In the Road not taken, Robert Frost writes of two roads that diverged in a yellow wood and he had to choose one. One had a clearer path but he instead chose the one that was leafy and wanting of wear – the road less traveled which made all the difference.
Davidson Gatuhi Wakairu, like Frost, is a young man who often takes the path less traveled. He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Marbella International University Centre (MIUC),Spain where he was elected President of the student board, just a few months after induction.
While international students often struggle with keeping in touch with their roots, Wakairu is actively involved in a cause which he started while in Kenya – youth empowerment.
Last year, he had a chat with this writer when he was a young activist with dreams of changing the world.
He had just founded an NGO – Vijana Amkeni Africa- together with a group of youth leaders in Nairobi and their main goals was to rally young people to plant trees.
Despite being miles away, Wakairu's organization is still active and running various youth programmes – a factor he credits to his “energetic and youth driven team led by Aloys Otieno who is CEO of Vijana Amkeni Africa and president of Daystar University Students Association."
The activist cum student leader says the feedback he gets from young people keeps him going and that the more he does it, there are more people who seek his assistance across Africa.
“We get lots of emails and messages on our Facebook page - from Ethiopia, Uganda,Tanzania, and recently we had one from Sierra Leone They are very moving and always remind me of how young people are looking for a platform to address issues facing them. It also goes to show that youth are willing and ready to take up leadership positions not only in Kenya but across Africa,” he said.
Over the past year, Wakairu has partnered with various individuals and organization who are involved in the youth cause at the international level.
He includes the names of her colleague at the university, Ayah Shurbaji, of Najat Charity Group who will assist Wakairu in running Vijana Amkeni Espana - a new branch here in Spain. The recently held a gala dinner in Marbella to announce their cooperation and raise funds for our programmes.
“I have also partnered with Hadi Krayem who worked with a group called TARJIMLY on refugee affairs; Mr Hadi Krayem from Kuwait and will be heading Vijana amkeni Middle East where he will run programmes in Dubai and Kuwait respectively. Am in talks with Lina Sultani, a psychology student at MIUC who hails from London United Kingdom and her concern for the rise in gang related crimes that affect young people,” Wakairu says, explaining decision to change to Vijana Amkeni Youth Organisation - to incorporate the international partners.
The major challenge has been inadequate funds to implement projects but he is hopeful that more partners will come on board with the adequate resources.
Wakairu is also passionate about youth involvement in politics and hopes to see more young people elected into public office in 2022. As one who leads the way, he tells this writer he will be vying for a parliamentary seat in the next general election.
Despite being away from Kenya, he has kept in touch with the local politics, his father is the former Jubilee Vice Chairman and President Uhuru Kenyatta long-time ally David Murathe, so we asked him what he thinks of the current politics.
“Yes, I have been following closely what dad has been getting up to. I believe he is echoing what most Kenyans want – an end to corruption. The president has spoken about it, and so has the opposition leader and many political leaders across the political divide recognize corruption a s the cancer that is causing unemployment and all manner of problems. I believe dad is just standing up for majority of Kenyans,” he said.