in your campus is a turn off, you may want to head down to Pawa Hub at State House road, AAYMCA building second floor to catch the presidential debate as you mingle with other creatives and interrogate the manifestos the candidates are selling us.