Sunday, September 30, 2012

Generational Change: Why the Youth have the Choice to Lose or Gain in 2013

Emmanuel Dennis

Our forefathers fought splendidly to untangle our country from the locutions of the Imperial rule. However it is wrong to be brainwashed that we got our independence from foreign masters. Kenya existed long before the white man arrived with a bible in one hand and a gun in the other. Kenyans co-existed harmoniously and independently through batter trade to appreciate the values of our diversity. When our forefathers recaptured the country's rule from the empirical Brits, they disregarded the reality that Kenya belongs to all of us. This is probably to the vexation of their minds through foreign education that perfected the white man's strategy of divide and rule.

The Uhuru Generation concentrated on enriching themselves at the expense of helpless communities. Impunity was engraved on the way Kenya was governed. The results are the current historical injustices that Kenya MUST deal with decisively without fear or favor.  One serious mistake happed; a hand over of the leadership baton to the post Uhuru generation. Today many generations are in a leadership jam.

Today we have stout sentiments that being youth alone is not a programmed ticket to Leadership. This is because, the James Orengo's of the Muungano wa Mageuzi ilk never got the opportunity to ascend to the apex of Kenya's Leadership.

The Kenyan youth aged below 35 constitute a massive 72% of the total population. A good number of this generation have trained their eyes on the leadership of Kenya to the 2013 plebiscite.

Political consciousness among young Kenyans is at its highest since independence.  However, the Political class has continued to isolate the Kenyan citizenry from the country's political decision making. Current MP's have united to protect their selfish interests at the expense of the new constitution. The mutilation of the Leadership and Integrity bill gives birth to the reality that the Executive and Legislature will do anything to marginalize the general public from protecting the constitutional provisions.


The current divisive politics hex trouble for the future of a nation that was declared the most optimistic after the coming into power of the NARC Government. It is no doubt that the youth population holds the deciding vote in the next election. The harsh reality is that there is a conspiratorial theory being schemed by political elites to continually marginalize them.

Apart from their numerical strength, the Kenyan youth are vibrant, ever changing, creative, innovative and extremely experimental among the generations of the African continent. To get the youths attention today, one requires an intimate connection strategically founded on knowledge, understanding, faith, trust and practicality.

Factual that the Kenyan youth are continually being relegated, misconstrued, and abandoned in the setup of the national agenda, there looms a ticking time bomb for the future of Kenya. A vicious political insurrection is inevitable if the youth remain in the current state.

When youth needs for mobility are systematically blocked, youth frustrations erupt and elites label young people as thugs, rioters, as spoiled or monstrous ingrates. This is a dangerous trend that Kenya and Africa should avoid at all costs.

Things may not change much, that is why young Kenyans need to begin to ask themselves critical question in connection to their roles in the coming election and make a decision whether they want to perpetuate the notion of the old and elite political class or they want to change things for the betterment of the present and future generations.

Utilising the numerical strength, the Kenyan youth MUST unite to foster patriotism, national unity and rule of law. The Youth of Kenya have the key to forcing good governance through their vote. The Kenyan youth have the decision of either going out there get registered as voters and force a generational change for Kenya in 2013.

The youth MUST consolidate into one holistic social, economic and political movement and showcase the might of their numbers. So if you are young and feel angered by the current impunity that has bedeviled Kenya since Independence, and perpetuated by the current leaders, roll up your sleeves, tighten your belt, pull up your socks and get ready to dirt up your boots. For the struggle for political and economic independence of the young generation will not be fought through whining and complaining.


The writer is the Director of the National Youth Sector Alliance and an International Youth Development Enthusiast.

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