In recognition of the complex challenges facing the country in the aftermath of violence and following the National Accord that led to the secession of violence, in 2009, Media Focus on Africa Foundation implemented an intervention program “Platform for Dialogue towards National Integration and Cohesion”, aimed at re-building inter-ethnic trust, promoting national integration and cohesion in Kenya using the media. The cycles of violence and revenge that typifies Kenya’s post independence history can only be interrupted through a public discourse on finding common ground between communities and consensus on the root causes of conflict. Essential for this is to de-ethnicise the conflict and distinguish facts from values and positions from interests.
The objective of the project was to facilitate inter-tribal dialogue with the purpose to search for common ground between the different tribal communities. The programme involved a television talk show series on Citizen TV titled ‘Fist to Five for Change’, which was complemented by community outreach activities in the form of mobile cinema screenings and follow-up dialogue sessions with the communities
Research into root causes of PEV
Prior to the start of the Fist to Five for Change programmes, research was conducted into the root causes of the post election violence. The results of this research informed the production of the series of talk shows for television.The research was conducted by Strategic PR and Indepedent Research and consisted of desktop research, focus group discussion and a survey.
A total of 19 TV shows, moderated by Julie Gichuru aired on Citizen Television. The television programme sought to provide a platform for ordinary citizens to engage on their experiences during the post-election violence (PEV) while uncovering the root causes of the post election conflict in search for on joint solutions.
Communities share experiences of PEV
To encourage members of the different ethnic communities to share their experiences during the post elections, community dialogue sessions were organised. The sessions brought together perpetrators, victims, youth, women, opinion leaders, and religious leaders and were facilitated by representatives of our local network of CSO/CBO .