“Do not be too upright in your ways. Look at the forest only the tall trees are cut”
Man is born to bore a purpose and leave a legacy on earth. In Kenya your purpose is determined by the society, by the status quo. For the youth in this country, there is only but one law ‘conform or be conformed there is no survival’. Those who fail to conform face the same fate as the straight trees in the forest; they are cut.
Allow me to tell you what it means to be a Kenyan youth at a time when leaders loot from us and we exalt them. When wheelbarrows are bought at $1000 each. When schools are burning, property destroyed and a solution is in the blurred lines. When more than 40% of the national budget vanishes to graft (they prefer using the word graft instead of theft).
When Kenyans praise incompetent men and women in leading government offices. When hate mongers and inciters walk free after starting fires amongst their legions. When tribe is the only strategy fueling political mileage. When the ruling elite still fly to foreign states for special medical treatment, as citizens die in queues at Kenyatta National Hospital.
At such a time, youth have been subconsciously drilled to believe that their time is not yet now and that they will be leaders of an un-coming tomorrow. Leaders who will mislead the people just like their predecessors. An oxymoron, isn’t it? They have been drilled to believe that the society is moving in the right direction and nothing can be done to change it. Those who try to transform this country are tagged traitors.
In 2016, youth are afraid to stand up and sing freedom songs. They’re afraid of fighting against the constantly citizen-chocking government. They’re afraid to stand up for what they believe in. They have found comfort in a bubble. In a lie that seemingly when told so often becomes truth, they instead have chosen to fit in and not stand out. They may be cut like the trees they’re afraid.
Youth are constantly singing about the inequities and injustices done to the people by the ruling class but will do nothing about it even when given a chance. They are afraid of swinging; afraid to take action. Tom Joseph Mboya, Argwings Mac Kodhek, Pio Gama Pinto, Wangari Mathae, Keneth Matiba and Martin Shikuku. If these men and women who bled for this country would awake would our efforts in fighting the pestilence of corruption, hate, prejudice, ethnicity and poor leadership pride them?
We have failed our veterans. We have failed so magnificently that it feels we need an award for failure. A trophy inscribed with all the ways in which we’ve chosen failure every single time and ignored victory. They shed their blood for a lost cause. They shed their blood for people who hold nothing scared especially blood.
The modern youth is driven by one thing, money. This kind of reward can be used as fuel to steer them in any direction, being used as objects of wanton killings and mass destruction by their masters. If money is the wind then the youth will be the flag. Can we blame them? What will happen to a thirsty man when you offer him water well, sometimes he’ll drink and sometimes he can learn to dig his own well.
Morality is alien and what is evil is civil. Where is the upright citizen? The Kenyan youth today is more likely to give and take a bribe just to fasten service delivery or maneuver his/her way to a job. The youth currently believe that to get a job you need not to read and excel academically but one needs to have someone at the top that can slip them into a job on grounds of tribe, nepotism and cronyism.
It is quite simple that the Kenyan youth is psychologically fried. They think so little about things that they should think very seriously about. To them everything is about finger pointing, blame placing and responsibility shifting. So what exactly does it mean being a Kenyan youth in 2016, it means power with no one to actualize. It means a rusted sword an antique whose value isn’t yet owned by its owners. It means absolutely nothing as long as youth sit and do nothing.
By Judah Ben Hur
Moi university student