#BroOcholla and The Commodification of Faux Pax

This is an excellent new blog from RHUL Geography ICT4D PhD student Kui Mackay. Some really interesting thoughts on online/offline spaces, privacy, security and the commodification of human fallibility, all complicated by the underlying politics of gender and race.

Digital Race

A screenshot of a WhatsApp group chat appeared in my Twitter timeline. The image (below)

This is a modified version where all personal identifying information is redacted. The original and most circulated version shows names and phone numbers of the group's members. This is a modified version where all personal identifying information is redacted. The original and most circulated version shows names and phone numbers of the group’s members.

shows members of a Nairobi based prayer cell sending well wishes to a couple on their wedding anniversary via the prayer cell’s WhatsApp group. This flow of congratulatory texts is interrupted when a member, who is now known across the Kenyan Twittersphere as Bro Ocholla, sends a risqué message. Noting that Bro Ocholla’s apologies twice, once in English and then soon after in Kiswahili (“Poleni”), it is fair to say that it was not Bro Ocholla’s intent to sext his prayer cell members. The last visible message is a member expressing surprise (or potentially, disapproval – the exact meaning of “yawa” in this context gets lost in translation)…

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