In 2015, Michael Onyango was asked to join the county govt of Kisumu to head the communication docket. Soon after he would consistently start receiving requests for support from people who needed jobs, support with school fees, etc. All of them – in one way or another – buying into the perpetuated narrative that only ‘certain people’ held the keys to opportunities, Michael is one of them. 


Where all the things begin

Determined to change this ideology, Michael started spending time every single day scouring the internet for opportunities (jobs, scholarships, grants etc) that he began to share in a weekly newsletter. But, even though it provided people in his county with information on available opportunities, it became apparent from the steady stream of people who continued to approach him that the newsletters were only reaching so many.


WhatsApp as a means of Sharing useful informtion

Michael decided to turn to one of Kenya’s most used and accessible communication channels – regardless of status – WhatsApp, as a means of sharing information on various opportunities. Before sharing any opportunities with those who would approach him, he started to ask each person to create a WhatsApp group with no less than 20 people and then add him to the group. He would then share any opportunities that came his way in these groups, ensuring that the opportunities he was sharing were accessible to more people.


Received very first award for best services

In his interaction with people, Michael also realized that those who were local in their thinking were often limited by a lack of exposure not a lack of talent. In many cases, however, these people were dealing with competing priorities on a day to day which limited how much they could invest in content. Informed by this insight Michael saw an opportunity to use the groups to share knowledge and material that wasn’t as readily accessible to all with the hopes of challenging more people to understand the world beyond their individual worldviews. These continue to include global publications like Wired, Time magazine, Harvard Business Review, etc all provided for free in 4BM affiliated platforms.

2021 December - Current

4BM Network

Today the 4BM network runs primarily on WhatsApp with over 100 affiliated groups each with a minimum of 100 members and most of them commanding 257 members each (The max limit). What started out as an information network to support the youth and socially underprivileged in Kisumu county, now spans 47 counties with Whatsapp as the primary vehicle to get information to the forgotten bottom millions.