From The Wild Into The Digital World

by John Musila last modified Apr 04, 2012 10:53 AM
Jury Prize Winner and Top 5 Finalist

John Musila
Nairobi, Kenya
Volunteer in Map Kibera Trust

Video Proposal

Map Kibera Trust is an organization based in Kenya's Kibera slums. Using digital gadgets and technology, they have transformed the community by placing it on the map as it was only seen as forest when viewed on a map. They also film stories around the community and share them with the world on their YouTube channel and other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.Through this, they have been able to highlight and raise awareness about the challenges the community faces. Ourvideo would show Kibera's role in bringing about change.

Video Genre



What do you understand by the term Digital Native? Do you consider yourself one? Do digital natives belong to a particular socio-economic-cultural demographic?
Digital Native is a person who uses digital technology in their day to day life; it can be a phone, computer, cameras, or any other form of digital technology. I am a digital native since I have grown up surrounded by and using digital technology. You do not have to be from any particular socio-economic background to be considered a digital native as long as you are using digital technology in your life then you are a digital native.

Do you agree with the perception that the digital native belongs to a certain socio-economic background from a developed nation?
I disagree because a digital native can be anyone from any part of the world. The world today is a ‘global village’ and whatever gadgets a young American guy uses, there is another Young Asian/ African / European/Latin person who is using similar gadgets for a different purpose. It can be for their own amusement or it can be for bringing about social change, for example an American can be using his gadget to entertain him/herself and another person on another part of the world (like where the Arab Spring took place), could be using a similar gadget to share information on what’s happening with the rest of the world.

Can digital natives from developing nations create an impact with digital activism?
Yes, digital natives can make an impact by using social media, mobile phones and other digital technology to create awareness by sharing information, mobilizing people and encouraging them to take necessary action required. I am part of the Avaaz campaigning community that brings people- powered politics to decision making worldwide.

How does digital activism differ from traditional forms of ground campaigning?

Digital activism is a very effective way of raising awareness since a lot of people are spending most of their time online and it is easy to get them to join your cause as long as they believe in it. This can be done through signing online petitions, getting people to pressure decision makers using social media through their Facebook pages and twitter account, and encourage people to join the campaign by just a click of a button.

Are digital natives taking the easy way out by setting up Facebook pages to ‘Save the Planet’, clicktivism as it’s called?
No, they are not taking the easy way out because information is power and one of the ways to share the information is creating the Facebook pages by which people can be made aware of issues. I believe the likes, clicks and shares are the first steps that need to be taken before going out there and doing something.

A recent example of digital activism is the Get Kony video campaign. What is your response to the criticism it has received?
I have seen the video and it is a great campaign. The use of social media was very effective, clearly showing how clicking, liking and sharing can have such a great impact. The response is great and I believe the campaign will succeed since more people are joining the initiative from different parts of the world. Although it has been done by a White, male, American, there should be more of us digital native, in places like Africa, rising and joining in to do such campaigns.

Citizen action and ICT
We live in a global community connected by digital technology and it is very rare to find a part of the world where technology is not being applied. The power is shifting back to the people and the only way we are going to succeed is through encouraging fellow citizens to take action through use of ICT tools.

Filed under:
Digital Natives Video Contest


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