……The Catchy Sound Bites and Phrases…..How they shaped up the political times leading to the General Election, and, the subsequent Presidential Election petition at the Supreme Court…….

….Irrespective of the outcome of the August 8 General election and the subsequent presidential election petition at the Supreme Court,….the whole moments provided some interesting catchy and funny moments worth noting by keen observers.

In terms of creativity, the creative ideas and sound bites that were brought into the play were excellent. Different political players engaged top notch creatives who spurned out juicy and catchy creative phrases and sound bites that resonated well with the electorate.

From Jubilees’ anthem song “Tano tena” to the moniker word “minji minji” and other adverts and videos which were making viral rounds in the social media …..to National Super Alliance anthem song, Raila tibim and tialala which all went viral all offered interesting moments. They were a hallmark of how creative people can be when it comes communication delivery.

But, these interesting moments capped their peak at the Supreme Court during the presidential petition Court case. It is here where the clash of juicy and catchy phrases was employed to the fullest which were waxed with rich lexicons by top notch lawyers who represented different political players.

They pulled all the stops in their arguments in trying to convince and swerve the Supreme Court Judges so that they can rule in their favour. Most of them put their best foot forward while arguing their cases. Others showcased their brilliance when it came to waxing lexicons with good command and fluency of the English language.

Just have a look at some catchy sound bites phrases which emerged from the courtroom ……” where is the smoking gun”. The highlight of these sound bite phrases was lamented by PLO Lumumba, who said that…….”We delivered a baby, that baby is alive and well, you are being asked to strangle the baby! Decline, the baby is alive and well!

That statement by that prominent lawyer caused a stir on the social media with his impressive English which was fluent waxed with an intricate lexicon. His tactic even managed to appease the Chief Justice.

During that Supreme Court petition case, the courtroom show made it clear who is good at crunching numbers, breaking down issues, simplifying matters and coming up with the right sound bites for television and social media communication.

The lawyers showcased that it is not enough to have factual arguments; it must be simplified, dramatised and made entertaining using these sound bites.

But, what is a sound bite? In essence, they are short phrases, or, sentences that capture what the speaker was trying to say, summarize the information, entertain or captivate the reader, or, viewer.

Unfortunately, we have a growing culture of sound bites used in an awful way, perhaps best illustrated in exchanges on Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

It has also crossed in journalism as noted by Daily Nation columnist, Peter Mwaura, who wrote that the problem with sound bite journalism is that it fogs political communication and readers, or, viewers who are subjected to incomplete arguments.

He further argues that sound bites are not employed to provide the complete story or even the summary. They are used by lawyers and politicians to justify their positions. And, therein lies the danger for journalists who rely on sound bites in their reporting without delving into the context in which they were made.


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