Let your kids explore the tech, digital world

By - May 9th 2023

I recently met with a friend in town on a Sunday, and before even exchanging greetings, he complained about the number of young people taking pictures around town. He noticed that many of them had come equipped with studio umbrellas and flashlights to take high-quality photos. It’s true that on Sundays, the town is bustling with young people dressed up and taking pictures all over the place.

Firstly, I’d like to commend my good friend, the governor of Nairobi Sakaja, for waiving fees for photography and movie shoots. This has created job opportunities, and it’s great to see photographers coming out with their equipment to take quality pictures.

I’m in the art space, and it’s the biggest employer of young people in places like Nigeria and South Africa. If the previous government had followed through with their proposed law to ensure 60% local content, we wouldn’t be lamenting the high unemployment rates among the youth.

Unfortunately, leaders at the time had a vested interest in the television business, and that’s why our stations are filled with old programmes from Asia and Mexico.

However, some stations, like Showmax, have commissioned many local content projects, creating a lot of employment opportunities for young people and others. If all stations followed suit, we would be in a much better position. As for my friend, who is over fifty years old, I told him he was behaving like some of our parents did when we were young, resisting change in technology and culture. I reminded him of when we were young and had to wait for a cameraman to come on a bicycle to take our photos, or when we would dress up in our Sunday best and go to Uhuru Park or KICC to take pictures to send to our pen pals or crushes.

Going to town to meet people from other areas isn’t new either. I reminded him of how we used to walk from Buru to the Twentieth Century in town on Sundays just to have a breakdance battle with the guys from Lang’ata, or to watch or participate in variety shows, showing off our new breakdance moves.

The generation that followed us preferred going to Sunday jam sessions. After church with their families, they would sneak off to attend daytime discos and return home by 6 pm without their parents suspecting anything.

As parents, we need to accept changes in technology. Cameras are now easily accessible, and every smartphone has a camera. Young people are using social media apps like Tiktok, Snapchat, and Instagram, which communicate mainly through pictures.

So, as a responsible parent, don’t deny your kids the opportunity to take pictures in town. It’s just their time, and it’s what’s trending. Instead, talk to them about being responsible and staying safe. Let them know the internet never forgets, so they should avoid taking revealing photos and posting them.

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