Good work there. The topic is on point. You can do better by increasing the length and probably adding some facts and citations e.g on 500,00 graduates getting to the market. Provide evidence in terms of your source and the period after which the 500,000 get to the job market. Such citation and detailed information gives you more authority. Great work though. Keep it up!!
When Kenyan undergraduates finally call it a day after their campus life, one more challenge is to get employed. Normally, over 500,000 youth stream out of tertiary institutions to get into the job market. It is however disgusting to note that they eventually resort to ‘tarmacking’ because in real sense we do not have enough jobs to cater for the large numbers.
Is it not time to learn from past experiences. It is high time that Kenyan youth get prepared to face the reality by leaning towards self-employment. If we waited for Government to sort it out then it might take too long.
They promised to create jobs, have we seen any? It is up to the young blood to realise their in-build potential and get something to do. It is dawn.
“What is Poverty? Poverty is an opportunity to provide an opportunity.
It’s an opportunity to free someone from a life sentenced to dependence, scarcity and marginalization.
It’s an opportunity to kill the worm that eats away at children’s hearts, minds and self-esteem.” – http://www.compassion.com/poverty/what-is-poverty.htm
It is a week since I decided to do an article every Sunday as part of my unwinding after a week of activities aimed at attaining a more strategic place to have a significant positive impact on the environment.
The idea for this article struck me on Saturday, a day which is often part of my working week, albeit on the lower gears as tear and wear catch up with me. A common African tale goes that there was a hyena who was greedy and the hare who was smart. This pair was the best of friends the kingdom had ever seen. A time came when all the members of the kingdom were in the know concerning an impending drought which without mentioning, implied a severe lack of food in the best case scenario and death in the worst case scenario. Hyena and Hare hatched a plan to plant crops that could help them during the drought. To cut the long story short, Hare had a bumper harvest of Bananas while Hyena was suicidal at the thought of how the salt he had planted gave no yield at all.
Well I may not be a Professor in linguistics and literature but I know you and I can make few deductions from this African tale. Upon independence, the Kenyan founding fathers decided that for this great nation to reach the promised land, there are three ills that had to be dealt with. 1. Ignorance. 2. Disease. 3. Poverty. Depending on how you look at it, these three problems are all linked and the success of one leads to the success of the other two and vice versa. My friends in Statistics can say they have a positive correlation. Let’s not delve much into history or civics, that is story for another day. The period from 1970s through to the early 2000s saw a relative degree of success in terms of the contribution of education towards helping individuals succeed in life through employment. This played an important role in ensuring that the three key targets were met in a pace that can take a thousand panellists to constitute a meaningful debate.
The past week has had a lot of academic related events filling the information sphere, graduation to be specific. Getting that undergraduate degree has always been a source of pride and rightfully so I do hope. The cycle always goes that “go to primary school, get good marks which shall take you to high school, where you should get good grades, leading you to a good university, where you’ll graduate, GET a good job, start a family…” I finished with the … simply because I have never heard anybody go beyond that point when outlining these “thou shall” commandments of life. This cycle sounds good to the average ear that stays in an average environment, seeking a good life that is actually average, getting a good job that is actually hardly average, and recycling his/her kids through the average cycle leading to an average generation. It is at this moment that the men and women of the cloth shout “I rebuuuke the spirit of an average life!!!” to a rapturous “Ameeeen” from their congregations.Well I have no congregation so the much I can do is to continue stroking the keys on my keyboard loyally.
The current crop of graduands cannot afford to engage in the “cycle” in a manner so loyal that they have huge labels above their heads reading all sorts of names such as “BA Education, BA Mass Communication, BSc. Applied Statistics, BSc. Engineering, CA Community Development, BA Economics, et al.” as it happened between the 70s to the early 2000s. The number of graduands continues to rise and it is worrying that the number of the loyalists to the “the cycle” is growing in equal proportions. It is therefore not surprising to find some of the graduands as Fresh as last Friday sunk deep in after parties as some of them have resumed their self-development activities, away from all the graduation fuss that took place on Friday.
Gabriel Dida sums this well enough in this piece http://allsenses.writersguildke.com/opinion/take-it-or-leave-it-after-graduation-go-home-and-invest-in-agriculture/
As the Hare and Hyena tale demonstrates, it is the members of the kingdom with effective strategies that reap the best and get to break the average cycle that has, is, and is likely to be the model upon which most graduands base their plans in life for the foreseeable future. It takes a leap of faith to break the average cycle of life in the face of disbelief and discouragement from friends and foes alike. Kenya and Africa needs more above average youths to shape its present and future as Mama Africa positions herself to increase its presence in the higher places in the Global economy pyramid.
As I go back to sojourning the cyberspace enriching my relatively young mind with information on a variety of polarising topics, it goes without saying that it is a personal decision on whether to be loyal to the average life cycle or be deviant and initiate a positive paradigm shift in life, in significant proportions. Have a great weekend and week ahead good people. Let us meet at the comments section as always.
