, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – The sharing of raunchy photos to a WhatsApp contact by an overzealous amateur photographer has lifted the lid on what happens during Sunday afternoon photo shoots by groups of youth in Kenya’s capital.
The leaked photos have exposed an underlying social issue that has been kept off the eyes and ears of parents and guardians of city youngsters prompting a fiery debate on Twitter through the #ifikiewazazi hashtag.
All this in the name of ‘art’, ‘creativity’ and ‘exposing talent’, according to a number of Twitter users who have contributed to the hashtag.
The #ifikiewazazi in some way is a way of exposing the Sunday afternoon activities, right on the youths playing field – social media.
The campaign was started by professional photographers on Thursday, who do not want their “name tainted” or risk a ban of taking photos within the city but moralists have since taken over, and want the society to take responsibility.
“To those people saying it should go viral until it gets to our pastors, what will happen after that? “one of the notorious youngsters recorded a video, posted it on Twitter to tell off ‘haters.’
Her message is, “If I decide to show off my body, it is mine, and I will show it off until the day I die …”
Kenya’s moral cop Ezekiel Mutua says the society has failed the youthful populace, as exposed in the #ifikiewazazi campaign.
He says, “#ifikiewazazi epitomises the culture of debauchery and deviance among the youth. It’s a Project X in disguise. Our youth are defying authority – God, parents, Government etc. At the heart of this deviance is a disturbed voice of the youth who have lost a sense of direction because we the adults have failed them. The parents have failed them. The media have failed them. The leadership has failed them.”
The Kenya Film Classification Board boss, says even the “religion has failed them. We must begin to have an honest conversation about the breakdown of the moral fabric.
We have put a priority on the physical infrastructure and neglected the moral infrastructure. We have built the hardware but the software is faulty and must be fixed first.”
On Friday, Bishop Martin Kivuva of Mombasa Diocese has blamed unemployment to some extent, for the continued degradation of morals in the country.
“The pictures posted on social media are disheartening,” the man of cloth regretted.
But he also points out that parents may not be able to ‘police’ their teens since “they are lagging behind technologically.”
The Bishop has called on Government and all other stakeholders to ensure enough checks and balances have been put, to ensure internet is not misused.
Here are some reactions by Kenyans on Twitter:
I’m not gonna be some kinda moral police but whatever is happening on #IfikieWazazi is absolutely messed up.
Most of these kids are in highschool and not legal yet. Are these photoshoots hosted by adults or the kids do it themselves? This is what bothers me.
— M. (@TeddyMunene) April 11, 2018
Guys are here being mad at the pictures they’re seeing on #IfikieWazazi yet they are the number 1 proponents of nudity as a form of liberation. Haha.
— Kalasinga (@Kalasinga_) April 12, 2018
When adults, especially celebrities don’t subscribe to morality, the rot trickles down to children. What those kids are showing us under the tag #ifikiewazazi is what they are seeing influential people in the society doing. They are just perfecting it. @timmytdat @MwalimuRachel
— Embakasi Finest™🇰🇪✌ (@mboya_k) April 12, 2018