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IS THE KENYAN FM RADIO STATION A DANGER TO MANHOOD AND MASCULINITY?

A long while ago when 90% users of facebook users were yet to be born , the radio used to be a sacred arena where life’s issues were treated with the serenity and sobriety (I don’t know what this word means) it deserves. In those days the radio was a means of passing greetings to friends, relatives and loved ones. It was used to disseminate news, inform, entertain and educate the masses. It was also used to announce births, marriages and deaths. It was in short a face of respect.

Now, with the onset of the ever increasing FM radio stations, become a source of shame and humiliation since it is used by spiteful, vengeful and not-well-meaning people who are using it to settle scores and air their dirty linen on public and national radio airwaves. The radio has become a way where you don’t get the kind of solutions and answers to life’s many problems the way it used to be long ago. Nearly every station has a couple of clowns and comedians who, by their way of treating issues, have made Kenyans let many things slide by without giving them a serious thought. Everything is being treated casually and we go about our lives with a feeling of ‘business as usual.’

Have you ever been in a matatu or bus that is playing this popular station in the morning and you hear passengers laugh out loud at the antics of the two presenters discussing the ‘hot topic’ of the day? Unknown to them, radio presenters and their programmes are all about statistics and listeners and the more controversial the topic the more listeners they are able to get. Most listeners don’t pause to ask how comes presenters like Maina Kageni always seems to have met a friend the other day and the friend asked such and such a question. Does it mean he doesn’t have free time for himself? Does he mean he is the only one who meets his friends from Monday to Monday? Or better still, are his so-called friends fictitious and is it a ploy to get gullible callers calling in to contribute to the debates? And how comes the callers are the usual suspects who seems to have all the answers to life’s problems?

Just the other day they were at it again, discussing the allegations that Kenyan police had charged the world's 3,000m steeplechase champion, Ezekiel Kemboi, with assault after a woman said he stabbed her on Wednesday night. The way they treated the issue just about ums up how casually radio stations and their presenters are treating family issues. Instead of discussing how our celebrated sports, and other, personalities should behave, they put masculinity and manhood to the dagger by asking at what instance a woman should give in to a man’s sexual advances. This is just one instance.

Many are the mornings a caller will say they have been abandoned by a man they thought had loved and cared about them and the other callers will make mockery of the whole issue and before you know it manhood is in danger of being massacred. If a genuine person calls a radio station, employing comedians who are largely not well versed in guidance and counseling, they expect real help to their real problems. The least and the best such ill-equipped radio presenter should do is do their research and bring a qualified counselor to answer and offer solutions to a genuine caller’s concerns. Otherwise, some of use will just treat such radio stations as liars whose mind is bent on creating radio traffic for their stations.

The question is, are we as Kenyan men, content on sitting on he sidelines watching as manhood and masculinity is being shredded to pieces by the FM radio stations? Are we content with maintaining the status quo where we are irresponsible over our actions? Or are we ready to accept things have gone out of hand and that we should take it upon ourselves to change things?

We are a lost generation but all is not lost. There is hope. All we need to do is make an about turn and search and find solutions in order to make things right. God is raising a generation of men who are ready to take up their responsibility as the head of the family, providers of security and the needs of their wives and children. Slowly by slowly, one man and boy after the other we will eventually be there.

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