By David Mwenda
Last week, there was a huge buzz over one man Gwada Ogot. The man who is a well known researcher and a political strategist came before the senate committee and he made a case before the health committee for the legalization of the legalization of bhang.
Many Kenyans especially the youth cheered him on and some of them went ham on the guy for suggesting the things.
The media has been at the center of the story and they tried to demystify the story and tried to get him to talk about the matter. He did a number of interviews and he tried to get them to talk about why he wanted to get the drug legalized. However the media still does not seem to give him the support he wants.
Let’s get the fact straight
The facts need to be gotten straight and we must be able to talk about this matter in all honesty. First the interviews that were done it is like no research was done on the drug and drug related problems. They seemed to only talk about the matters such as why he wanted the drug legalized and why he thought he could change Kenyans perception on the matter. If the interviewers could have gotten the information they wanted to talk about the drug.
What happened to get the statistics of getting the issues that matter on the drug? Why is the drug beneficial? What makes it not beneficial? Can it be really used industrially? They failed o do this research and instead they chose to make him look like a crazy person and limiting the interview to a very short and limited period.
How many stories have been done on the drug?
A lot of drug abuse cases have been put out by the media. However most of the stories range on the base of drug abuse and drug lords being exposed. The rest of the story is however left out. Who has bothered to write or report about bhang itself and avoid focusing on bringing pictures of drug addicts and their testimonials and rather sought professional to talk about whether it has any benefits or it is not.
Bury your hand in the sand so that no one can see you
This is the same approach the media is treating this matter. They are hiding behind the backlash they can get from religious groups if they happen to run a story like this. They tried to make sure they had played it safe and even if he was talking about the benefits of the drug they tried to make him look like they did not want to engage with him on the matter.
Involve more people in the conversation, then
The conversation would have been better if they had more people into it. For on thy could have gotten health professional on the show and also they could have involved religious leaders if they feel like they could have backlash from running the story. This way they would have been able to fact check his story and also be able to give their own take on the matter.