By Rachel Ogbu
Twitter has recorded a new testimony thanks to Administrative Chief Francis Kariuki from Kenya who averted what would have been a tragic robbery by using the 140 character network platform.
After the Kenyan chief received an SOS call late one night from his neighbour that thieves had broken in, he didn’t think of calling the police for help, instead he turned to Twitter. “Thieves in Kelven’s living room, let’s help him out please,” he tweeted in Swahili, the local language. Local residents, who subscribe to his tweets through a free text messaging service, jumped into action. They surrounded the house, sending the thugs fleeing into the night.
It was a celebrated victory especially in a town far from the bustling capital foiled a predawn robbery recently using Twitter, emphasised the influential effects of social media in areas that don’t have access to the Internet.
A recent study shows social media use in the continent is growing, with South Africa sending the most tweets, followed by Kenya and Nigeria. Egypt and Morocco follow in the list of top five most active countries.
The report this month by Portland Communications and the trend-analysis group Tweetminster based its conclusion on a three-month study of tweets from the continent.
About 57% of tweets from Africa are sent from mobile devices, according to the study.
“We saw the pivotal role of Twitter in the events in North Africa last year, but it is clear that Africa’s Twitter revolution is really just beginning,” Beatrice Karanja, head of Portland Nairobi, said in a statement. “Twitter is helping Africa and Africans to connect in new ways and swap information and views. And for Africa — as for the rest of the world — that can only be good.”