Disillusioned youths are dotted all over the country, burgeoning unemployment rates have jumped over the roof. Kenya’s education system is doing little if any to address the mess. Every year colleges and universities chunk out thousands of clueless graduates, confused of their posterity and worse still half baked.The system emphasizes more on exam passing, training students to be job seekers overlooking a fundamental aspect of encouraging them to be job creators, worse still its totally hands off with the realities of respective workplaces. When these students knock at the offices seeking internships and jobs, its a cultural shock since they possess no skills or experience.
The country is neither doing enough in terms of creating jobs. In 2002 the NARC government promised to create 500,000 jobs every year but this promise has remained just as a promise. Our skills are also very skewed as the system opts for the so called white collar jobs at the expense of technical careers. The irony is, even when we discover oil deposits in Turkana County and other parts of the country, companies involved struggle to get local electricians or people gifted in machine handling. We can’t all be bankers, accountants or company secretaries, we at one time need a plumber or an IT geek to fix something.
Every time I visit my rural home, I meet many fellow youths living hopeless lives, relying on their mothers’ meal even after clocking 30 years and the only skill they specialise in, is imbibing alcohol. Alcohol helps them to be out of touch with their wasted lives, its too scary for them to reconcile their childhood dreams with the reality. Since they must survive, they result in joining criminal gangs that terrorise residents. And as insecurity reaches unprecedented levels in Nairobi and all over the country, let us not be surprised. There is a big correlation between unemployment and insecurity.
Its a discourse that we must have as a country sooner than later. The future is brink, rich – poor gap is widening in as much as the middle class is also burgeoning. Our biggest hurdle is managing the population, every year a million babies come to birth entitled with big dreams and a good life. The challenge is in educating Kenyans to have as few kids as possible or rather having a family they can comfortably provide for. On the other hand any quintessential politician is busy advocating for tyranny of numbers so that his/her time of ‘eating’ can be prolonged.Surprisingly, that gullible Kenyan will fall prey to this advocacy forgetting that the said politician does not care whether you have the means to raise that kid decently or not.
Am inspired by one artist by the name Juliani who is doing rounds all over the country empowering youths with information on farming. In other words he is encouraging them to start farming and earn a living out of it instead of relying on being employed. The campaign is dubbed ‘Farming Is Cool’, but that is just a drop in the ocean, we need more Julianis and government to create policies and avenues to offer youths with knowledge and rotational funds. Insurance companies should also step up their game and create customised products that can resonate with that hawker in Gikomba whose biggest worry is the frequent fires that mop out all their investments within few hours.
As President Uhuru said, corruption is what cancer is to the body, its consequences are unfair competitions and distorted markets. The government must do more to address this issue which in one way or another serves as a hindrance to a level playing ground and job creation. Our priceless heritage is at risk, poaching is at an all time high, our wildlife is at the hands of selfish cartels determined to make a ‘killing’ out of them. Our ecosystem is fragile, from L.Turkana to the rivers flowing from Mt.Kenya to the Mau forests,in tandem with the sceneries that come along with them unfortunately will be a thing of the past. What that means is tourism revenues will shrink in the long run, the economy will shrink even further and that will coalesce to a man eat man society adding more mess to the unemployment effects.
“To a man, a woman is fun to be with … until she gains weight. To a woman, a man is fun to live with … until he loses his job.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana. Its that scary.