Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sunday, January 6, 2008

KochFM feature on PBS audio download

For you guys short of bandwith: here is a downloadlink for the audio from the PBS-feature on KochFM this autumn:

Sign up to show your support

This blog entry is ment to be used for all the supporters of KochFM. Please leave a support-message for Toto, Shiko, Jeff, Nyash, Paul, Abdi, Carol, Njeru, Martin, Roba, Patrick and all our other friends stuck in Korogocho, Dandora, Kariobangi and the rest of Kenya to show your support during this time of crisis.

Please sign by clicking the heading, click post comment to tell our friends we are with you in the spirit!

Days of fear

This is Richard, one of the founders of KochFM, writing from Oslo, Norway.
It´s not with a peaceful mind I´m writing this entry.

This is now:

Chaos, disorder, torture, rape, molester and violent mass-persecution is a reality in the neighborhood of KochFM.

The picture is taken in Koch the 31st of Dec 2007
(Picture taken from the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, interviewing Toto, Jan. 4th 2008)

KochFM reaches out to approximately 250 000 people everyday. Reading todays newspapers for those who can´t read, playing songs by local artists and talking live on air about issues concerning the local environment.

KochFM is an incredible story made true by a group of young purposeful people that want to see changes.

KochFM is 2 export containers, some simple audio equipment, a computer and a home made transmitter, everything aired through an antenna made out of 6 meters of waterpipe and 5 weldingsticks.

KochFM is taking the side of the weak in difficult situations and is making everydaylife in the Korogocho slum a bit easier by giving the voiceless a voice.

KochFM is now a much bigger issue than being just a local radio-station in a slum in Nairobi.

KochFM is a proof that if you really believe in something, and maintain that aim, you´ll reach there.

The things happening in Kenya right now makes KochFM even more important!

Keep the fire burning!

The struggle continues!

(Check out the feature PBS did on KochFM this autumn:

Friday, January 4, 2008

Most important question today

Thanks for the Solidarity,

We are being tested once more as our ability to resolve conflict is
put on the line. The recent violence in Kenya is regrettable and
KochFM joins the other peace loving people who have condemened the
acts of violence and lawlessness that has since caused the loss of
more than 300 people in the last week.

The biggest question ofcourse is what is the cost of democracy? What
can we demand of a people who have lost faith in the constitutional
means that have been enshrined in the constitution;those taking to the
streets are obvioulsy showing that they do not believe that the Kenyan
judiciary has the capacity to address the alleged election fraud. Thus in their anger they are letting it known that they are disatisfied by the conduct of the Electoral Commission of Kenya.

The second most important question is how bad should things get before the
oppossition adopts another approach of protest? While demonstrations have been widely seen as legitimate means of airing grieviances once they turn violent the purpose is lost and everyone stands to loose. Demonstration and
street prescence of the people is creating the opportunity for tension
and intensification of violence as we have witnessed. The mobs once on
the street assume their own might and not even the opposition leader
or the police will pacify them. So it is my observation that parherps
the way to continue putting pressure onto the government should avoid
any direct action that will bring people onto the streets. Am reminded
of Mahtma Gandthi of India who faced with a similar circumstance took
to fasting to bring about a change of heart. Mybe our people in
Koch/Kenya should approach the situation like that by staying indoors
and thereby effecting pressure of the powers that be.

The last question is how do we heal the wounds of post election
violence? How do we move foward as a community where we have both
victims and perpetrators of violence? Have we not created underlying
tension that will be eating us inside as we walk past a vandalized
shop, or a burnt church, a broken house window. Have not sowed the spirit of division, mistrust and suspicion amongst ourselves, so that when we look over our sholders we will be fearfull of each other?How long will it take
to bury and grieve the victims of post election violence. Who will
take care of their families? who will explain to the children why
their dady never returned from work? or their mumy did not return from
the shop or thier little brother or sister will not play outside the house any

These are question that seek answers and I believe that time will give
us the ability to heal and move foward to build a vibrant nation based
on the goodwill that we have established over time.

As you observe language will be a challange for us between Koch and
Brazil yet we must find a way to let the world know that still in
Kenya despite the animosity that has been witnessed there are pillars
of hope. That the gains made since the World Social Forum last year will continue to be consoldated. We have witnessed families that have gone out of their way to assist people who
would have otherwise been killed by the enraged mobs.

Because of the ban on live broadcasting KochFM has stopped actively
producing programs and is now playing music full time. But the entire crew is actively listening to what is happening in the community and promoting peace through word of mouth.

You can easily follow what is happening through

Also feel free to reproduce what is on the blog for your audiences. We will always be in solidarity.



