This time round the revolution will be tweeted, not televised

A protester holds up a scarf with the same colours as the Nigerian national flag during a live concert at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos, on October 15, 2020, during a demonstration to protest against police brutality and scrapping of Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

Photo credit: Pierre Favennec | AFP

What you need to know:

  • For starters, the recent revolutions or protests have been leaderless.
  • For the Nigerians it is for the government to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and prosecute those officers who shoot, kidnap and steal from them.

Whoever called Africa a dark continent certainly did not foresee this decade. From the Tunisian revolution in 2011, the Sudan one last year, to the ongoing Nigerian protests, Africans are waking up from their slumber and the wind of change is here.

Here in Kenya, we have long wondered what holds us back from demanding good leadership in ways that actually work. Some have suggested that we are not angry enough while others say we are waiting for an upright person to lead us. Still others say we are too comfortable in being keyboard warriors to take the revolution to the streets or the ballot.

There are a few things we can gather from the ongoing Nigerian protests. For starters, the recent revolutions or protests have been leaderless. This generation has learnt that leaders can be bought, given a “handshake” or even killed.

Step down

So, instead of having a set of leaders, they have a set of demands. For the Sudanese, it was for President Omar al-Bashir and his Cabinet to step down. For the Nigerians it is for the government to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and prosecute those officers who shoot, kidnap and steal from them. This generation is moving from waiting for one man to lead them to articulating their irreducible minimums as a whole.

The other thing to note is the age of the protesters. The Nigerian protesters are18-24-year-olds. The youths in Africa have often been sidelined from the affairs of their countries.

They are treated as a problem to be solved, or collateral damage for politicians when they want to settle beef between themselves. But that is changing, as the youth take charge of their own future and demand better from the old leaders.

 Finally, the revolution will not be televised, it will be tweeted. Social media has been at the centre of the protests. It seems keyboard warriors are the new face of revolution.

  mmercymwende@gmail.com