In less than 500 days from today, Kenya will usher in a new regime; that is if the circumstances remain constant. August 2022 will be a historic month and no one has any clue who will be the new occupant of the house on the hill.
Tomorrow is a big lie, Youth rise and lead today
Aspirants are warming up, making alliances, and testing waters.
The most important question is; who will tap the inertia of the youth? What is the position of the youngsters? Who will advocate for their interests?
Kenya is a lucky country that boasts of educated youth, well-informed graduates. Sadly, most of them are jobless and economically malnourished if not starving.
Participation of the youth in matters of national interests is currently on the social media arena. Youth have vocalized their thoughts through hashtags and trolling prominent personalities. The voices are loud in oozing anger and what should be done.
The major divide is on praising the different political classes. The worrying question is, for how long will the youth play second fiddle? Are they aware of their potential?
Numbers don’t lie. The National Census (2019) documents that the country has over 13.7 million people aged between 18 and 35 years. Which accounts for 26% of the entire population.
If - and a very huge "IF" - all youths unite, they can bag all the positions in leadership.
Bearing in mind that the individuals in this age bracket can vote and be elected. If any change has to happen for the youths, they have to be at the forefront. They have to sit on the negotiating table, speaking as the most powerful negotiator since they have the biggest number.
The question is how well are the youth prepared or active in the governance matters? As a challenge, youth have to rise, arm themselves with skills and the desire to be the leaders of today.
Gone are the days when the youth were brushed off as the leaders of tomorrow; they can lead today if they want. They can lead today if they look beyond party affiliations, level of education, and the communities of origin or religious backgrounds.
The challenge is for the youth to stand as a unit in addressing the youth agenda. No unit has unexploited power, untapped resources as the youth.
The best way to avoid the current jokes, such as a 77-year-old representing the interests of the youth in a regional platform is when the youth rise and become vibrant and visible in matters of governance.
It is inevitable for the youth to know their ability and put it into action. Only an insider is aware of the suffering that goes on. Only a fellow youth can represent the youth with the required vigor.
Zack Kinuthia, when he was Education Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), did a marvelous job in creating awareness about the opportunities in the vocational training institutes. His example will always glow as he represented a group that he knew so well about as an insider in the group.
Youth agenda is a business of the youth and daring put; only a fellow youth can tackle it conclusively.
My call to action for the youth is:- rise and be active in matters of governance.
There is no harm in supporting leaders who have the best interests for the youth beyond statistics and tactics to win the attention of the youth through colorful manifestos. Stand out, know the rules and lead today.
The foregoing is an Opinion Article submitted by Gichimu Njeri to Pulse Live Kenya for publication, it does not necessarily represent the position of the publisher.
Gichimu Njeri (pictured) is a bilingual wordsmith, poet and a seasoned educator who loves reading. He has a soft spot for matters youth and children which make them major characters in his works. "Jomo and the Wild Cats", "Whitened Black and Other Poems" and "Ari ya Pasha" are some of his published works.
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