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Archive for February 8th, 2012

Kenyan actor wins top US film award

Posted by Administrator on February 8, 2012

Oliver Litondo receives his award from Leila Ali, the daughter of former heavyweight boxing champion Mohammed Ali

Oliver Litondo receives his award from Leila Ali, the daughter of former heavyweight boxing champion Mohammed Ali

By ANTONY KARANJA in DALLAS, TEXAS

Kenyan actor Oliver Litondo on Monday won the Best Actor award at the 11th Annual AARP movies award gala for his role in the movie The First Grader. 

Litondo scooped the prize in a category that included famed actors George Clooney, (The Descendants); Mel Gibson, (The Beaver); Gary Oldman, (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy); and Kevin Spacey, (Margin Call).

Litondo poses for a photo with US actress Sharon Stone

Litondo poses for a photo with US actress Sharon Stone

Hollywood elite who had packed the hall in Beverly Hills, California gave Litondo a standing ovation after a 50 second snippet of the movie was played showing an illiterate Kenyan elder named Kimani Maruge, begging a first grade teacher (Naomi Harris) to teach him how to read.

The short piece gripped the Hollywood royalty who immediately realized that Litondo travelled all the way from Kenya to accept the award.

Litondo played the part of Maruge, the 84-year-old man who enrolled in a remote Kenyan primary school so he could learn to read.

During his acceptance speech, the newscaster-turned-actor made a plea for filmmakers to go and make movies in Kenya, where “our young people are educated but unemployed.”

The First Grader went by virtually unnoticed in the US other than by quite a number of Kenyans who tuned in to watch the drama once it debutted on HBO an American  premium cable television network.

Though the drama was little known, the AARP editors gave it rave reviews and decided to consider it for the award.

Others who received awards at the event were Sharon Stone who received the Lifetime Achievement Award; Martin Scorsese, receiving the Breakthrough Achievement Award for his 3-D masterpiece,Hugo and  Meryl Streep who played the role of former British premier Margaret Thatcher in the movie The Iron Lady accepting the Best Grownup Love Story award. 

Last November, the film’s producers launched an against-all-odds effort, trying to bring the movie to the attention of Oscar voters with little help from its distributor.


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Video: The Greatest Journey: Kenya

Posted by Administrator on February 8, 2012

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We’re Being Wiped Out, Say Elders in Malindi

Posted by Administrator on February 8, 2012

A group of Kaya elders yesterday sent a delegation to the Malindi DC seeking protection against youths who are killing elderly men for allegedly practicing witchcraft. The Elders from the Malindi District Cultural Association said they were living in fear of being murdered by the ruthless youths who target mainly elderly men and women with gray hair.

Speaking to journalists at the MADCA secretariat after their meeting with the DC Joshua Nkanatha, the elders said the situation is worrying and asked for swift intervention by the government. Katana Kalulu, one of the Kaya elders, said the youths usually attack them in their homes at night and on the way as they return home. “Elderly men are being killed in Malindi, Magarini and the entire Coast province. We want the government to assure us of our security because they will completely finish us if action is not taken,” he said.

The Kaya elder said if the government failed to act on the matter they should involve the elders who have their own means of resolving those issues in the traditional way. “If the government fail to resolve the cases of killing of innocent elderly men they should allow us to go back to the Kaya and use the traditional methods of resolving the problem,” he said.

Source: The  Star

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Media goof sparks debate on responsible reporting

