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Form One boy tips MPs on leadership

By Alphonce Shiundu | August 16th 2015
President of the Kenya Children's Government Dannu Kinano(left) from Mang'u High School speaks at the CommonWealth Parliamentary Association Region Conference stating that the cirriculum needs to be changed in order to change the mindset among the youth that white collar jobs are the only way to seek a respectable form of employment with Speaker of Kenya National Children's Government Halima Ismail from State House Girls(middle) and Speaker of the third Youth Parliament Ebenezer Nii Martey from Ghana at Safari Park Hotel on Thursday,13th August, 2015.PHOTO:ANGELA MAINA/STANDARD.

A rare spectacle took place at Safari Park Hotel where the Kenya Parliament hosted delegates for a meeting of MPs from 18 countries in Africa when a Form One student at Mang’u High School told the politicians that they had to change their attitude, and the education curriculum, if they were serious about the slogan of Africa solving its own problems.

It was one of those days that a child reminded the politicians—many of them grizzly, bearded and spotting dyed black hair on their balding heads— that the era when Form Ones were ‘there to be seen and not to be heard’ are long gone.

Danny Kinaro, 15, in a confident high-pitched tenor voice, regretted the “attitude problem” of the young people, a curriculum that makes it “cool” for the youth to shun jobs in agriculture; and a legacy of colonialism that the current leaders are keen to uphold—where white collar jobs pay better than the blue-collar ones. Kinaro said the “digital” slogan used by leaders to refer to young people had given life to a belief that the “only jobs” are those done in an office.

“The young people nowadays think that swinging on a seat and sitting behind a desk is a job,” said Kinaro, also the President of the Kenya’s Children’s Government.

The MPs used to being cheered in political rallies this time, cheered the diminutive figure on the high-table.

A delegate from Swaziland had asked Kinaro and his three colleagues from the Africa Youth Parliament—Halima Ismael (Kenya), Nessa Payet (Seychelles) and Ebenezer Martey (Ghana)— why many young people were not keen to embrace agriculture, which is the driver of many economies in the continent.

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