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Wednesday, 11 May 2011


For how much longer will the term colonialism be thrust upon latter-day generations of Kenyans?  According to one critic, the coverage of the recent British Royal wedding by the Kenyan media, is a reflection of our continued state of colonization. Please, replace colonialism with globalization.

Britain's Prince William and Kate Duchess of Cambridge
Despite the global fascination with the nuptials, Evan Mwangi deliberately set out to paint a black and white picture, where black represents Africa and white its past colonial masters, thereby misrepresenting the colourful regal tradition of the entire ceremony.

Visuals are a key element in television broadcasting and that partly explains why the wedding was being beamed live by all the major local channels, because the images from weddings to many people, fit the description of 'eye candy.'

As captured in an article in the online version of the Christian Science Monitor,  it is a bit ironic that Kenyans would be so interested in the wedding of a major figurehead of the very people whom they fought hard to free themselves from the yolk of colonialism.

But to consciously set out to establish how many black people were captured on television screens or how many children in the choir were black, is to say the least being narrow-minded, which perhaps even betrays just how much one is suffering from colonial hang-ups.

An estimated 2 billion people watched Prince William and Catherine Middleton tie the royal knot so what difference would it have made even if the Kenyan media boycotted covering the event as a protest to colonial injustices?

If anything, as argued by Rasna Warah, it was more of about missed opportunities to weave in the Kenyan connection to the wedding, by marketing the country as a romantic tourist destination, buoyed by the fact that it provided the setting for Prince William's proposal.

And it is a tad unconvincing for somebody earning a livelihood in a 'white man's country,' to purport to lecture his fellow Kenyans at home about how much colonized they still are.

So Prof. Mwangi's argument that the local media's fascination with the British royal wedding amounts to perpetuating colonialism is to say the least plain hot air. Regardless of our history, we are now global citizens.


Anonymous said...

For once I agree with the writer.....our fascination with the royal wedding had nothing tu do with colonization.....the enchantment of a prince meeting & falling in love with a commoner is the stuff fairy tales are made of....and with all the problems in this country, who would blame us for wanting to see some fairy-tale come to life!!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I thoroughly agree with you!

David Otieno said...

Kenyans of old need to move on - just as the British no longer go on about the colonization and terrible time they enjured from the Romans and for a while in 1066 the French. They dont have hang ups about them and they indeed get on with the Italians and the French. People need to just move on and enjoy the wonderful treasure we have in being such good friends with Great Britain. I was in the United Kingdom for the wedding and Kenya was mentioned lots and lots as the place they got engaged, the place they holiday, the connections Kates family has with Kenya and the fact Queen Elizebeth II became queen in Kenya when she too was here on holiday and the King of England (her Father) died in London.
So my fellow Kenyons, in one accord, united, let us remember the spectacle with awe and grace and congratualate the future King and Queen of the Commonwealth, congratulate the UK too and say God bless you.

Naomi said...

As much as I do not agree with the hype given to the royals, the coverage was the same in all the major networks in the United States.

Anonymous said...

Yea yea. to me and lots of people around me it was a beautiful perfect movie but this time not acted .But real life ,with real people with real unperfect lives.and if that doesnt amaze u i dont know what will.