Very old men say “..the youth are the future of this country.” Sometimes even the youth say and believe that they are the future of this nation, Kenya. That statement means that the youth are expected to fill the gaps that will be left by old outgoing folk. They (the youth), will at some point represent the country in national and international platforms. It also means that for the youth to fill these positions, they are expected to understand what holding such positions entails. It is right to say that globally, the youth are the future of the world. The future of the world greatly depends on them and what they do. That is what this blog is about. Do we, the youth, understand what being “the future” means?
Majority of us think we do. We actually don’t. Here’s two reasons why;
- We think what we know is enough, so we don’t care about the rest.
- We have lost belief in ourselves, so we ‘live only once.’
For instance, how many of us understand how our government works? Not generally, but in detail? I bet only a handful. Forgive me if I don’t tell you anything new – about government – in this post, I am also a youth. Were it not for high school, many of us would never know the small bit of history that we know about this great nation. Actually, we only crammed for the exams. By now however, most of you have forgotten.
But wait, “Great nation?” Do we believe in the words ‘great nation’, or have we lost all hope and faith? 70% of the content I interact with everyday about my government is negative. For every 1 good thing I hear from the news about the government, I hear 3 more bad things. Newspaper headlines read “Grand Scam”, business gurus say ‘high taxes’, car owners complain about high fuel prices, bloggers write about huge public debt burden, my learned friend cries no jobs, mama Mpesa complains ‘insecurity’, my aunty says pathetic hospitals, my mentor declares our education system failed and many more people kick up fusses and continue to complain about various systems. The only positive thing they (government) are forcing out of their mouths is that we received a few more tourists than we last month, and so revenue increased, therefore their pockets have a little bit more than they had – because it is not the country’s money, it is for their greedy selves.
We know barely anything about national systems. We say that all government does is ‘eat our money’ and nowadays, ‘borrow to eat’. Majority of us never read the constitution, it was too big and boring. We promulgated it out of other people’s interpretation of it, not our own. We’d rather be on Instagram viewing updates by Diamond and Zari Hassan – that udaku is fun! We don’t even know what changed aside from the devolution thing. Actually, we don’t even know what exactly devolution is, and how it works in our country. We have 3 arms of government that very few millennials understand. Perhaps the most known is the Judiciary, because of the election petitions that we experienced in our last general elections.
We understand no processes from A to Z. For instance, to any Generation Y reading this post, have you heard of the budget process? Good, if you have. Do you understand it? Too complex huh? Majority of us just don’t, and don’t care. All we need to know is superficial information and then we’re good. We are comfortable with the little information that we have. So bad is the situation that I dare say that most of us vote because we are supposed to vote, or because other people have influenced us, but not because we understand why we need to vote, and vote wisely.
Majority of us have lost belief in ourselves. In some cases when we believe, we believe in the wrong things. I attribute this to the loss of confidence in our pathetic systems. For instance, according to the World Bank, it takes you almost a month (25 days) to start a business in Kenya. This is compared to 3 days in Singapore. The longer the process, the more discouraging it becomes for investors (and/or any other entrepreneur) to make business investments. No investment means very little money passing through many hands. In 2017, Kenya’s police was ranked 3rd worst performing again, compared to Singapore who were first. Still in the same year, WHO conducted a World Health Systems ranking, in which Kenya was ranked 140th out of 190 countries. This is not a good ranking – our health systems are messed up. When you lost your ID, how fun was the experience of replacing it? How about obtaining a passport? Quick right? These are just few citations. There are many more out there, where we are not doing as well as we can do.
These systems we have were created for us. They were made to create some order in how we go about our daily lives, to make our lives better. And they are supposed to be fast. A government exits to make sure that the interests of it’s citizens are protected. So if I have lost an ID, I should not get frustrate by the process of replacing it. Because of all this negativity, we have lost hope. We see no light at the end of this tunnel, especially since we were born while our parents were still walking inside it, and our grandparents have died without seeing it. We therefore survive, not live. We’re constantly looking out for ourselves because the system has caused to care less about any other person. So we take every opportunity we get to try and live, just like we have seen people in working systems live. Thats what I call living only once, because we have no hope of a better tomorrow, a continues living, not surviving.
I myself have been living like just any other youth is. I am usually not interested in anything else beyond the common. What is happening now in my beloved Kenya is affecting me, and in a very bad way. The many ‘youth must wake up’ calls that have been said in the past are now sinking in. Honestly, with the current trend, 10 years from now, Kenya will be an ugly place. It will be a good example of misery.
God willing, I will be alive 10 years from now. I will probably have kids. I don’t want them to suffer. One day, all the pressure being exerted on us by the current regime will reach it’s breaking point. We shall burst. During that time, the current regime will fall and a new one will rise. We, the current youth, will be the new regime. So for us to salvage this country, we will need to act better. We will only act better if we are knowledgeable and understand.
I am the future of my country – of the world. I have committed to understanding my government. I will understand why it works, how it works, what it is not doing well and what it can do better. Spread across the next couple of weeks, I will share with you blogs about my own understanding of my research. As I said here, I will expose my stupidity to the world so that I am exposed more to correction. It is out of this correction that I intend to gain knowledge and understanding from varied perspectives.
Walk with me.