Posted by Administrator on February 8, 2012

A goof by one of Kenya’s leading media houses – the Nation Media Group (NMG) has sparked a mega debate on responsible reporting and how journalists are using social media to break news.
On the morning of Saturday, 4 February 2012, the media house through its Twitter and Facebook accounts erroneously reported the death of tycoon and former cabinet minister, Njenga Karuma. The “death” of the rags to riches tycoon went viral in a matter of minutes with another media house, Standard Group, also reporting the same. However, the information was confirmed as inaccurate after members of Karume’s family confirmed that he was not dead or critically ill as some reports had claimed.
The two media houses immediately removed the update with NMG apologising for the error and later in the evening news running television clips of the tycoon as he received friends who had gone to his home after they heard the news of his “death”.
In the last few years, media houses have adopted the use of social media as a way of breaking news in a competitive media environment. According to the latest media research by Ipsos Synovate, there is a growing usage of internet to access information and news in Kenya with about 63% of the population accessing the mobile internet. A Digital Life Study conducted in 60 countries and released in November 2011 by research company TNS, reported a growing use of social networks like Facebook or YouTube by businesses across the world.
With social networks like Twitter and Facebook being a leading source of information dissemination especially for media houses, the reporting goof raises basic concerns on how journalists can responsibly use new media to add value to their work. New media technologies are said to have “reshaped the material basis for society” enabling the globalisation process through their capacity to distribute information at a rapid pace and volume.
Fundamentals of news writing
Despite advancements in technology, the fundamentals of news writing remain. News describes the things journalists write about. Every day journalists take information and publish it to a wide audience, invoking professional decisions about public interest, veracity of sources and invasion of privacy. Journalists apply news values to their stories i.e. professional codes in the selection, construction and presentation of news. It is worth noting that the news values do not necessarily relate to individual journalists, who themselves are subject to personal values, beliefs and attitudes. Rather, the concept relates to the corporations that produce industrialised news.
By publishing inaccurate information of a public figure, the guideline on responsible reporting in Kenyan media houses is now in question and especially so with new media. It is worth appreciating many factors that influence how news is currently reported for example timeliness, prominence, the race to beat competition in breaking the news etc. While the story may have met all the required elements, the journalist failed to do one very important thing – to check and verify facts.
The Kenyan case is not the first, last year when the news of the shooting of US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona broke, it was erroneously reported that she had been killed in the mass shooting incident. This information was shared on social networks.
Last year, Fox News was at the centre of a controversy after several Tweets from its account claimed that US President Barack Obama had been assassinated. The media house said its Twitter account had been hacked. In January 2011 a Twitter user falsely reported that Neslon Mandela had died – although he user was not a media house or a journalist, the news caused  a global panic.
As recent as last month, CBS Sports prematurely announced the death of a former sports coach Penn State. The story started with a rumour about the death of the ailing coach and was picked up by mainstream media. In its apology, CBS admitted that it had failed “to verify the original report.”
Online reporting guidelines
In a guideline on reporting from the internet, Reuters has spelt out clear guidelines for its journalists when writing online news, blogging and using social media. The news agency cautions its reporters to be wary of “unusual” news discovered on a web site. “Do not treat this as “normal news” until the company or organisation confirms it or at least has a chance to respond to what you have found,” says the handbook.
Washington Post reporters, producers and editors are required to evaluate any story before posting it on its accounts. As a general rule, the newspaper does not cite information that is not sourced. “If we are confident in the sourcing of a third-party report, we may cite it on social networks while also attributing the information to the original source. If facts or sourcing are murky, it is preferable to buy time by telling readers we’re investigating a developing story, then consult with originating editors for advice,” says the Washington Post publishing guideline.
As media houses in Africa embrace new media technologies, we are certainly going to see more media convergence, content and competition. There will be therefore need to have new media policies in place to guide the practice of journalism in the coming years. Like all policy issues, one of the major concerns will be who will formulate the policies – government or the players.
The biggest burden falls on journalists who have to remember that we owe our audiences the truth al all times. We have to find a balance between the way we want to break a story, the medium to share the story to get the biggest audience, and the way to write the story while doing the least harm to the fewest number of people.

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Thousands of elderly Kenyans prepare to sue UK for detention, abuses during colonial uprising

Posted by Administrator on February 8, 2012

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Thousands of elderly Kenyans are preparing to sue the British government over abuses — including torture, illegal detentions and rape — its forces allegedly committed during its suppression of a 1950s anti-colonial rebellion, a lawyer representing the group said Wednesday.

The group of Kenyans is motivated by the progress of a case by four other elderly Kenyans, who were given the go-ahead by a British court last year to sue the U.K. government for alleged abuses during its colonial occupation of Kenya, said lawyer Donald Rabala.

The British government had tried to have the case by the four thrown out, saying it could not be held legally responsible for the long-ago abuses. It argues that all the powers and liabilities of the colonial administration passed to the Kenyan government on independence in 1963.

