Whatsapp groups combine people with the same ideology, purpose or family and friends.
In a typical Kenyan WhatsApp group, we have different types of people or characters that all of us can easily relate to.
Here they are:
1. Online hawker.
Whether the group is a religious, family, baby shower or even a group-work discussion group, there are those individuals who just have to sell/hawk their goods like it is an online market. Their comments trickle in almost after every 20 minutes and we can’t help but cope with them.
We have participants who have never been serious even when the most serious issue is being discussed in the group. An example is if you are discussing the progress of the contribution for your chama and one person comes up with a seriously off-topic issue but a catchy one and derails the whole discussion.
3. Serious participants.
There are those participants who reply in an official manner, finish their sentences with “Thank you” and don’t just entertain jokers or members who can’t stick to the topic. They only comment on serious and official matters and can’t be seen around when ‘childish’ matters are in session. They are just too serious for life.
4. The followers.
These are members who are just in a group to follow what others say. They don’t comment on anything, they are just there, quiet and watching from a distance as the chats unfold. Most of these participants give their comments when you meet in person like “Felix hakunibamba vile aliongelea hio story na kuendea izo forms personally kwa group jana…”
5. Participants in absentia.
These are members who join the group…and then either get mugged and lose their phone or just lose it in drinking joints or forget it somewhere…others uninstall whatsapp or others have whatsapp but don’t just have the time to update it. So by the time all these things happen, they are still members of the group but unlike the followers, they are forever absent lol.
Kenyans are generous, especially when it comes to sharing the hilarious jokes made by creative Kenyans. Once one gets a joke or message from another group, they simply forward it. We have such members in the group who if you follow their chat history in the group, it is just forwarded jokes and random “Job Vacancies” messages.
Every group has its pastor and church is every day. You can wake up to a WhatsApp notification only to find it is a Bible verse like “Poverbs 20;15 – There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel”. These members always remind you to repent and prepare for the second coming blah blah…shun ungodly stuff, and forward Religious messages.
8. Motivational Speakers.
These ones will frequently engage a joker of the group in an intellectual talk, a serious one with inspirational quotes and use bombastic grammar to make it even look more serious. They forward quotes of Martin Luther, Obama and Mahatma Gandhi from other groups or from motivational apps.
We all have that member in our group who cracks us up whenever he/she comments on something. They make the group so lively you don’t wanna leave the group leave alone leaving the chat.
10. Politicians/Political Analysts.
These are the people who know absolutely everything about politics. They can analyze a politician, predict his/her next move, give comprehensive views about a certain political move or stand and even tell you why you should vote for Politician A and not B. They have radical political views and have a long political history overhead.