It is time for youth to arise and shine

Wednesday, October 21st, 2020 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The youth are the mashujaa of this country. But this depends on many factors.

In the President’s address yesterday, he underscored the centrality of the youth in nation building.

Youth is energy; it is innovation; it is limitless; it is beyond horizons.

However, if not properly developed and channeled youth can bring out the worst.

That the country’s post-independence economic blueprint was envisioned by a 29-year-old Japheth Shamalla is telling.

At 28, Tom Mboya was an African hero and great leader in the trade union movement.

In his 30s he was already seeking education opportunities for fellow Africans and worked with heads of state to achieve this.

In the President’s words, “These young men were not extra-ordinary.

They became our independence heroes because they made more opportunities out of the little that they had been given.

Instead of focusing on the hardships of building a new nation from the ground up, they focused on the possibilities.

The independence war had taught them that energy flows where attention goes.

They had learnt from the struggle that what you focus on grows and the words you utter become flesh.”

There are as many opportunities as there are challenges. Approach and outlook is what makes the difference.

On October 3, 2020, Christopher Kariuki died in Kenol Muranga. The 21-year-old father of a three-month-old baby was killed in political violence.

On the same day and at the same venue, Peter Mbothu, a 15-year-old boy also succumbed to injuries after a church function turned violent.

These are young lives that were snuffed out way before their peak. One was a plumber and electrician, the other had just joined Form One.

They had dreams and were hoping to make a difference in their families and society.

This is an example of how young people can end up as collateral damage on the political chess board. It does not have to always be like this.

The President yesterday asked young people to dream big and be prepared to pay the price to realise their dreams.

It is our appeal to the youth to focus on developing their talent and seeking opportunities relentlessly. Don’t fear the unknown.

It is only when you chart the unknown course that new territories are discovered and growth realised.

Avoid what is a threat to nationhood in bad politics and selfish politicians. Youth is universal so tribal cocoons are only a let down.

The President has thrown down the gauntlet, it’s upon the youth to shape their future.

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