The growth of blogging in Kenya in the last decade has been immense. There are countless blogs and in some areas like fashion blogs provide more and better quality of content than local mainstream media. The growth of blogging can also be seen from the quality of blogs entered in the annual Kenya blog awards organized by the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) where over 150,000 Kenyans voted for the best blogs across 18 categories in this year’s awards held in June 2015.
As part its mandate, BAKE undertakes training of bloggers with the aim of encouraging youth to create content in their different areas of interest and enable them to be able to make a living through their blogs.
Upcoming and established bloggers in Mombasa got a chance to upgrade their skills during the BAKE training that was held at the MEWA Library. The free training was attended by many blogging enthusiasts both during the Jukumu Letu blogging training and also another one on general blogging dynamics.
For the online content creators in the region, BAKE training comes at a time when the demand for local content on blogs is at an all time high. According to the BAKE’s State of Blogging and Social Media Report, there are estimated 15,000 registered blogs in Kenya with 3,000 being active blogs and more than seven million people on social media in Kenya.
Despite the growth of blogs in Kenya, there are legal concerns that bloggers should be aware of. According to the report,
“Bloggers and Social media users getting into trouble with law enforcement agencies: Of concern noted in the report is Section 132 of the Penal code that talks about the undermining authority of public office and misuse of licensed telecommunications equipment.”
The hands on training sought to create an understanding about all the elements it takes to start, publish and publicize a blog. In additional, the training covered the steps it takes to become a better blogger such as how to use social media to grow blog readership.
Jamila Hassan attended the training and she was happy to finally have Mombasa based bloggers on the map. She said,
“Blogging in Mombasa has not been embraced as much as Nairobi as people are not aware of such platform where they can express themselves. Bringing the training in Mombasa is a great asset to the Mombasa people, once people have been informed on blogging the residents of Mombasa can now tell their stories.”
According to James Wamathai, BAKE’s director of partnerships, there will be more trainings held in Mombasa to promote further content creation in the coast region.
In closing, one of the attendees was optimistic that better content will be seen from Mombasa bloggers.
“Mombasa is rich in culture and history, with the digital world it will be amazing to capture it through personal journeys in the blogging sphere. I also hope that after the training, more bloggers who are not vocal will see the opportunity to come out and provide good content. Indeed, there are many good bloggers in Mombasa but they are not given attention because blogging is still a new concept in Mombasa.”