Use imagination to engage the youth and create opportunities

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha takes measurements while inspecting desks at Ayany Primary School that would mitigate the effects of social distancing in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

An African proverb says it is better to wander aimlessly than stay home aimlessly, for the wanderer comes across something.

Now, a young wanderer is an explorer, while an old one knows where he is going. For he wandered until he found his place, even if his place is home squared.

That said, this is the best time to open up Kenya and declare it open for business: not just for foreigners, but also for citizens.

The best explorers will come from the youth, especially now that we will elect political leaders, including the nation’s Chief Executive, on August 9 this year.

Our 2010 Constitution protects you wherever you are within Kenya. The few places averse to this are a curse to her people. The more we open up to new comers, the more an area grows economically.

We should bring our best minds together and find cure for any hatred of other people. Education is a major entry point. We should not relent when parts of Kenya are no-go zones for certain Kenyans.

We have seen delegations of old men going to try to cement friendship in far flung areas. While that may be good, it is selective hence the resistance. You cannot antagonise your neighbour and expect to make friends elsewhere.

Nobody chose their neighbours. So don’t politicise any such coming together of minds. Majority of the people will choose to keep peace within the neighbourhood.

To build lasting friendships, let it be peaceful coexistence of all Kenyans. Not the selective friendship of a few. If the youth have to go forth and settle wherever, then we must try hard to make sure the youth are safe everywhere.

Explorers like Vasco da Gama and David Livingstone travelled far and wide. They carried one seed with them. The most important seed was love. Let our youth go forth with a seed of love. They will be welcome.

Any other seed will be rejected at first; and may even be fought. For the people want to find that those who venture in their area are not villains.

Young people have so much potential, it pains to see them languish in poverty and need. I would expect the hustler nation or Azimio to build indoor gymnasiums for the youth.

At least, in towns and cities I would expect parents and friends would support those who want to engage in such sports.

Where would you rather be when your girl is playing netball or other sport in the evening?

Where would you rather be when your son is playing rugby? Or when your daughter is singing or performing in a play?

We should always think of something to do that might be of use to the youth. After every Olympic Games we read that Kenya had a haul of ten or eight medals.

At the same time, we read that USA has 400 plus medals. China has 300 plus medals, while Britain clinch more than 250.

Where do you think they come from? They use imagination and go for almost anything on offer, while the whole of Africa is looking at 30 or so games.

I may be wrong but I know we are not pulling our weight.

If we want to kill boredom and create jobs, we must have a keen look at what our youth are engaged in daily. 

If we do not develop several indoor gymnasiums in cities, closer to where concentrations of residents are, we shall miss the boat.

And this example is just in sports. How about if we explore in manufacturing, media, hospitality, education, transport, health and other sectors? It can be done.

We are already far behind, and that’s why majority of youth have limited areas to hustle. And yet the world is the limit as we keep telling them. It cannot be the limit without help from government, whether national or county.

The writer is a lawyer who comments on topical issues.

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