Branding Kenya

Kikuyu Homestead

Kikuyu Homestead 19th Century

Well what is perceived by the word brand? Probably you are wondering where I am going with this. Well some months or years ago we had Tusker Supermarket a local self help store. The perception and reception by the public it was viewed as one of the underground local stores and unconfirmed sources said it was going down at some point. With a string of stores around capital city and towns, the resulted to rebranding and sure enough it catapulted its revenue and image of the store rose high to the standard of the main stores like Nakumatt and the then Uchumi. The store just renamed its name to Tuskys and put some more definitive colours for outright identification.

Back to our case Brand Kenya, well would argue Kenya has always been a brand on its own rather we needed rebranding. The whole strategy is amazing and yes under normal circumstances it would pass to be the best ideal way of selling Kenya to the Diaspora and attract tourist and investors. It’s viewed as an extension of progressing the main agenda of Vision 2030. Quoting the Information PS Mr. Ndemo he claimed politicians give guidelines they follow and if something fails its due to lack implementation by the likes of them the PS and so on. Is this really true to have such a claim when we do know that they are employed by the same politicians? May be sounding dumb but who is the boss and what if the boss grounds your plan? He was addressing attendees during the Brand Kenya launch claiming we should not blame politicians and that it was them to implement. Really tend to think he was wrong because for a fact it’s the politicians who have assumed the role of what goes and what does not. Look at the situation of the constitution review we haven’t begun and the already at it. Soon am guessing us going to be back to Orange and Bananas politics.

Anyway I think if the issue of Brand Kenya would lack the political goodwill we would be like playing musical beats without lyrics or having tuneless music but is still music. Look at it this way; yes we have Brand Kenya initiative but what about the underlining Kenyan issues that keep propping up? What are the strategies put forward to addressing them? Through this initiative we have TV programs and Lobbyist send out to sell Kenya in the positive light and uplift its image plus to ensure deviate from the bad publicity Kenya had received since last year. Looking at the programs well would look at them and agree that yes it would pull up some public information inspire others and so on but are the political class in together with us or are they to stick back and be the spoiled potatoes to spoil the rest. Think about it, w busy painting this beautiful picture of oneness, safety and beauty of the country few days later some politicians comes out accusing the other of political assassination. With these grounds lobbies a community against the other going all tribal. Another scenario is when public scandals and mismanagement is the order of the day of government what are the investors to think?

In my view Brand Kenya is supposed to have from inside outside rather than just trying to do patch up work on the extremely spoiling image of the great nation. This should be an initiative for a cross section of the whole country. Every persons to be involved I expected to see the president in the foreground of Brand Kenya the PM was supposed to be on the foreground too but what did we see at the launch PS and people from the department and yeah our very own image portrayer the media. The previous initiatives looked so empty and almost disappointing struggle for damage control. The likes of Vision 2030 and The Kenya We Want.

We should be Branding Kenya from within we put policies to run and sustain the country regardless of the situations. We should have good and practical food policies that guide the importations, exportation, supply, distribution and production of food. This would ensure we have food security. We should ensure safety and security of Kenyans and their properties is paramount to the governance of the country. We should ensure we have policies to ensure basic wants like water and housing have been addressed appropriately. Empty promises made by politicians make the issue of Brand Kenya as another attempt of PR waiting to fall since we see nothing to sustain its accomplishment.

Being optimistic as they say its our duty as the Kenyan citizen to speak well of the beautiful country. The initiative should be done on a serious note such that the given TV programs identified should address the issues rather than cover them and better yet bring the solutions but surely we need politicians to be answerable so am thinking there involvement in the discussion and forums would just help us identify which of these leaders are for real. We love this beautiful country Kenya God bless it as we try every way to stay above!!!

By Neville D. Nelson