Jim Chuchu Profile picture
Co-founding Director of the Nest Collective (@thisisthenest). Co-founding partner at HEVA (@HEVAFund). 2021 #TEDFellow. Queer AF. He/him. 🏳️‍🌈🇰🇪
Nov 23, 2021 16 tweets 4 min read
The irritating thing about the settler-expat-KC community in Kenya is that they mistake the silence of Kenyans with a Forgetting or an Unseeing. Most Kenyans speak varying quantities of English, Kiswahili and vernaculars, but we're all very, very fluent in SILENCE. Silence is the language of a people for whom truth and violence were too-often intertwined. Our parents taught us to shut up, and our State reinforces that lesson every day. Silence is our third national language. This does NOT mean Kenyans do not see, or do not know.
Nov 23, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Meanwhile, in independent Kenya, in 2021, the @MuseumSociety are journeying back in time, hosting an ex-colonial administrator for drinks and dinner, to reminisce about the "colourful lives of young Crown servants". Colourful isn't the word I'd use for imperial violence, but OK. And of course it's happening in Karen, the de-facto headquarters of colonial nostalgia in Kenya, (still) named after the de-facto Baroness of colonial nostalgia, Karen Blixen.
Jun 18, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
It's common practice amongst the couchsurfing-tourist-expat bunch to make up exotic 'facts' after 3 days of research in order to raise money from venture capital firms overseas for half-baked entrepreneurial adventures in Africa, but... ...saying that "Kenya, unlike other countries, doesn’t have a strong food culture" is insulting, reductive and untrue. Congratulations to Kune for raising 1M, but are these patronising lies necessary? techcrunch.com/2021/06/16/ken…
Jan 19, 2019 17 tweets 5 min read
4 days, 25,000+ signatures in 2 petitions, 3 non-apologies and the @NYTimes are steadfast in their dubious position, the @FCAEA in their self-preserving silence, and @kimidefreytas in deleting her problematic posts from the past to solidify her victim position in all this. Defenders of @kimidefreytas have told us again and again that Kimiko did not choose the photo. Kimiko is not to blame. Yet yesterday this photo she posted on her Facebook came to light. (I have censored it - there are uncensored versions on Twitter if you must see the photo).
Jan 18, 2019 7 tweets 2 min read
It strikes me that @nytimes's paternalistic, condescending tone around the #RiversideAttack issue is in stark contrast to the pithy, earnest "Subscribe for $1" messaging they project elsewhere. To help them align their messaging, here's some design ideas for their next ad campaigns?
Jan 17, 2019 10 tweets 2 min read
Let me tell y'all a relatively harmless story about the first time I encountered the power of foreign media to permanently alter an African story. In 2009 (centuries ago, lol), as part of Just A Band, we put out this video that featured Makmende, who until that point had been an abstract, Kenyan character with hazy origins.
Jan 16, 2019 8 tweets 3 min read
Lastly, I know that it is fashionable to dismiss #KOT as a gang of marauding armchair-activists, but it's important to look at the Kenyan context a little more carefully. Kenya is not a society of people who are used to being listened to, or cared for. There isn't really a history of any Kenyan institutions openly caring for Kenyans. All the way from the government, the police force, the health-care system, corporates, insurance, public utilities...name it.
Jan 16, 2019 9 tweets 2 min read
I am all in favour of this #DeportKimiko tag, not for the immediate catharsis it provides to an angry public, but because it highlights a greater issue. I have always said that the ecosystem of global media sending foreign press to "cover Africa" is a dangerous one. It is not an ecosystem that was founded on care for Africa or Africans, but an anthropological and ethnographic interest in reporting to the world about the steamy jungles and the curious habits of the savages.