National Cohesion, ethnicity, and new media in Kenya
National cohesion has distressed and goaded Kenya since independence. It remains elusive, partly, because of the complexity generated by the cornucopia of languages and dialects, which serve as essential ethnic markers.
As a discursive construct that is centred on boundary formation, ethnicity is vulnerable to manipulation by self-serving hegemons who, in ethnic-stratified societies like ours, include ethnic chieftains and hired propagandists.
This is the background against which the National Cohesion and Integration Commission should analyse the cellular phone text messages it is collecting from Kenyans, especially because we have sanctioned ethnicity as a negotiating tool in our competition for political positions and their imaginary dividends.