Njoha Gathua. He claims he taught Chief Francis Kariuki how to tweet. The ‘tweeting chief’ has however denied.

A man in Nakuru has come out to say he is the one who taught Chief Francis Kariuki of Lanet Umoja how to tweet.
Njoha Gathua an information and communication technologist says his intention was to see that the Chief uses the skill to improve security in his area.

“The tweeting idea was mine. I used to tweet my social issues but I thought it would do well for the administrators.”

He says he picked on Chief Kariuki as he was he was Chief then.

“I also trained his assistants and the people who were working in his office and they became his initial followers.”

Using the twitter handle @Chiefkariuki, Chief Kariuki has become a celebrity local administrator out of his tweeting prowess. His followers who include the who is who in the society are clocking 50, 000 and he has been awarded both locally and internationally.

However Gathua says he has no issue with the fame that seems to have gone to his ‘student’ without him getting anything out of it.

“I have no quarrel with Chief Kariuki. When I taught him it wasn’t designed to be a business opportunity for me,” he says.

“I am not an administrator. I don’t have a community to lead. If he has succeeded I have also succeeded.”

Gathua says he met Chief Kariuki in early 2008 and that following the success with his tweets he has since taught other local administrators how to tweet.

“Apart from training other chiefs in Nakuru, I have also trained in Limuru and Gatundu South sub counties.”

Given a chance Gathua would love to see the same skills picked by police officers. He says they too are key in the ensuring security among citizens.

“When a Chief reports that a cow has been lost, he only reports that to the community, but it would have worked well if the police were involved.”

Chief Kariuki Snip

A tweet by Chief Francis Kariuki. He has close to 50,000 followers on twitter.

Contacted Chief Kariuki dismissed having received the tweeting lessons from Gathua saying they only had a chat.

“He never taught me. We only met and shared on what was happening. Will you term that as teaching me?”

Although the two may never agree on who did what to the other, the tweeting success of Chief Kariuki is a case study on the opportunities that social media can present if used well.