The Role of Orchestrated Propaganda to Kenya’s National Cohesion and Integration
Tussling with ethnic animosities is a glaring challenge in Kenya’s national politics. This is despite the persistent calls for unity, in our rich but diverse cultural heritage, by Kenyan leaders across the socio-political and religious divides. The main objective of this paper is to explore the connection between orchestrated positive propaganda and the attainment of the so desired national unity. This paper is informed by the Propaganda Model of Media Control Theory which states how propaganda works in a mass media. This model tries to understand how the population is manipulated and how the social, economic and political attitudes are fashioned in the minds of people through propaganda. The paper borrows a leaf from the Chief Mau Mau Ideologue, Gakaara wa Wanjau, who was detained by the British colonial government from 1952 to 1959 because of his anti-colonial propaganda that threatened to unify the blacks against the minority white rule in Kenya. The application of positive propaganda by the Catholic Church, the ancient Greece and the government of the United States of America serve as good examples that a people’s opinion can be controlled for a worthwhile purpose. Historical research design is applied in the composition of this paper. Primary and secondary data collection and analysis leads to a reflection and subsequent conclusion that it is possible to piece together even a highly polarised society. National cohesion and integration are achievable through skillfully orchestrated positive propaganda in ways that are conversant to each individual ethnic group, even in vernacular where applicable. Negative propaganda can equally be destructive, the Nazi propaganda and the Rwandan genocide are cited as good examples. The paper therefore recommends that the Kenyan government should make a deliberate effort to fund anthropological research on each of the distinct ethnic groups. This should be towards an effort to come up with positive propaganda to make them patriotic and proud that they belong to the single Kenyan entity.
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