When President Uhuru Kenyatta articulated the agenda that would be the hallmark of his legacy, an agenda that we now fondly refer to as the Big Four agenda, we the youth gave our ears to it and its possible implications to our wellbeing and future.
The resolution came at an interesting time. It was the end of another election cycle, challenging as it had been, and the youth were anxious about the future and what it held for them - anxious because the conversation about the future of the youth was long overdue, and had arguably been the bedrock of a couple of manifestos written by many of those who aspired to clinch the seat in the house on the hill.
Given the fact that we constitute a formidable part of the demographic structure of the country, a whopping 75 per cent of a population of more than 40 million Kenyans, we had many questions then, as we still do now.
Would we be able to create and get jobs, and if we could, how? Would we get prompt and affordable healthcare if we fell ill or would we have to live through the frustration of queuing for hours just to be ‘seen’ by an overwhelmed doctor who would then prescribe medicine that would cost us an arm and a leg?
Would we be able to earn enough to stop living from hand to mouth and be able to meet our daily needs, and at the same time be able to invest in wealth-creating ventures for the future and still have something left to put aside for a rainy day?
Equally important was our cultural history as a country; with the problems that are bound to arise in a nation with a people so diverse and at the same time so similar in ambition, hope and fears, do we have what it takes to see beyond our perceived differences and use our diversity to create stability in the face of a rapidly evolving world?
At the end of it all, what kind of a nation would we the youth, who have been called leaders of tomorrow, inherit from those who are now in charge of our collective welfare?
These were some of the questions that kept us awake most nights as we pondered what it meant to be young and Kenyan.
Understandably, this is why on December 12 last year we stopped what we were doing for a moment and savoured the intricacies of the Big Four agenda as expressed by President Uhuru Kenyatta, for in it was a promise. Except that there was a problem. The problem of the culture of theft that is often depicted by a high affinity by some among us who revel in reaping where we did not sow, even if it is at the expense of the rest of the nation, the youth included.
This theft we have called corruption. We have said that part of the problem is that we have subtly glorified corruption and sold it as an almost feasible feat in the quest for a better life.
It is time we understood that if we do not change this culture, our plans of fulfilling the Big Four agenda will be in vain, and we might as well give up on our dreams and tell young people that we have been unable to fight for their future.
This makes the fight against corruption an inherently important one. If the Big Four agenda is for the youth, then the fight against corruption is a fight for the youth.
It is a fight against deterrents of progress and killers of dreams, hence we are not fighting corruption for its own sake, but for the sake of restoring a society in which visions such as the Big Four agenda are pegged and can sustainably flourish.
Therefore, when we speak about fighting corruption, let us speak about it in the context of the millions of youths who will finally be able to get jobs and the many others who will receive much-needed support to take their businesses to the next level.
Let us speak about it in the context of the youth who will eventually have a place of their own to call home, and many others who will not have to worry about where their next meal will come from.
Let us talk about access to prompt and proper healthcare provided for by motivated medical practitioners. Most of all let us all use our voice to fight the vice of theft and corruption.
This is the context of the fight against corruption, and this is what it means to us the youth.