How Uhuru's Big 4 can help the youth secure their future

I recall a time not so long ago, specifically towards the end of the 90s, when we were young and full of naive optimism - naive because our folks did much to protect us from the harsh realities life generously hands us from time to time, and optimistic because they persistently reminded us that one day we would grow up to be young and energetic and at that time, we would finally be able to own the future and take control of our destiny.

The future is here

Undeniably, I was still very young then, hence this period evokes nostalgic memories of my childhood days during which I spent time wishing away the days in anticipation of the time when that future that we had been promised would arrive so we could own it.

However, it soon occurred to me that just wishing away the days would not guarantee that we could own the future, we had to prepare ourselves for it adequately.

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How do we need to prepare for it, we asked? We were told that we needed to go to school and get educated.

The frame of mind, clarity of thought and command of will that we would require at that time so as to be able to take control of the future did not come easy but was a product of intense learning, attainment of the right values of patriotism, empathy towards each other and and the foresight to delay gratification.

The big picture

This was what our education system intended to achieve in us, men and women who understood the bigger picture. With this in mind, we were sent off to school. I remember brazing the cold morning breeze every day at half past 4am as as I awaited to board the school bus which would rush us to school for an early morning math lesson.

I also recall always reaching school at 5am, half asleep and grumpy as were my schoolmates, and we’d be reluctantly ushered into the classroom by an equally half-asleep teacher who was willing to sacrifice a little of his dreams to contribute his noble part in our journey.

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I have not so fond recollections of my classmates and I being on the receiving end of several strokes of the cane on a number of occasions because at that time, corporal punishment was the only way to reinforce learning and memory.

A couple of years down the journey, we went to high school and later on to campus to further our pursuit of knowledge.

Youth had beckoned, but we had not lost sight of the bigger picture, because even though we were becoming energetic as ever, we remembered that we were on a mission. Therefore, we began to visualize how what we learnt in the lecture halls fit into our needs as youth.

Perhaps this is why when graduation day came, we wore our gowns with pride, because we felt that we were finally ready to take control of the future.

We imagined we would wear suits and ties the same way we wore our gowns, and that we would sit in polished offices looking at paperwork the same way we sat in classrooms looking at textbooks. However, we have found ourselves caught up in a different world from the one we had idealised.

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This world we are now is an unpredictable and unstable one with rapidly changing socio-economic values that are increasingly posing a challenge to the very core of the lessons we learnt and the values we acquired, hence we now have to go back to the drawing board and find practical and innovative ways to solve our emerging problems, especially as the youth.

This is why we are here, graduation gowns shed off and sleeves rolled up ready to dash back into the trenches and reclaim our future.

In my previous article, I suggested we begin with the Big Four agenda, for if implemented steadily, it has the potential of changing lives of many of us youth. Perhaps if we package the pillars of the said Big Four agenda into actionable concepts that are relatable to us youth, then we will have made tremendous strides in the right direction.

This we can, if we still have the big picture in mind, if we are able to stand the test of our character and defend the values of patriotism, empathy for one another, and selflessness, values that we have spent the first quarter of our lives acquiring, and not give in to the allure of quick fixes and easy money that will ultimately corrupt our ideals. The future is now, and it is ours for the taking.

Mr Mokamba is Communication Consultant in Nairobi

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