Kenyans take on Charlene Ruto over "lazy youth" remark

Charlene Ruto speaking at the Kenyatta Hospital, Nairobi on February 5, 2024 [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Kenyans have reacted to a comment made by the First Daughter, Charlene Ruto, urging youth to “stop being lazy” and seek original employment opportunities. 

Charlene speaking on Citizen TV on Wednesday implied that “most youth are lazy” increasing the unemployment rate in Kenya. 

She called on youth to identify different areas of interest and create opportunities for themselves.

“The best thing we can do for our young people is create opportunities for them. I’d like to call on our young people, let’s not sit and be lazy,” she said.

“I cannot tell you the amount of CVs and the requests for jobs on my desk. If you are passionate about something, don’t give up on that. Reach out to us, and give us your ideas. I give a listening ear to somebody who has already started something and I can see where they are going and I can put something in other than somebody who is like give me a job...which job...? Where am I going to get it from? Posed Charlene. 

She noted that she would be willing to financially help those who present their ideas or hustle suggestions rather than the young people asking for paid jobs.

Charlene decried the countless job application letters she has received in her office reflecting on the large number of unemployed youth.

She referred to her experience from being the patron of the Smachs Foundation which she developed an interest in, coming from a farmer's family background.

But her remarks were not taken kindly by a section of Kenyans online, while others were in support. 

X user Edwin Kepkindet opined; “Creating opportunities is more effective as the ripple effects for start-ups will lead to job creation.”

Other netizens thought her opinion was outrageous, taking it as an insult to youth.

“The privileged always view their "blessings" as their hard work while their lenses view every unlucky person as lazy,” wrote another user, Mirage.

Mburu added, “Kenyans are one of the most hardworking people. How dare you insult them. You hold an unconstitutional office because of your surname and you dare to call others lazy. Shame on you.”