In early times in Africa before colonization communication was not easy. To be specific Kenya used to communicate in various ways and each had different meanings. Some of the ways that they used to communicate are;
- Through smoke, which was an emergency call. In traditional times when people were attacked by robbers or other tribes, they would send one person to go on top of a mountain and light the fire so that when other people from far communities see the smoke, they would come and help them (1).
- Through drumming which was a call of celebration. Most ceremonies would take place if a child was born or during circumcision. If they wanted to call for a celebration they would take many drums and start drumming them loudly so that people in the neighbouring community could come and join them (1).
- Through messengers, which were not always successful. People would send messengers to deliver a message that was not possible to be derived either through smoke or other means of communication. The message was sometimes not delivered because there were many wild animals and robbers (1).
The post office was opened in Kenya in 1897 (2). People could send letters, telegrams and there were telephones where people could make calls. Letters were quite slow and most people did not get direct delivery. Telegrams were very expensive since each and every word that was written cost money. If someone wanted to call, one had to walk up to the post office which was kilometers away for some people.(3)
Cell Phones were introduced in 1999 but they were very expensive to buy at the beginning (4). The aim of the cell phones was just to communicate and send SMS messages. As the price of the phones came down, they were still quite expensive because people had to pay per minute to talk or per word to send an SMS.
Smartphones were later introduced. Smartphones made communication easier because of their access to the internet. The phones themselves are quite expensive and the data can be as well, but there are more communication options through online apps like ‘Whatsapp’.
Most people in Kenya now have either a cell phone or a smartphone.