When he started the twitter handle @StreetNakuru a year ago, James Wakibia did not know what it would lead to. All he needed was a platform through which to address issues facing his county and especially his beloved town, Nakuru.
“I started as @tweetNakuru but later changed to @StreetNakuru since I was mostly addressing issues happening locally,” says Wakibia on his choice of twitter handle.
Wakibia who is an activist, blogger and journalist feels it’s easier to use this handle to address these issues rather than using his own name.
He, however, has another twitter handle bearing his name through which he promotes his photography. He is a professional photographer.
Wakibia was inspired to get into activism by the award-winning photographer Boniface Mwangi of Pawa254 with whom he had worked with briefly in Nairobi. The person he admires most on twitter locally is Muhammed Mutai of @ItsMutai.
“I admire the way Mutai uses social media to press for real change. I especially liked how he tackled the GDC issue,” admits Wakibia.
Asked about his most successful campaigns so far, Wakibia has on top of his list the release of Baby Jeremy who had been held at Nakuru War Memorial Hospital for bills rising to over half a million. Through the use of the hashtag #ReleaseBabyJeremy, the plight of the four months old baby was known all over until the Nakuru County Government came to his rescue a few days later.
|Photo by James Wakibia|
|photo by JWakibia|
Wakibia who graduated from Egerton University with a degree in Communication and Media also counts on his effort to have Zebra Crossings in Nakuru repainted especially the one on Mburu Gichua road. His current campaign which is quickly spreading all over the world is #BanPlasticsKE through which he aims to have the government ban the use of plastic bags below 60 microns.
It was also through his twitter handle that Wakibia highlighted the plight of Library users at the Nakuru library. Thanks to him, the Nakuru County Government is in the process of procuring seats for the library.
“I believe in the responsible use of social media for the right reasons. My dream is to have a website which will have all the information a person might need about Nakuru. I also aspire to launch a creative hub in Nakuru for creative artists,” Wakibia shares his vision for the future.