Message of solidarity

Hi Friends from Koch FM Radio Station,

Since we met during the World Social Forum in your contry we have been
thinking in ways to connect the Favela Radio in Belo Horizonte Brazil and
Koch FM in Kenya. This exchange of information can be dificult because of
the language but isn`t impossible.
We can`t even imagine what you are going thru in this moment and realize how
bad this is for Kenya, Africa and the World.
We have been talking alot in Brazil about your work and we are very glad to
met you during our visit and established this communication.

But we really want to show to the brazillian people what is happening in
Kenya according with your point of view.

We are in talk with the Favela Radio in Brazil to translate and publish the
news available in the KochFM Blog site. Would be very interesting if you
could send images and short videos that give to the public more about what
is going on in Kenya.

And to finish we wanted to request a message for the world and also for the
participants of the World Social Forum 2007 in Kenya. What are the most
important and relevant questions for you this moment?

Best Regards,
Everton Rodrigues and Pedro Jatoba

Thursday, January 3, 2008

KochFM still on Air

KochFM is still on air despite the tensions that is running high within Koch, Nairobi and Kenya at large. Shiko and the crew are working under extreme circumstances to keep the radio running. For the past few days KochFM has been playing only music; the government banned live broadcasting by independent media houses shortly after Kibaki was sworn in as the new president.

Once again I would like to salute the youth of Koch who have shunned violence as evidenced by the relative stable state of things in the area; though calm has not returned we believe that residents will explore non violent ways of making/ airing their greviances. At the same time we call upon the police to restrain themeselves when dealing with the protesters (reasonable force) since their presence seems to intensify the tension.

Peace and justice will shine in our motherland.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Action without violence

Having been sworn in as the new president Mwai Kibaki now has access to constitutional means to defend his presidency which puts Raila and those who see his election as fraudulent in a fix. The police have been quick to ban all rallies which has created so much tension given that the oppossition led by Raila are planning to march tomorrow to statehouse. It is no longer a question of numbers, no one doubts the ability of Raila to mobilze 1million Kenyans for the march to statehouse, the question is what will be the cost of such action.

If people heed Raila's call (which most certainly) and come out into the streets tomorrow we are headed for more bloodshed and chaos, while that might achieve something for Raila's claim to presidency it will cause unneccessary suffering to the Kenyan community. But what other options are there for Raila? Is he to take a backbench and wait for another 5years to run for presidency? Is there a possibility that with a majority of MP he could hold the government more accountable as the oppossition? What would happen if he called for a countrywide boycott?

Elections are about timming and it would appear that Raila sees this as his best chance since ODM was running on the popularity gained during the 2005 referendum, ODM as an entity is not immune to disintergration and as such the longer Raila has to wait the harder it will be for him to marshal a popular party to win the elections with. On the other hand he would still be popular much so because Kibaki will not be vying(unless he changes the constitution).

The other option is for Raila and all ODM MP to keep the government accountable for the next 5 Years which will result in better governance and credibility for ODM and a definate win in 2012.

Kenyan protest as witnessed now and in the past end up in ugly confrontations and it is unwise for Raila to call on people to converge at Uhuru Park for a rally when clearly the police are out to disrupt it. It would be acceptable if Raila and indeed the other eleceted leaders sought other forms of mass action. They could start a hunger strike and demand that an inquiry be held, they could ask their supporters to stay at home and not report to work to force the government to recount the votes. This actions will put pressure on the government without neccessarily creating room for escalation to violence.

Given Raila and other leaders stature it is possible that while they might face the same violence from the police during the march chances are that the police will be trying hard not to hurt them personally as that will create more uproar;the countless citizens will be at the recieving end. Already there are reports of massive internal displacement of people which indicates that the electoral violence is taking a turn into tribal clashes.

While peace and justice go hand in hand we must seek ways to make peace while we fight for justice. My heartfelt condoloscence to the families that have lost loved ones. Why must we travel down this road? How many more have to perish before we can rethink?

As a Kenyan in the diaspora it is disheartening to see imamges of fellow Kenyans being killed, tortured and displaced, reminds me of how volitile politics in my motherland can be.

Lets act but without violence.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Kenyan Elections

Today Kenya is faced with a crisis that stems from the results of the just conluded elections that declared Mwai Kibaki to be the new president. The leader of the oppossition Raila Odinga claims that he won the elections and he has at his disposal evidence to that effect. The formal channel is to go to court and petition but from experience such a case would takeso many years to resolve. Naturally his supporters feel angry and frustrated but does that justify acts of violence?

So far more than 147 people have been reported dead since December 27th and unless calm is restored more lives and properties will be lost. In Koch a resident confirmed to us that 9 people had been killed in the clashes.

We call on all citizens to restrain themselves and seek alternative ways for negotiation, the current approach allows the government to send in the police which further escalates the riots.

It is times like these that we can distinguish ourselves as democrats and instruments of peace.

Let peace reign.