Demonstrate your ability and skills in communicating with the urban youth in Kenya on HIV
The Kenyan youth spend 23.6 billion Kenyan shillings on airtime annually (capital campus, 2012). In relation to this, 41% of the 9.1 million youth (Kenya National Youth Policy, 2005) access internet daily. Being an active internet user in Kenya is one step of creating a network with the youths in Kenya. These youths are very well updated on the entertainment industry around the world. Issues that they discuss on the streets are about music, movies, sports, latest products and fashion. While trying to communicate on HIV/AIDs, some aspect that will involve entertainment must be factored in. talk of celebrities who are involving themselves in promoting the use of condoms in preventing transmission of HIV/AIDs or global sport campaign that encourages use of condoms.
A lot of money is spent by youth in entertainment and outings by the youths in Kenya. It is approximated to add up to 65 billion Kenyan shillings. 64 billion shillings is further spent on clothes (capital campus, 2012). Other key influences that shape the culture of Kenyan youths are media, family, peers, society and brands. Communication involves building relationships with these youths. Therefore, we need to be involved in all the interests of the youths by encouraging them and engage in some of the activities. We can also streamline our activities and products according to the demands and requirements of the youth. While doing this, our aim of teaching them on the effects of using condoms should incorporated in the most entertaining and attractive way.
With an increasing rate of youth unemployment in the urban areas of Kenya, a lot of the young people idle around in strategic places. The entertainment lovers and spenders will be found in chill zones such as the shopping malls, cinema halls and eateries. Posters have been sprout in many places around the towns in Kenya thus indicating their positive significance in influencing consumers. The contents in most of these posters usually contain pictures of young people “print image effectively promote safer sex and use of condom” (NLM, 2003). Communicating to the youths must also involve posters containing Images of people that the youth can identify with.
Television has greatly influenced the cultural behavior and demands of the youth in Kenya. A lot of programmes have been sourced from Western and European countries hence depict western and European cultures that we adopt. Adverts are also played in the television for the viewers. The power of this media tool can be utilized to create awareness of HIV/AIDS to the public. Mass communication successfully led to condom use in developing countries from the year 1990 to 2004 (Bertrand, O’Reilly, Denilson, Anhang & Sweat, 2006)
Repeatedly campaigns as an important aspect in communication (Pelzer, Parker, Mabaso, Makonko, Zuma & Ramlagan, 2012) will be effective in Kenya by reminding the youth. The more it receives airplay the more the traditional concept that sexual issues should not be discussed in public and the refusal to use condoms will gain acceptance. Persistence education will also reduce the level of stigmatization and fear for acquiring and using condoms.
Social media has now become number one means of communication between two parties. Both the television and print media in Kenya have realized the fast, effective and efficient power of social media. With most internet users being youths, a large percentage has joined social sites such as facebook and twitter. Kenyan social site users like to talk about factors that affect them. It is also a center where youths like to talk about relationships. One study found out that adolescents were filled with enthusiasm about technology and how it acts as a tool to enhance sex education (Selkie, Benson & Moreno, 2012). The Kenyan youth are composed of youth who are sexually active and are inclined into discussing sexual topics. Creating a social site that will engage the youths into discussing real life issues will be important. Kenyan youth are very realistic and active respondents. A site dedicated in discussing issues affecting them will be highly welcomed by them. Taking part in discussion outside the created sites should also be considered. These sites will act as the best forum to get feedback and advice the youth on being responsible in their sexual life. The use of condoms and its advantages can also be taught to them. Any myths and misconceptions will also be discussed. As part of social site communication, we need to join other media social sites, entertainment and sports sites where the HIV/AIDS education can be taught.
The language of communication in Kenya urban setting is English and Kiswahili. Sheng has also become very popular among the youth living in the urban settings. Grammatically it has been inspired by Kiswahili and draws some words from other languages that are spoken in Kenya. “it is principally used among the youths” (Githiora, 2010). The language has been popular in adverts and in marketing strategies. When used the marketing agencies use short ‘sheng’ phrases. To popularize the use of condoms we can make use of sheng language to reach the youth and influence them.
Bertrand, J. O’Reilly, K., Denilson, J. Anhang, R. & Sweat, M. (2006). “Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Mass Communication Programs to Change HIV/AIDS-Related Behaviors in Developing Countries.” Health Educ. Res. Vol. 21 Issue 4. pp. 567-597
Capital Campus (2012).”Kenyan youths Spend Billions on entertainment and airtime; Study.” Capital Campus. Retrieved January 11, 2015 from www.capitalfm.co.ke/campus/ kenyan-youths-spend-billions-on-entertainment-and-airtime-study-finds/
Githiora, C. (2010). “Sheng: Peer language, Swahili dialect or emerging Creole?” Journal of African Studies. Vol. 15, Issue 2
Pelzer, K., Parker, W., Mabaso, M., Makonko, E., Zuma, K. & Ramlagan, S. (2012). “Impact of national HIV and AIDS Communication Campaigns in South Africa to Reduce HIV Risk Behaviour.” The Scientific World Journal. Vol. 2012 Issue 2012
Selkie, E., Benson, M. & Moreno, M. (2011). “Adolescents’ Views Regarding Uses of Social networking Websites and Text Messaging for Adolescent Sexual Health Education.” PMC. Vol. 42 Issue 4, pp. 205-212
(2005). Final Draft. Kenya National Youth Policy
(2003). “Visual Culture and Public Health Posters.” NLM. Retrieved January 11, 2015 from www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/visualcilture/safesex.html