Read it below.
I rarely, as a matter of strict principle, respond to the ravings of drama queens who wake up every morning, scratch their itching backsides,yawn and start to rant; punching above their intellectual weight. I have better, weightier things to expend my intellectual bandwidth on; things that keep me awake at night.
So when several social media pals deluged me with requests for my rejoinder to an article penned by the ever-ranting drama queen-in-chief, Njoki Chege; a serial rabble-rouser, self-declared myth-buster with a flair for the melodramatic-- I was not amused in the slightest. I was miffed.
I read the article anyway and decided, in spite of myself, to grant their unholy and intellectually-demeaning requests. As I read the article titled "Political Bloggers no Different from Call Girls", my stomach churned with nausea at the sheer venom and high-minded moralising inherent in the piece. Conjured up in my mind was the portrait of an adolescent bimbo suffering from delusions of grandeur.
The title itself was off-putting, made up of a vulgar phrase employed mainly in brothels and red light districts. Njoki Chege compares political bloggers with prostitutes in her title: a powerful demonstration of her moral leprosy than an illuminating window to a political blogger's psyche. She calls bloggers corrupt but what corruption is greater than the moral corruption she suffers from as betrayed by her atrocious diction.
The article is a shameless misogynistic takedown that should attract the ire of all womenfolk. To Njoki Chege, women in this country, whom she describes as girls, are not capable of intellectual pursuits beyond blogging on fashion, boyfriends, and food.
"Now, I am not talking about those young girls who blog about food, clothes and boyfriends." she writes with nauseating arrogance. What an outrageous characterization of our beautiful women who toil tirelessly for the good of our beloved motherland. Surely, all smart, hardworking women must be woefully offended. If this is not misogyny then my mastery of the queen's English is damned.
For all its viciousness , the article is a sorry betrayal of a lack of understanding the role that political blogging has played in the marketplace of ideas; a role that can never be gainsaid nor overestimated unless you are an intellectually underwhelming nincompoop like Njoki Chege. The mainstream media which she hails as credible than political blogs is currently in the throes of a serious public confidence crisis. A case in point is the Daily Nation Newspaper for which she writes that faces mounting criticism for going to bed with the state and romanticising national events for fear of offending sensibilities. Political blogs are liberal spaces where ideas and unvarnished truths are the tools of trade: truths that the mainstream media would rather sweep under the carpet.
Truths that bloggers like Dikembe Disembe and Robert Alai ,whose blogs enjoy huge following not an "ounce of traffic" that she says political bloggers command, have suffered for. They may be driving jalopies or selling electronics but they paint uncomfortable portraits for us. Christ did not drive a Range or a Roll Royce Phantom but that did not in any way dilute or undermine his message. Political blogging is not child's play. It takes balls to dabble in it. It is not the ivory-tower, arm-chair philosophising or the idle punching of a computer keyboard that Njoki Chege and her ilk engage in.
She calls political bloggers sycophants who depend on their political masters. Political bloggers have ideologies that align with the ideologies of certain politicians. That is not sycophancy but identifying with a cause; standing for something. It is called ideological purity.
To be sure, there are some nefarious elements spoiling the broth for the legitimate political bloggers. But it would be crassly foolish to use these few as a yardstick for passing blanket judgements on all political bloggers. Njoki Chege should do her homework well instead of regaling us with yawning yarns.
BY SHEM MUKALO aka Cobbler.