Development results when a majority of the people actively engage in what is beneficial for them. It is possible for a people whose history has inclined them to view development as acquiring knowledge established on historical structural standards that inculcate Western values, practices, and patterns of thinking, to respond selflessly and with genuine concern for the needs of others. This book is about the lived experiences of a people who were brought into the system of status and power mainly through educational system established during the colonial period and expanded after independence. As a result, communication intended for development over time has resulted in perpetuating widening income disparities with majority becoming poor. However, there are, in fact, indigenous Kenyans, educated, yet their communication does not follow foreign thinking patterns. Instead they have been able to engage with a complex history; a history that included an education that was full of contradictions in that it alienated the learners from their environment and history. The experiences of the indigenes whose communication has been transformative are those a firm grasp of their realities and an awareness that lasting sustainable development of a people has to arise from within their context. African development communication theory that provides impetus for development is one that provides stimulation that result in enabling people gain consciousness of what they can be and do. Development communication should come from within the people allowing them gain consciousness, and personal responsibility towards others, the community and the rest of the world. The individuals that inspire change should be continuous learners whose prominence encourages them to gather data necessary to stimulate change and development.
Rebecca Chandi Ng’ang’a has a PhD in Development Communication from Daystar University where she has lectured for over two decades in the field of Communication. Her expertise includes: culture and communication, interpersonal communication, strategies of communication, communication systems in Africa, communication and leadership, among others. To Dr. Ng’ang’a, communication is what enables people to create the tension necessary for individuals to rise from myths, half-truths to reflective and liberative dialogue that challenges the roots of development. She is often invited to speak to a variety of audiences ranging from church congregations, to schools and even corporate staff, interested in spurring their thinking. Rebecca and her husband, John Ng’ang’a, live in Nairobi-Kenya and they have three adult children.