The Bidii Afrika forum was a lot of things to a lot of people. Initially I joined it voluntarily and I must admit it was quite good. At the time it allowed for sharing of ideas on many viewpoints and the kind of interaction I haven’t had until I joined Twitter. It even had job postings and a lot of good free stuff from Francis Chege, who went on to form Young Professionals.
The Moderator, Robert Alai, was fair and impartial and the whole thing worked well. When the history of Kenya’s technology revolution is written, Bidii Afrika will have its own chapter. It changed the way we look at a lot of things.
The experience people got from being part of a forum, from sharing ideas and stories, vacancies and classified ads and quite frankly anything that popped into peoples minds I believe opened the door for some of the bloggers in Kenya today.
But with time the content deteriorated, so I opted out, only to find I’d been added again.
“Every time I thought I was out, they pulled me back in!”
Finally I just marked reduced the frequency to “daily digest” and marked Bidii Afrika as spam.
I’ve heard that at one point Bidii Afrika had 30,000+ members. I’ve also heard a lot about its founder, Robert Alai.
I’m not going to discuss rumours. What I do know as an absolute fact is that Bidii Africa is no longer a Google Group. I also know that Robert Alai has insulted me on Twitter, so I’m inclined to believe whatever rumours I hear.
Some time back, just before the now infamous 2007 elections, as a joke, I created a profile for Mwai Kibaki on Facebook.
By the time Facebook shut it down (for impersonation) it had been written about in the newspapers and it had about 8,000 friends, a small number compared to Bidii, but I have some idea of how it feels to have something you’ve worked on shut down.
I also know how it feels to have some people hang on your every word, it can get to your head.
Arrogance used in the right way is a powerful thing, without it, the world would not have Donald Trump!
Unfortunately for me, Bidii is back, as evidenced by an E-mail I received last week.
The only advice I have for Alai is this, if it is true that you don’t have a rosy personality, check it at the door. You can be a bastard in your own free time, separate it from the work that you do.
If all this going around is “created by your enemies”, work on improving your image. Whatever you work on will benefit from that.
As a red blooded African man, you don’t need to suck up to anyone, but you also don’t have to generate needless animosity. This thing you have going with Kahenya on Twitter is ridiculous.
Start from there.
That’s all I have to say