Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Kenyan DJs go six days without food to promote peaceful elections

By Teo Kermeliotis, for CNN
December 21, 2012 -- Updated 1627 GMT (0027 HKT)
Nairobi-based Ghetto Radio DJs Mbusii, Solloo and Essie (pictured) are going six days without food to advocate for peaceful elections in Kenya. Nairobi-based Ghetto Radio DJs Mbusii, Solloo and Essie (pictured) are going six days without food to advocate for peaceful elections in Kenya.
HIDE CAPTION
Fasting for peace
Calling for peaceful elections
Calling for peaceful elections
Calling for peaceful elections
Fasting for peace
Calling for peaceful elections
Post-election fighting
Post-election fighting
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Three Kenyan radio presenters are going six days without food to advocate peaceful elections
  • The East African country is heading to the polls on March 4 2013
  • It will be the first vote since the 2007 election, when violence left more than 1,000 dead

(CNN) -- Three radio DJs in Kenya are going six days without food while broadcasting non-stop to promote peaceful voting in a country that was nearly torn apart after its last election five years ago.

Ghetto Radio presenters Mbusii, Solloo and Essie have been locked inside a "glass house" in central Nairobi since Wednesday, as part of the station's annual Serious Request Kenya event.

This year's theme is "Vote4Peace Vote4Kenya," ahead of the East African country's elections on March 4 2013. The vote will be the first since ethnic violence engulfed the country after disputed elections in December 2007, leaving more than 1,000 people dead and 350,000 displaced, according to the Kenya Red Cross.

Read related: Can tech revolutionize African elections?

Three days into the challenge, DJ Solloo is in good spirits -- despite the lack of food.

"I'm a bit hungry," he laughingly admits, "but we have to do this -- it's a pretty good feeling."

We have to work for Kenya and work for peace
DJ Solloo, Ghetto Radio

Solloo, whose real name is Solomon Njoroge, says Kenya cannot afford a return to post-election violence. Last time around, he says, he was a victim of the bloody unrest that swept his town of Eldoret, one of the fighting hotspots in Kenya's Rift Valley province.

Solloo says that back then he had to spend more than two weeks with limited food supplies while camping at a police station for safety.

"This country cannot afford to go back to that time," says Solloo from the glass house, a few moments before going on air. "I decided to come here because we have to push for this message to be a part of every Kenyan. It has to be every Kenyan's initiative to know that peace is more than just the absence of war."

Opinion: What Ghana can teach the rest of Africa about democracy

The radio presenters' food strike kicked off on December 19 and will run until December 24. So far, Solloo says, thousands of young people have gathered outside the glass house to show their support and also take part in a host of election-related activities, including issuing of ID cards, a voter-registration program and democracy workshops.

"The response has just been amazing," says the DJ, who is relying on water and juices to get through the six-day period. "Everyone's proactive saying Kenya needs peace. We have to work for Kenya and work for peace."

Some of the country's best-known musicians have also joined the cause by performing live outside the glass house, adding their voice to a growing chorus of Kenyans calling for a peaceful election.

Kenya has had a coalition government following the disputed 2007 elections. In that vote, both Mwai Kibaki, the incumbent, and challenger Raila Odinga claimed to have won. The post-election chaos escalated into ethnic violence with members of the president's tribe, the Kikuyu, fighting members of Odinga's Luo tribe and other groups.

The two later entered into a power-sharing agreement, with Odinga named prime minister and Kibaki named president.

Despite some pre-election tensions between politicians in the country, Solloo is hopeful that Kenya's young population will show the nation's leaders that bloodshed should be avoided at all costs.

"I just want everyone to understand that we need peace," he says. "We cannot afford another post-election violence."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
African Voices
September 8, 2014 -- Updated 1322 GMT (2122 HKT)
Neurosurgeon Kachinga Sichizya talks about caring for newborns and mothers from underprivileged backgrounds.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1508 GMT (2308 HKT)
Mulatu Astake may be the father of a musical genre: Ethio-jazz. But when he talks about the art form, he tends to focus on its scientific merits.
July 7, 2014 -- Updated 1329 GMT (2129 HKT)
Australia's Tim Cahill appeals to the linesman after a disallowed goal during the Group B match between Chile and Australia at Arena Pantanal on June 13, 2014 in Cuiaba, Brazil.
Kenya's national football team may not have made it to the World Cup Finals in Brazil -- but one man will be there for his African nation.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 0953 GMT (1753 HKT)
Daniel
Kenyan funny man Daniel "Churchill" Ndambuki chooses five emerging comics from the continent to keep an eye on -- they are going to be big!
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1044 GMT (1844 HKT)
African contemporary art is thriving, says author Chibundu Onuzo.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 1010 GMT (1810 HKT)
Photographer Ernest Cole made it his life mission to capture the injustice of apartheid in South Africa.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1239 GMT (2039 HKT)
Mulenga Kapwepwe
Mulenga Kapwepwe has single-handedly created an explosion of arts in Zambia.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
Wegkruipertjie, a short film playing at the Durban International Festival
From Ghanaian rom-coms to documentaries celebrating 20 years of South African democracy, festival-goers are spoiled for choice at this year's Durban Film Fest.
June 17, 2014 -- Updated 1240 GMT (2040 HKT)
Esther Mbabazi, Rwanda's first female pilot
Esther Mbabazi wheels her bag towards the airstairs of the Boeing 737 sitting quietly on the tarmac at Kigali International Airport.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1249 GMT (2049 HKT)
Nelson Mandela
Adrian Steirn and the 21 ICONS team have captured intimate portraits of some of South Africa's most celebrated. Here he reveals the story behind the photographs.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 0926 GMT (1726 HKT)
Explore a series of artistic street portraits designed to pay tribute to the people of the Sudanese capital.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1557 GMT (2357 HKT)
A growing list of popular African authors have been steadily picking up steam --and fans -- across the globe over the last several years.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
South Africa Music Legends stamps
Artist Hendrik Gericke puts a spotlight on iconic musical legends from South Africa in these incredible monochrome illustrations.
Each week African Voices brings you inspiring and compelling profiles of Africans across the continent and around the world.
ADVERTISEMENT