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Kony 2012: The little video that shook the world

By Vision Reporter

Added 17th March 2012 07:34 PM

Whichever way you look at it, and there are very many people with very differing views, the Kony 2012 video, which was launched as a social media network campaign last week, has literally shaken the world.

Kony 2012: The little video that shook the world

Whichever way you look at it, and there are very many people with very differing views, the Kony 2012 video, which was launched as a social media network campaign last week, has literally shaken the world.

By Kalungi Kabuye
 
Whichever way you look at it, and there are very many people with very differing views, the Kony 2012 video, which was launched as a social media network campaign last week, has literally shaken the world.
 
With more than 100 million views in six days (and counting), the 30-minute documentary became the most viral video in history, according to research firm Visible Measures. By contrast, the video featuring Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 (which previously held the record) hit 70 million views in six days, and Old Spice’s Responses campaign, formerly second,  didn’t hit 70 million until five months after it was launched.
 
Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance video took 18 days to garner 100 million views, while it took Beyonce’s Single Ladies video all of 114 days to reach the same target. With translated and subtitled versions in Spanish, Italian, French, and Chinese emerging, the whole world will now probably know something about Uganda. 
 
Which should make us happy, right? Not quite, apparently; the day after the video first appeared, responses from ‘Ugandans’ almost went viral, too. And many of them were not happy ones. 
 
While much of the negative criticism that has been targeted at Invisible Children (the organisation that released the documentary) question its practices as an organization, the video is also criticised by many as being irrelevant, out of date, and not telling the whole story of the conflict that for 20 years rocked north and eastern Uganda. 
 
Lots of Ugandan ‘experts’ have written or have been quoted criticising the video. One post making the rounds on facebook first complained that since Kony has not been in Uganda for almost 6 years, why make the video now? And then took exception to the people in the documentary mispronouncing Kony’s name.
 
An American professor from San Diego, also a research fellow from Makerere University, after admitting that he had not watched the video, went on to write that it addresses all the wrong things; and that is should have been about things like the nodding disease and plans by the Government to grab Acholi land.
 
A writer on CNN, calling himself TMS Ruge (no idea if he is a Ugandan) complains that the wrong buzz was created, and that the video was a case of “… the wrong audience, for the wrong message, using the wrong messenger.” After saying that Invisible Children will probably make ‘millions of dollars’ in a few weeks, he suggests that IC should have worked with people like him (the writer) to empower them “… drive the conversation to its rightful audience, therein instilling a permanent sense of strong civic responsibility that is the basis of all modern societies.”
 
I’m not sure what that last bit means, but there are thousands of articles, blogs and posts about all the wrong that IC did. 
But hey, what’s the big deal? Personally, I feel that anytime Kony is taken out will be a good time. Now, tomorrow, next week, whenever – bring out the fatted calf when news finally come that Kony is either dead or arrested. And I will support anybody who does their little bit in bringing that about, simplistic as that may sound to some.
 
All of which reminds me of the many people I meet who, knowing I work for this newspaper, will take me to task about a certain headline, or a lead story they feel shouldn’t been on page 1. I always tell these wannabe editors: “Dude, get your own newspaper, then you can run any story you want or any headline you think will work, and hope you make a fortune.”
 
Hundreds of thousands of videos and documentaries have been done on northern Uganda in general, and even on Kony and the LRA in particular. I have personally met dozens of film crews coming back from filming in northern Uganda. And I dare say many Ugandans have also done their share of telling the world what a bad guy this Kony is. 
 
Indeed, Invisible Children could have done a video on malaria, diarrhoea, the nodding disease, state corruption, land grabbing or even the poor performance of A-Level students in the north.
 
So why Kony, why now? In around the 12th minute of the video, the International Criminal Court prosecutor Louis Moreno O’Campo says that Kony was the first person indicted by the ICC in 2005. While there are very many bad guys on the court’s list, Kony is bad guy number one. 
 
So why are we blaming IC for taking on the number one bad guy? Kony is still murdering people and kidnapping children, only now it is not in Uganda, but in the Congo and Central African Republic.
 
Like I tell those editor wannabes, so I will to the critics of this documentary: go make your own video, tell the story as you see it, upload it on facebook, YouTube and twitter; send it to Bill Gates and all the world celebrities you know and, if you are lucky, it just might go viral. 
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In the meantime Kony (is there a nasty word that rhymes with the pronunciation?) is still out there somewhere, killing and murdering and rampaging, and he has to be stopped. 
 

Kony 2012: The little video that shook the world

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