His announcement that ‘sausage mbili na soda moja (two sausages and one soda) will be the new norm following the ban on the sale of alcoholic drinks by President Uhuru Kenyatta left journalists reeling in laughter.
Not one to walk away from the stage without delivering a punchline or two, the CS then directed his attention towards the makeshift restaurants which he said were cropping up all over the country.
“Sasa nyinyi ambao mlifungua vibanda juzi juzi ili muuze mandazi na pombe sijui mtafanya nini. Itabidi muendelee kuuza hizo mandazi tu ama ni kufunga mtafunga? (The makeshift restaurants that emerged looking to sell mandazis alongside beer, I really don’t know what you will do. Will you continue selling the mandazis or will you now close down?),” he askedm albeit rhetorically amidst a hearty laughter from the fifth estate.
Watch a short clip of today’s Covid-19 press briefing below:
Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist and Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York Universityâ€™s Stern School of Business once said that the human mind is a story processor, not a logic processor, to reitearate the fact that stories are powerful communication tools, and CS Kagwe is arguably a master in exercising this theory.
He seems to have realised that in order for the critical message on how to protect the nation from Covid-19 to reach home, lacing his briefings with memorable stories is the most effective way and this has proven true.
His press briefings are unrivalled in terms of their ability to spark conversations across social media platforms, and at times leading to ‘hitsongs’ in the process.
Just mention ‘you can gerrit’ to any Kenyan and CS Kagwe’s name will pop up automatically. His statement on the ease of transmission of Covid-19 went viral instantly, with meme generators working in record time to release a mini-song on the same.
To show how serious the CS is in using his expert story telling strategy to spread the message on Covid-19, a trailer of Sauti Sol’s new show set to air exclusively on Dstv’s Maisha Magic Channel, showed Kagwe talking about his hitsong song with the award-winning band.
When he needs to, the Health CS takes up the role of a school headteacher and lectures the nation during his briefings, making sure to fuse the important bits with some humour.
This was how he addressed the threat posed by miraa chewers in the fight against the pandemic.
“Ukichonga miraa, chonga kwa kiasi ukiwa mbali na mwenzako, bado zitashika (When indulging in miraa/khat, do it in moderation and exercise social distancing, the enjoyment will also be the same when you put some distance between yourselves),” he advised.
A list of his hilarious yet seemingly ingeniously crafted stories cannot be exhausted at one go, as the CS just keeps serving punchline after punchline.
In his latest press briefing, CS Kagwe left his Director General (DG) Dr Patrick Amoth in stitches at one point, when he confessed to have gotten lost in scientific jargon when the DG was responding to a question on whether Hydroxychloroquine was effective in treating Covid-19.
To cap it off, the Health CS said that there was a silver lining on the decision by the national government to outlaw the sale of alcoholic beverages in restaurants.
“Kuna wale wetu macho ni nyekundu na yamefunguka nusu toka asubuhi..there’s a silver lining in everything, at least sasa tutawaona na macho nyeupe (there are those whose eyes are always red and droopy from consuming alcohol even in the morning. At least we will now get to see them sober for a change),” he stated, resuting in fits of laughter from the journalists gathered for the briefing.
Watch CS Kagwe’s funniest moments below: