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Kenyan Youth , shoulder responsibility for your rights

By Ooko Victor | April 27th 2016

At independence, our founding father and first president of the republic identified three key hurdles to the sprouting nation in the pursuit of development. These were poverty, ignorance and disease. Today, I choose to dwell on ignorance, even among the young and educated minds in our country Kenya.

Where there is ignorance, the best remedy is education. Or so the founding fathers suggested, however, educating the masses is proving to be insufficient in riding the country of ignorance. Fighting tribalism and negative ethnicity is at the heart and soul of my personal mission. The rate at which this social vice is hurting our country has either been understated or out-rightly ignored.

Our universities for starters, institutions meant to churn out young leaders schooled on the necessity of disregarding longstanding stereotypes against other communities have been turned into factories, churning out echelons fine tuned into perfecting the art of polarizing this nation through hate mongering and peddling political propaganda that is only fueling unnecessary divisions.

Today, social media is infested with such ignoramuses. Little characters hiding behind technology and concentrating all efforts in ensuring that we as a nation forget the national ideologies that set us on the path to independence in the first place!

When a young, well-schooled individual decides to open a blog and focus on nothing but pettiness and backstabbing as well as character assassinations then we all wonder why they set foot in a classroom in the first place! In fact, even our traditional societies had a well-established and courteous modus operandi in relation to other communities. Except for those with ‘cattle rustling and raiding tendencies’, our stone age interactions were modest and courteous with little frowning upon individuals who sought to intermarry or trade across tribal borders on various commodities.

Indeed, our current state of affairs is wanting, and especially due to the fact that the youth, the very people schooled using bursaries and student loans from the Higher Education Loans Board, money taxed from hard earning Kenyans across the political and ethnic divide, opt to take it all for granted and resort to subjective ethnic maneuvers and total disregard to the limitations attached to the freedom of expression in our national constitution.

The future of this nation could not be any bleaker. Young leaders who are first timers in the August house are busy tweeting sentiments eliciting ethnic chauvinism in the comfort of their living rooms. Their followers, other young and either jobless or salaried minds feast on such hatred and digest it inside their systems as if it was a fresh dose of adrenaline only to spit it out ten times deadlier and further cast a dark cloud of doom hanging low above us every time we think about elections.

We need to depart from such tendencies. Hey, young people out there, this cannot be us! We need to wake up and join in the bandwagon that stands against ethnic hate and misplaced thoughts of political entitlement! We live in a democratic space for Chrissake! More importantly, we have rights as well as responsibilities! Unfortunately, we all tune in the activism associated with rights and get drunk with a sense of social justice that we forget we also owe it upon others to be RESPONSIBLE!

We will not always remain youth, and similarly, we will not want this country to breakdown under our watch because of the injustices we normalized during our youthful days! It is time to WAKE UP!

It is time to rise up and say enough is enough! For if we do not today, tomorrow we will watch our children butcher each other because of the intolerance we taught them. And when that time comes, they will have learnt from the best.

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