Rabala said his firm has taken statements from more than 6,000 people who claim to have either been tortured, detained illegally, raped, forcefully displaced from their land, among other abuses.

Rabala said his firm, with the help of a U.K. law firm, is collecting more statements from Kenyans allegedly held by the British in detention camps after a 1952 uprising led by a militia group known as the Mau Mau. Britain imposed a state of emergency that lasted until 1959.

“The victims know some of the names of those who raped them, tortured them. They have scars and some have documents showing when they were incarcerated and where,” Rabala said.

He said he expects the British government to settle the case out of court because if it goes to trial it will consume a lot of time and taxpayer money.

During the uprising in 1952, Prime Minister Winston Churchill sent British soldiers to help colonial administrators capture the Mau Mau fighters and send them to detention camps. African soldiers under the King’s African Rifles regiment also took part in the assault on the Mau Mau and their supporters.

President Barack Obama’s grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was one of thousands of Kenyans detained. Obama’s grandfather died in 1979.

Among the 6,000 planning to sue is the wife of Dedan Kimathi, one of the most Mau Mau’s most revered, Rabala said. British fighters arrested and hanged Kimathi. He has since been honored by the Kenyan government as a national hero.

His widow, Mukami Kimathi, was incarcerated by the British, according to Rabala, though he declined to go into the details of what she experienced during her detention.

The new potential cases were inspired by a ruling by British High Court Judge Richard McCombe, who last July found that the four Kenyans “have arguable cases in law,” and their suits can go ahead.

Britain’s Africa Minister Henry Bellingham said at the time that the government would continue to fight the claim, “given the length of time elapsed and the complex legal and constitutional questions the case raises.”

He said Britain understood “the pain and grievance felt by those, on all sides, who were involved in the divisive and bloody events of the Emergency period in Kenya.”

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/thousands-of-elderly-kenyans-prepare-to-sue-uk-for-detention-abuses-during-colonial-uprising/2012/02/08/gIQAVO4cyQ_story.html

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Kenyans in Diaspora to get National IDs

Posted by Administrator on February 8, 2012

 

”]Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka during a press conference at his Jogoo house office in Nairobi on Wednesday. He announced that Kenyans in the Diaspora will be issued with national IDs.[Photo:Collins Kweyu/Standard]Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has said the Government will issue National Identification Cards to Kenyans in the Diaspora in view of the dual citizenship provision in the constitution.

He revealed the exercise has begun inLondonand will cover countries inEuropewhile registration inWashington,USAwill extend to the rest ofAmericas.

“This exercise will be rolled out toSouth Africa,Dubai, and other parts of the world in due course,” said Kalonzo.

He said the Government has set aside Sh 400 million in this year’s supplementary budget to fast track the issuance of IDs to all eligible Kenyans.

He expressed concern that millions of youth are yet to acquire national ID’s to enable them transact day to day activities including participating in the forthcoming general elections.

” The Government is therefore keen to speed up the registration of persons countrywide,” said Kalonzo.

He said the government will set aside a further Sh 948 million in the 2012-2013 financial year to facilitate the procurement and issuance of ID’s.

Kalonzo was speaking at his Jogoo House offices flanked by Permanent Secretaries Ludeki Chewya and Emmanuel Kisombe.

He reiterated that new ID’s are issued free of charge adding the Government has also waived the fees for replacement of first generation cards.

Kalonzo said that only persons who have lost their ID’s are required to pay Sh 300 for replacement.

He said that the requirement that married women should produce affidavits or are referred to their parents for registration has been waived in order to expedite the process and enrol as many Kenyans as possible.

Kalonzo lamented that out of the 1.4 million ID’s processed since last September, thousands remained uncollected at Chief’s offices countrywide.

‘We invite the owners to collect their cards and those who are unregistered to take advantage of the mobile registration going on across the country,” said Kalonzo.

He assured Kenyans that the Government will issue ID cards to all eligible Kenyans.

Source: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000051711&cid=4&ttl=Kenyans%20in%20Diaspora%20to%20get%20National%20IDs

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Video: UNTOLD STORIES_FGM practises in POKOT PT 1

Posted by Administrator on February 8, 2012

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KCFA- Going Forward seminar on February 18th, 2012

Posted by Administrator on February 8, 2012

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