Who Funded ShuGenZ Concert

Boniface Mwangi Reveals Who Funded The ShuGenZ Concert

The slow built-up anger on TikTok due to the infamous 2024 finance bill morphed into a revolt – without a face. The last two weeks have been a revolt by the youth in Kenya, specifically Gen Zs, who represent an overwhelming majority of the population.

Youth— below the age of 35 years, in Kenya, accounts for about 80% of Kenya’s population. They came out in large numbers to reject the proposed Finance Bill 2024, which would have been law, had it passed on the floor of the house. They showed their solidarity in ending impunity by lawmakers in the promise of a new dawn of multi-party democracy and development.

The rebellion witnessed was not led by politicians, religious leaders, or youth leaders. There were no identifiable leaders who could easily have been quarantined, threatened, or bribed. The whole thing was organized online and through technology and coordination,  communication and engagement were not easily manipulated like traditional media in the olden times.

One Tuesday morning, hundreds of Kenyan young gadgets-wearing protesters, who feel the pinch of taxation, marched through Nairobi, bringing the city to a standstill. They were armed with their masks, water bottles, digital cameras, and smartphones, and live-streamed the events of the day amid intense confrontations with police officers. The teargas and water cannons were not enough to stop their demand for the removal of the controversial bill.

Who Was Behind It All?

The young protesters, popularly known as “Gen Zs”, are people born between the late 1990s and early 2000s, and were able to mobilize themselves on TikTok.

“We are the Gen Zs, we were able to mobilise ourselves. We use TikTok as a space to be able to not only have young people come to protest but to educate them on the why,” protester Zaha Indimuli told journalists.

Popular activists Boniface Mwangi, Hanifa Adan, and Njeri wa Migwi were among the several prominent faces who were behind mobilization. They were arrested on the deal day alongside many other Kenyans as they led the Occupy Parliament protests around CBD.

Boniface Mwangi is a photojournalist and international whistle-blower, Hanifa is a renowned political activist and environmentalist on X, while Njeri Migwi is the founder and director of the Usikimye Organisation which helps victims of sexual abuse.

News of the unlawful arrests of the protesters spread like fire on social media. Activist Boniface Mwangi shared an active phone number where arrested Kenyan protesters could call/text and state their status and safety. An MPESA Paybill Number was also created where Kenyans of goodwill could send money to secure cash bails for the arrested.

Activists Hanifa, Kimuzi, and Osama Otero mobilized youths for a crowd-fund dubbed ‘Care for The Injured’ on several social media platforms, X and TikTok. In a few days, the fundraiser surpassed the KSh 10 million target to reach a whooping KSh 25 Million and hundreds of thousands.

The money was on M-CHANGA, a Safaricom digital funds platform. The funds were used to clear bills of patients and slain people during the anti-finance bill demos. Rex Masai and Evans families, the two lost their lives, were given Kshs 1 million each and the rest went to hospital bills.

Who Funded The ShuGenZ Concert?

High-level coordination among the Gen Zs was also witnessed during the concert at Uhuru Park, showing their oneness and organization, despite the absence of a face for the movement. In a long tweet to commend protestors after the ordeals of the past two weeks, activist Boniface Mwangi thanked several key people who helped in one way or another, to make the Shujaaz Memorial Concert successful.

He mentioned: Governer Johson Sakaja, Muthoni DQ (Blanket & Wine), Shaffie Weru, George Ndetch, and OCPD Central. He also thanked the over 25 artists who performed among them Khaligraph Jones, Bien of SautiSol, Eric Wainaina, Sanaipei Tande, Octopizzo, and Zzero Sufuri. The concert was held on Saba Saba weekend which is usually referred to as Freedom Fighting Day for the second liberation of the country.

Who Funded ShuGenZ Concert
Khaligraph Jones Performs at ShuGenZ Concert

The President’s daughter, Charlene Ruto, tried to quell the situation by offering to speak to her fellow young people. She started on behalf of herself to lend her voice in the crucial defining moment of her father’s leadership.

“Let us criticize when necessary but also propose solutions. I want you to know that your engagement in our nation’s affairs is not just welcome but essential. They all contribute to the vibrant democracy we are building together.”

She added: “I speak not just as the President’s daughter but as one of you, a young Kenyan passionate about our country’s future. I hear your voices and your concerns. The challenges we face as a generation are real and pressing.”