Since the onset of the Egyptian revolution last year, I have come to conclude that the youth are the most likely vehicles of change by fact that our minds are open to new ideas and highly volatile when it comes to taking any form of action to improve our situation. Our urban experience as well as the constant access to information has provided us such a diverse experience, which evidently lacks among our elderly generation. It is this experience that continually acts as a buffer toward any form of polarization, be it ethnic, racial, political, sexual or religious. Consequently, we are more open to new ideas, flexible to new age solutions, and willing to negotiate since we, unlike preceding generations, have not been socialized to adhere rigidly to any sort of extremes. Any form of polarization, such as the tribal polarization in the 2007 elections, induces hate and intolerance, which are the basis of most of the conflicts that are happening today in African and the world at large.
Our position as young people makes us the most likely group that can bring meaningful change to this economically fragile and ethnically volatile country of ours. Why do I say so? Not only do we form a huge percentage of the population (hence a significant labor and voting bloc), but our radical nature and intent to take drastic action makes us the most potent group in Kenya. Can I prove this point? Absolutely! If you look critically, you realize how politicians stumble over each other trying to woo the youth into their political camps. It is therefore no surprise that the majority of attendants in campaign demonstrations are young people. To our dismay, these uncouth leaders we put into power forget of our existence once they are sworn into office. What’s worse, not only do they misuse their power, but lie, cheat and bribe to keep these official positions.
So, now you ask, where does that leave us as young people in Kenya? I say it is time to go it by ourselves for ourselves. Those in power have misused it and seem to have left us out of the equation of development, employment, and resource distribution. We need to vote more young people into our parliament and other government positions, because if we leave our destiny in the hands of a generation that neither understands our needs nor comprehends our aspirations, we will be waiting for a long time for that destiny. Power rarely recognizes anything other than more power, so if we have no political agency to forward our grievances and present our case to the government of the day, then we are nothing short of toothless lions scaring zebras with empty roars. It is time we realize our potential to navigate this country politically; political leverage will provide the key we need to elevate other sectors of our society (social, economic, cultural). I am not calling for a radical revolution, but if it takes one to give us the so needed political leverage, well then, revolution it should be!!