Friday, February 17, 2012

Young Kenya

In Kenya today there are all sorts of efforts to get the youths 'involved'.

Now I'm one to smell a rat every now and then; hell, I might be that rat I'm smelling all the time, but I find it interesting that the older generation is presumed not to need regular shots of civic awareness.

The older generation are excused because ideals do not interfere with their behavior. These Kenyans have dabbled in the system a while and they know how things work. They once had a vision and a dream but that one was burnt out by hard, long and fruitless labor. But the youth, being politically aware (but practically naive), are all over the place thinking they have access to all sorts of levers which need to be pulled for a bright Vision 2030. Thus I strongly suspect that Kenyan youth are targeted for civic education in ways that merely appear to incorporate their ideals. Picture anyone dangling the carrot of so many hundred thousand new jobs a year.

Usually, it's only a matter of time before reality hits - the disillusionment type of reality which accompanies the shock of cognitive disonance while evoking exclamations like "Navumilia kuwa Mkenya" or even "Kazi Kwa Vijana, pesa kwa wazee." Such cynicism is not helped by events like 2007's polls in which the ballot determined nothing. Ballot-counters, um, 'continued counting' long after the tally was complete, if it ever was.

But the fight need not end when reality sinks into the youthful head and banishes pink-tinted representations of Kenya's socioeconomic condition. The fight is usually lost when a young Kenyan, faced with ugly truth, reacts by surrendering his ideals and getting down on all fours. You see, the establishment's agenda is to establish its agenda, but it prefers youths with coached, compromised or completely absent ideals to establish that agenda!

It's a rat race in today's hyper-competitive land of no opportunity, namely the whole world. Any young person who's still a marionette of local politicians who pull tribal strings has been left several centuries behind. That's far behind enough to be totally irrelevant.

Free your mind.

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