Crisis for unemployed graduates in Kenya
By Julius Makokha
| April 29th 2020
heartache pains more when it is coupled with depression and the quarter-life
crisis; you graduated from university with honors and brimming with hope for a
better future. You dreamed of being a political journalist and wax narratives
that will influence the mosaic of world politics positively. You wanted to
interview opinion-makers, and people tasked to make policies, you dreamed of
the questions you will ask them and how to put them to the task to legislate
policies for the common good of the common man.
cried with joy when she saw you in those flowing graduation gowns, she is an
unemployed single mother, earning a pity. Still, mothers are supernatural
beings; they should be added in Marvel comic books next to the Incredible Hulk.
She did everything to ensure that her son went to university, she solicited
loans from Kenya Women Finance Trust and other plethora of financial
institutions. She hassled for menial jobs and sold anything she owned and
worked as a community volunteer in local hospitals, earning a stipend of
Sh2000, but the Sh2000 fed your siblings and took all of you to school. I told
you Mothers are superheroes. Hulk cannot even hold a candle to them, what is Infinity
War contrasted with the regular vim and zeal of a group of single mothers
willing to take their children to school?
–forward three years later, after your graduation, you are deep in poverty and
struggling to borrow from loan apps to survive as you shuttle from offices to
offices asking for any employment. Anything even being a messenger, you cannot
afford to cherry-pick and insist on chasing a career in the Media Industry.
What happened to the fresh graduates with ambitions to write political stories
that will instigate shape-shifting in the manner in which we conduct politics
and legislate policies? Life or better still a lot happened, reality hit you
like a ton of bricks that without godfathers to connect you to employers you
are doomed to depression and mobile loan apps.
past 25 years, saddled with a degree that is now almost useless, and the sight
of that degree fills you with wonder. You attempt to do business, but you
realize even painfully that the government has put in place a mechanism also to
frustrate you further. To manage and/or mitigate your stress every evening
after a day of tarmacking, you gravitate towards smoking bhang or cheap stiff
alcohol sold in sachets imported from Uganda. Kenya is doing brisk business
with the government of Museveni.
The cost of
living in Nairobi is astronomical unless you are in the fake money printing
business; you are on the cusp of being a suicide statistic.
ashamed of yourself; you see yourself as a total failure. You are a man; you
don't share your frustrations. You drown your frustrations in hard drugs. You
are afraid even to call your mother, who is struggling with poverty back in the
village. The pressure of social media is killing you slowly, like cancer. Your
peers post pictures of themselves vacationing while you cannot even feed your
mother and siblings. In despair and rage, you delete your Instagram and Twitter
accounts, but you have already seen the glamorous life of politician's
children, and you cannot unsee it.
rings, you open the message, it's from your mum asking what CRB is. You sigh
with sadness and hurl your phone against the wall and scream. Finally,
overwhelmed with frustrations and sadness, you break down and cry bitterly.
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