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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

#PeacePekee (Only Peace): Engaging 7.7m youth as ambassadors for peace during Kenya’s 2022 elections

Silver Honor in Community Engagement

Audience Honor in Community Engagement


2022 was a pivotal election year for Kenya. Since the last elections, young people had become the voting majority and endured the far-reaching impact of COVID-19: the pandemic had both engaged more youth in conversations about governance, and reinforced their existing frustrations with politics.  

With increased feelings of discontent, young Kenyans were at risk of being manipulated by fake news and calls to violence – as was seen during previous elections. During a tense election cycle, it mattered more than ever that young people were aware of the risks and felt empowered to play a positive part in Kenya’s democratic process.  

As the biggest youth-facing media brand in East Africa, we knew Shujaaz had a big role to play. In collaboration with the UNDP-led 'MAPEMA' consortium, we launched an ambitious media campaign called #PeacePekee (Only Peace) to engage young people as ambassadors for peace during Kenya’s 2022 elections. 

Leveraging Shujaaz’s unmatched reach and brand trust, our young creatives designed #PeacePekee to raise awareness among our audience of 7.7m young Kenyans on how to identify and report early warning signs of election violence and to spark norm-changing conversations through a print, digital and on-the-ground campaign activated by young Shujaaz ‘SuperFans’.  

From April to November 2022, the ultimate goal of #PeacePekee was to build stronger ties and trust between young people and their leaders; support youth and their communities to stay safe in volatile times and; above all, to play our part in ensuring a peaceful election.

Strategy and Execution

At Shujaaz we activated three strategic pillars to achieve our #PeacePekee objectives: 



Around the world, democratic systems are under threat. The narratives we hear and trust have never been more important. At the center of our campaign was powerful analogue and digital media designed to tell authentic stories that catalysed meaningful conversations on Shujaaz platforms. #PeacePekee was designed to counter fake news and build trust between youth and the authorities by helping our audience identify genuine early warning signs of election violence.  


First, Shujaaz’s creatives sat down with our research team to understand the state-of-play: did young people understand how to vote? How did they feel about the elections? What misinformation was beginning to arise? Together, they harnessed proven storytelling for impact models to bring to life relatable stories of young people navigating a tense political climate, including accurate and relevant information on early warning signs. We tested our content with our audience to ensure its effectiveness before calling on our SuperFans...   



Shujaaz is brought to life by 3000+ young 'SuperFans’ who volunteer to amplify our impact across the country. For #PeacePekee we wanted to leverage this unique community and their own networks to help counter fake news and report early warning signs of election violence to help keep the peace on and offline at scale.  


We activated our SuperFan network in three ways: 

  1. MICRO-INFLUENCERS: Our media team co-created campaign content with 200 SuperFans and briefed them to share the content on their own digital channels – and alert the consortium to any early warning signs or online reports of violence. 

  2. ONLINE EVENTS: We selected motivated SuperFans from hotspot areas to lead three Facebook Lives where young Shujaaz fans discussed the elections and peacebuilding in a safe space. We also invited key elections officials to help build trust between youth and their leaders during a tense time. 

  3. ON-GROUND EVENTS: We hosted over 35 #PeacePekee on-ground events, where SuperFans facilitated discussions about the campaign and young people’s role in the election. Our media team deepened the conversations through providing relevant stories from the Shujaaz comic.  



In a fast-changing political environment, understanding what’s really going on on-the-ground – and sharing it with decision-makers – is vital.   


RAPID INSIGHT-SHARING: Our research team continuously monitored the campaign through SMS surveys and social media listening to understand young Kenyans’ perspectives on the election, and log fans’ reports of early warning signs. We presented real-time data to UNDP and key partners so they could rapidly adapt their own peacebuilding interventions.  

YOUTH PULSE REPORTS: In collaboration with the UNDP-led 'MAPEMA' consortium and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, we produced two ‘Youth Pulse’ reports presenting unparalleled insights into the perspectives of young Kenyans surrounding the 2022 elections. We shared the research widely within our networks to help inform government policy and development programming.


Working closely with Shujaaz SuperFans April-November 2022, #PeacePekee engaged our entire audience of 7.7m young Kenyans and helped ensure Kenya had its most peaceful election in decades. Here’s the breakdown:  

ONLINE: #PeacePekee reached 3.9m young people across Kenya through 3 online events with youth from hot-spot areas, and 1400+ social media posts on Facebook alone. Through our 200 SuperFan micro-influencers, #PeacePekee garnered a further 24m views on social media.  

IN PRINT: Through the publication and distribution of 1m special edition Shujaaz comics over 3 months, #PeacePekee successfully reached 1.8m young people per month across Kenya – especially more marginalised, digitally-excluded youth – with powerful norm-changing stories and trusted facts about electoral violence. 

ON GROUND: Shujaaz SuperFans engaged a total of 561 youth participants through 35 on-ground events on peacebuilding.  

Through raising awareness of early warning signs of election violence, #PeacePekee contributed to maintaining the peace during Kenya’s 2022 elections – and inspiring more confidence among this generation in their country’s democracy.  

Before voting day, when asked by Shujaaz researchers what came to mind when thinking about the elections, young people commonly mentioned violence. After the election, 69% of respondents used positive adjectives, with 40% saying they felt ‘hopeful’. 

Although we’re proud of our impact numbers, it’s our fans who best describe the campaign’s success: “Man, we have a nation to build. Thank you very much Shujaaz for motivating us on the importance of #PeacePekee and congratulations to all winners, including all youth who were peaceful during this time.” 


Video for #PeacePekee (Only Peace): Engaging 7.7m youth as ambassadors for peace during Kenya’s 2022 elections

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Shujaaz Inc


Entry Credits