Social Media Awards 2014 ; A glossary of new Terms by Kenyans Online

The SOMA 2014 logo
The SOMA 2014 logo
The SOMA 2014 logo

The Kenyan Social Media Awards 2014 were launched yesterday  as OLX Social Media Awards 2014 at at the Fairmont Norfolk Hotel in a colorful event that was attended by Social Media influencers, bloggers and Mainstream Media personalities.

The theme for this year’s Awards is “Making Social Media Work For You” and includes new categories for the National and County Governments, Learning Institutions, and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).

The chief guest at the launch was the The Director of Digital Media – Presidential Strategic Communications Unit, Dennis Itumbi.

The Awards ceremony is set for October 2nd 2014, after the conclusion of nominations and voting which will also see individuals and organizations awarded for their role in contributing to the phenomenal growth of social media.

This  post will dwell on the tremendous growth as seen in the last report on the State of Social Media in Kenya researched and prepared by Digital Rand together with Bloggers Media Limited (BML).

According to that report, 74% of Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) are in Nairobi. This 74% has, with time, come up with their own lingo, a community (cliques) complete with standards and rules that are set by those referred to as ‘Bigwigs’.

We will dwell on these new terms as well as certain peculiarities that have become part of the Kenyans Online phenomenon.

This is a satirical piece, you are therefore advised not to ‘catch any feelings’, its never that serious. (refer to the Glosarry of terms below if this disclaimer still doesn’t make sense)


– We are  not yet sure the threshold for this term. However, anyone with at least 10,000 followers and above on twitter  is considered a bigwig.

Small wigs
– In this category falls those have less followers (again, we are not sure of the exact numbers).

Think of Bigwigs as the celebs who, when they arrive at a certain venue, everyone is staining their necks to look at them, clapping at every nonsensical word/tweet. Small wigs fall over themselves to be noticed by bigwigs. When re-tweeted, they take the screenshot, print out and frame it.

The OLX Social Media  Awards ceremony will be where the bigwigs will be given full bragging rights to set standards and decide which causes  and brands are worth talking about.

Subaru became the term of use for the art of Sub-tweeting in Kenya.
Sub-tweeting is Indirectly tweeting something about someone without mentioning their name. Even though their name is not mentioned, it is clear who the person tweeting is referring to.
Sometimes the person tweeting or those in the know of the tweet will either post a photo of a Subaru vehicle or use the words ‘Subaru’ or just the words ‘Vroom’. You get the drift.

“Subaru fest”
This is a very common occurrence nowadays sometimes involving though not limited to Digital Media Agencies, well known or controversial personalities especially those seeking instant online stardom.
A Subaru Fest is when multiple tweeps start using subliminal tweets against an individual or a brand

Catching Feelings
When a tweep becomes emotional on a tweet or goes on a rant. its safe to say that they have ‘caught feelings’ or they are ‘catching feelings’

Chill Pill & Bila Chills
When someone has caught feelings( read – become quite passionate about a cause or situation) The words “Take a chill pill” are used to ask him/her to calm down. This can also be used if the person is Subaru-ing others or tweeting direct attacks.
When you Subaru or directly attack another tweep, we can safely say, you are doing it ‘bila chills’.

Team Mafisi
Google the characteristics of a Hyena (Fisi),  now, apply them to the human male specie online as a collective (remember, the real hyenas rule by numbers) Team Mafisi Catfish
A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances. The first well documented (me sounding all National Geographic like) expose can be found here  (warning, its really long)



1. Wife Material

Thanks to @GicheruGicheru . There are now set standards for Wife material. These standards however, keep changing depending on various factors.

2. Ramzzy and Matumbo
When Ramzzy compared the smell of matumbo to that of unwashed undies, he didn’t think it would cause the fuss it did and become a standard for what Kenyans should or should not eat or tweet that they eat.

5. Miss Thick I am and new standards for the Njoki types.

In case I have left out any, let me know via comment or tweet me @afro_mum

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