By: Dishon Amanya, Bungoma County, Kenya
Memes act as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices, that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogs to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures.
Kenyan Netizens have proven beyond reasonable doubt their creativity when it comes to online fun, Most of them create memes that go viral and make online the best place to be. They come either in form of pictures or videos accompanied with funny descriptions, most of them are widely shared via Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, and Instagram.
It’s a jaw-dropping fact that nowadays creating meme is one of the best paying jobs in Kenya. It can either be part-time or full time but at the end of the day, bills are paid through generating memes.
Most meme creators use prominent people or renowned celebrities to come up with their best creation of memes.
Some of the known Meme Creators in Kenya are; G-Songz Siloh, one of the best meme creators, most of his works are thrilling and will definitely turn dull days bright.
Another celebrity in the meme creation is Kariuki Kamau alias Karismemes, most of his works reveal a high level of creativity.
We also have Maina Ndegwa, he has not only made online life more interesting but also given meme creation new meaning, his meme creating prowess is uniquely admired. Through memes, Ndegwa can create an interesting story (thread) that will leave your ribs aching.
The basic functionality of a Meme is to convey specific emotions, it exposes a truth about something and it allows the truth to be captured and applied in new situations.
I interacted with some of the meme lovers and it was evident that memes are used for fun and also to convey a certain message.
“Memes really communicate a message, they carry a connotative meaning once you come to understand that’s when you find yourself laughing at a meme,” Carol Mumbua explained.
According to Carol, she likes memes because she gets entertained when she feels low, stating that they have some aesthetics in them.
Moreover, Festo Otieno acknowledged that he is using meme to entertain others.
“The creativity in meme can make me enjoy posting the memes, memers use simple pictures to convey a certain message in a funny way. This makes others laugh to a certain point and it prevents depression,” Festo said.
Internet memes are perhaps normally thought to be limited to social network sites where users create and upload materials related to certain topics and potentially expand their areas of use.
Completely new material is viewed by other users and given votes of approval, this increases the popularity of the material, and can potentially lead to mass usage of the meme thus giving birth to a new Meme. The new Meme can then be used for other purposes, all influenced by whatever the public finds most fitting, much in line with their understanding.
The change of utilization appeared to have been more widely researched, the idea behind internet meme allowing for rapid expansion into areas where anonymous creators can turn the memes into tools of radical idea sharing, confession, expressing critique towards the government, social norms and ideas, politics, and society in general.
Meme can be used to convey serious topics e.g. Political expression, being used to ridicule a certain behavior of politicians, in the world of Online Memes, it would appear that Memes are almost consistently and actively turned against their original motive.
Maurine Akinyi, pointed out that she mostly uses them to pass a message to his online followers on Twitter, Whatsapp, and Facebook.
“I post what I feel and the message found on a meme I post usually passes a certain message to my viewer, when I get pissed off I enjoy posting memes for me to be relieved and get rid of the pain I had encountered,” Maurine highlighted.