A group of four students from the University of Nairobi; School of business have conceptualized and spearheaded the formation of social media clubs dubbed ‘SocialPro Clubs’ in universities across the country. The four students namely; Gitonga Munene, Muthuri Kinyamu, Victor Mutua, Munene Marete and Wangari Munene (USIU) through Social Edge Africa, a social media consultancy company based at Nairobi Hub.
This initiative is endorsed by the ministry of information and technology and Dr. Bitange Ndemo; the PS at the ministry will be the chief guest among other invited guest speakers at the launch of the social media clubs on the 25th of October at the University of Nairobi, School of Business. In the launch of university chapters these students shall be working with Marketing Students Association and Business Information Students Association, both of University of Nairobi. In the pilot phase they shall combine efforts with the marketing, PR and IT clubs in the proposed universities. The pilot is proposed to take place in 4 universities around Nairobi in November namely; Kenyatta University, Strathmore University, USIU Africa, Multimedia University before the roll out in January 2013 to other universities & campuses across Kenya.
According to the 24 year old Muthuri Kinyamu (ME), the founder and business director at Social Edge Africa, “The core objective of these clubs is to teach, educate, create awareness and impart knowledge & skills of various disciplines of social media and platforms to the university students”.
The initiative seeks to develop a talent pool of graduates with a solid understanding of new media to bridge the knowledge gap and demand there is today for people with skills and expertise in various disciplines of social media especially.
These clubs in a nutshell will unlock the potential on social media to the students, expose them to the limitless possibilities online and help faculty integrate various social media networking sites to teaching to ease content sharing and make learning more fun. The faculty will also learn how to create, optimize and share digital content in various formats with students across various platforms as well as help them embrace new media and thus use it to connect, engage and gain valuable feedback from the students. Through these clubs the faculty shall establish processes that control the publishing and monitoring of their content online & globally.
As they launch the clubs they shall also use these platforms to recruit social media ambassadors for the campaign dubbed “BE A SOCIALPRO”. As we approach the March 2013 elections social media will play a big role, as a communication medium it will be misused by politicians or people with selfish interests and agenda to incite Kenyans, spread propaganda, rumours, create and share content full of hate. Therefore this campaign seeks to promote responsible ways of engaging on social media, sensitize content creators on legal risks of creating and sharing content that is inflammatory and full of hate as well as educate Kenyans on social media etiquette and ethical ways of communicating online for societal good.
We (Social Edge Africa) are also working with Eyeballs Marketing in organizing Social Media Awards (the first in Kenya and probably in Africa) to take place in November 11th 2012 . We shall be focusing on awarding social media excellence on 3 major platforms (Blogs, Facebook and Twitter). Nominations are currently ongoing at www.soma.or.ke.
Through this platform, the government hopes to sensitize the society on the dangers of spreading hate messages to incite other citizens especially through social media during the election period. The government is also keen on empowering its youth to solve welfare problems by creating viable businesses that tackle these challenges. Bitange Ndemo, the PS believes that social media can be used to enhance collaboration, promote innovation and ease content & information sharing between universities and industry.