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CITY GIRL: Stop exposing your private lives on YouTube


I am a voracious consumer of YouTube. I use YouTube to check recipes. When I need to understand a concept, I look it up on YouTube for recorded public lectures (which have been of massive help in my academic life).

When I need to catch up on my favourite, Christiane Amanpour, I go to YouTube. When I want to learn natural hair tricks and tips, YouTube is my go-to platform.

When I am bored at home, I catch up on the latest YouTube content from Kenyan video bloggers, known as vloggers.

Kenyan vloggers blog just about anything under the sun, from beauty and hair tips, fashion, travel and most importantly family.

FAMILY VLOGGERS

Today, let’s talk about the burgeoning number of Kenyan family vlogs.

Mostly consisting of young, beautiful and adoring families, the Kenyan family vlogging space is a vibrant online industry.

Modelled on the “Kardashian” business plan, the typical Kenyan vlogger family often always thrives on revealing personal family details to keep their fans hooked.

It is shameful, to say the least. That these Kenyan family vloggers, some of them former television “queens” have overrated their popularity and overstated their importance in the society such that they are led to believe that the details of their families qualifies as content.

I am not hating. Far from that. I just feel sorry for these vloggers who try so hard to keep their fans glued by undertaking desperate acts such that their lives have become a public performance.

PRIVATE MOMENTS

They live their lives at the pleasure and entertainment of uncaring Kenyans who come to their YouTube channels not when they want to make a decision on the best pampers to buy, but when they want to pass time.

Personal and private moments such as childbirth and whatever happens thereafter become fodder for social media, the preying blogs and a legion of idle fans. Intimate moments such as honeymoons, weddings and family vacations are open to all and sundry. When it comes to Kenyan family vloggers, privacy becomes a foreign concept.

What these vloggers fail to understand is this is not Hollywood. This is Kenya. The entertainment market in Kenya is not as mature as in the US and UK markets. The Kenyan market is far too small to earn you a fortune off YouTube or even a reality television show.

In any case, the willingness to pay for content in the Kenyan market is very low, if not non-existent. You simply cannot copy paste the Kardashian ideology and apply it to the Kenyan market without looking like a bunch of clowns.

FREE MEAL

For your information, these vloggers earn nothing from YouTube. Would you imagine that, for that public display of personal lives, YouTube uses their shenanigans to draw audiences to their platform and very few of them earn as little as ten dollars. YouTube is the biggest winner here, your favourite Kenyan vloggers are the pawns.

The vloggers earn money through sponsorship deals and endorsements, basically, when brands want to save cash on advertising, they use you and your family as ambassadors for Sh50,000 (and a free meal).

It is not worth it, if you ask me.

It gets worse when children are involved. Children are now being used as click bait to lure the fans, the likes and comments, all for a brand to notice you and give you free pampers and 20K. These vloggers are now exposing their children to a public that does not care.

INNOCENT CHILDREN

We know their children by their faces, by their real names. Anyone, including those with ulterior motives, could easily pick your child from a crowd.

I am not insulting the hustle. I am aghast at the disgraceful attack on common sense, to expose your children to a public life they did not choose for themselves.

How can you, subject your children to a life of a public circus, so much so that your children become little “celebs” when some of them are too young to understand what is going on?

Why would any parent want to subject their innocent children to a life sentence of scrutiny and ridicule?