Lack of skilled workers derailing Rivatex operations, says official

Tuesday, August 13th, 2019 00:00 |
Rivatex managing director Thomas Kipkurgat. Photo/FILE

Wausi Walya

When President Uhuru Kenyatta directed civil servants to make a deliberate effort to dress in smart casual Made-in-Kenya  attire on Fridays, the directive came as a surprise and I was excited.

I immediately shared the directive with my niece who is an upcoming designer and assured her she had a bright future. 

I called two senior members of the society whom I had spotted in very colourful cotton shirts asking who their fundi was.

I know the President was addressing the flow of orders from Rivatex in a bid to revive Kenya’s textile industry, the one that used to produce wall calendars made from cloth.

Yes some of us have lived long enough to know that Kicomi and Mountex also deserve a chance for revival. 

Beyond the directive, I saw opportunities for many Kenyans; I felt the beauty of owning “our own”creep back into our nation; the pride in supporting our own and anchoring the economy; leveraging on our increasing population; supporting the local fundi—the upcoming designer. 

Beyond the desired dress code, this directive re-ignited all of us towards rising to explore what Kenya has to offer each one of us, whether a buyer or a seller. Not just in fashion. 

We have made good attempts. We tried our hands at the Nyayo car in the 1980s and then came the Mobius II. Now, international brands, such as Volkswagen, are assembling cars here in Kenya. 

Give the country credit. We do not want to miss out on all the great opportunities that confirm our potential, collectively and individually. 

The industrial area, the Export Processing Zones, the flower farms, tea and coffee farms in parts of the country, local hotel brands that have grown to regional levels, the local airlines and many other Kenyan businesses are driving the local economy and much more. 

So the next time you buy Kenyan, eat Kenyan, travel Kenyan also known as #TembeaKenya, drink Kenyan, you have made your contribution to building a nation that has stood the test of time. 

The challenges we have surmounted locally, regionally and internationally cannot be compared to the great wins that have come our way. 

The country’s potential is great and we all stand to gain when we support what proudly makes us Kenyan. 

Our country’s identity is loud— we are not just visible in our reds whites greens and black reflected on our flag that we celebrate daily through our diversity. 

We have a rich culture, a warmth that is unparalleled and we will soar in the strength of our unity. We are an admired nation all over the world and we must take note of every silver lining on the cloud.  

Country pride begins with you and me. Get on with your Kenya pride and feel the magic of falling in love with your country over and over again. —The writer is a PR practioner and PhD student in International Relations

More on National