The Meteoric Rise of the Kenyan Arm-Chair Expert

I love the Formula 1. I have never attended any races, I know not anyone who has attended any races but I can tell you all the teams, their drivers, their principals and at least 2 sponsors from each team. Scrolling through my Twitter handle on race days, you would be forgiven to think I am Martin Brundel as I spew facts dating as back as when Bernie Ecclestone raced. Deep down, I am well aware of my status as a pseudo-expert but hey, I need the affirmation. He watches the Formula 1. He is Nico Rosberg die-hard. He even knows the DRS zones, the sharp corners and when Kiki Raikonnen needs to change to soft tyres.

Welcome to the internet age. Sorry, the information age and be keen to pay homage to the all-knowing, all-kind and equally just arm-chair analyst. The arm-chair analysts have found a haven on social media and particularly Twitter, where they spam their followers in outbursts on everything from what the Monetary Policy Commission should do to deal with currency depreciation, to issuing judgements on the culpability of corruption allegations to offering expertise on marriage and relationships. When that is not enough, why not discuss natural hair or jump onto a campaign to raise funds for cancer victims for good measure? We gotta give back you know?

I might sound like a sod. I mean two bitter medium posts, what is your problem you prick? Well, in recent times it seems, we have lost it. We are jumping into topics, giving opinions with total disregard of truth get the endorsements and wait till the next hot thing and become the experts. We are quick to cast aspersion on matters we have little or no knowledge about and call it everything from patriotism to whistle blowing. In actual sense, its mere attention-seeking. Poor is the soul that dares question our divine opinions. Who are you to encroach into our left-wing turf? Once the facts are out and contradict our opinions? Well contradict, confuse and jump onto the newest topic. Attention is elusive remember.

From the hoax Mugabe story to CS Waiguru to the doping allegations. We know it. Take the EuroBond story, blown out of proportion, compounded by half-truths and clouded by unsubstantiated opinions. I remember a tweet questioning the credibility of the Finance CS based on the assertion that Kenya’s sovereign debt was issued in USD, but is called a EuroBond. The conclusion, the CS is incompetent. I quite agree the government should lay it bare on what they did with money. It is our duty to be informed but for fucks sake how about we debate objectively -with facts? I closely followed the online debate when the T-Bills yields hit new highs. It was mildly amusing seeing the “Twitter Elite” share their search-engine generated expertise to their legions of followers on possibly what is happening. Not surprisingly, not a single one of them bothered to check inflation figures or even the figures presented to Parliament during the budget on what happened with EuroBond money. They confidently stated it was misappropriated. I don’t know if it was and no one can accurately state so. But it mattered not. It got the Retweets, endorsements and for good measure, we are in a panel on Prime Time News discussing the wanton corruption in GOK. Champions against graft folks!

No. I am not against people saying what they so wish. I just think Arm-chair analysts have taken credibility for so long and the unfortunate bit, is their opinions are often construed as truth, objective and legit. Most look at things from a single ground without offering a wide angle interpretation. With their often eloquent arguments, immense investment in engaging naysayers to defend their righteous opinions, those in the know sit back and chuckle. To sum it up, do not buy everything you read on the internet. Do not trust mine either. What do I know? “He who seeks the counsel of fools is a fool himself”.