This is one of those days I am free to use my time to roam the internet with no deadline hanging on my head like some hangman’s noose. Time to use my time to explore the “other side” of the internet and enrich my relatively young brain with all sorts of information found on the cyberspace in a cross-sectional way covering moral to immoral topics, serious to “blueband youth” topics, to weird topics that can make someone have a negative and irreversible perception about me at first sight; sports, politics, philosophy, relationships, innovations, global developing stories, medicine, and those cliché how to topics such as how to sire healthy and intelligent babies (I am yet to be a father so am justified), how to find the right partner (none of my fingers has the magic ring), how to become rich and successful (poverty is my motivation in everything I do), how to be a great leader (I envision myself in the shoes of a great leader whose name I shall withhold for prejudice purposes), and of course how to impact the society in a positive way (I believe in giving back to the society).
It is in the course of my sojourns on the cyberspace that I come across this picture that proves to be the basis for this post.
It is a mere toothpaste dispenser. I am no marketing guru but I know for a fact that any right product should be the end of a lengthy process involving a thorough market analysis research. The market research aspect often justifies the design, availability, quantity, price, and choice of the product by the manufacturer. Well this is not a marketing class so let us not get over intimate with marketing. There are various dispensing machines and their main purpose pretty much like any other machine is making work easier.
Imagine how easy it can be having to carry a 20 litre jerrican, pour water into a jug, pout the priceless liquid into a cup, then drink it. It is this short and easy process that I bet the boring and complicated water dispenser came about. Dispensers can also be used by entrepreneurs to make their operations complicated, stressful , and loss making. Imagine the ease of using some imaginary mark on a cup to determine the price of tea. Someone somewhere considered this to be a tough process hence they invented the loss making and complicated tea dispenser where you have to key in the amount of cash you have and get the equivalent amount of tea. Such a hussle to get the staple Kenyan beverage, at least for the “hustlers.”
Well, let us get to the tooth paste dispenser. Back in the day I can remember my friends and I being loyal to the usage direction on most toothpaste packages reading “apply a PEA-SIZED amount” of toothpaste on your tooth brush for healthy teeth. This direction got programmed into our fingers such that any of us could bite our lower lips in frustration any time we used more than the PEA-SIZED amount indicated on the package. After all, this direction was provided by the manufacturers themselves, who are we to go against that? Looking back, I have no regrets about the lessons learn’t in the loyal application of the PEA-SIZED amount of toothpaste. I wonder if the manufacturers of this toothpaste dispenser programmed the usage direction into its dispensation mechanism.
That aside, the emergence of such a product is an indication of the direction our social and economic lives are taking. For a basic service that is used to impart basic economic principles to children as pat of their growth into responsible citizens to be replaced by a dispenser, there has to be an equivalent or more effective substitution in place. I would also like to see the market research that justified the making of this machine that is likely to make the lives of our children better and profitable.
In conclusion, there is an increasing trend where the quality of life is defined by a high number of hours spent sleeping, watching, building castles in the air, and imagining, imagining of dreams about success. As a future parent (future here is relative), I will ensure that my kids are taught the same lessons I learn’t as a young man learning the reality about the creation of value through scarcity.
Well, they said a picture is worth a million words? Guess they couldn’t be more right.
Time to go on with my online travels as I enjoy my freedom in the cyberspace. Meet you in my next post.
‘You cannot learn how to ride a bicycle by reading a book.’ African proverb
Education System; The modern slavery
Hello, good morning?
Good morning sir
Welcome to your new assignment
Thank you, I promise to do my best
Don’t thank me yet. Here we do things differently; forget what you learnt in school
Ok, what do I do with my academic papers?
Throw them in the bin
In the December holidays of 1997, I was a gawky 8 year-old with a strong affiliation to education. When the other kids were playing in the sun, I would sit down with my Dad’s bootleg stereo and listen to KBC English service; probably to sharpen my English skills. In extreme circumstances, I would write compositions and mark for myself. Then award myself full marks. Full marks because I was the teacher and the student was my bosom friend. It was fun…
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“We produce what we do not consume and consume what we do not produce” is what PLO Lumumba says to his surprised youthful audience. This was in the 2011 youth leadership summit in Nairobi. The relevance of this quote is exhibited by the ratio of youths in this country to the youth occupying key leadership and governance positions in this country.
Governance and leadership by the youth is a phenomenon that intertwines with the issues of democracy, constitutionalism, and the political goodwill in our society. Governance also involves administration of resources in a given society which requires strategic policing. Combined with literacy on the aforementioned, the effects on the society can be positively overwhelming. Democracy is not just about free and fair elections but is deeply entrenched in recognition and promotion of the various rights and freedoms provided for in a country’s constitution. Of utmost importance in this case are the rights and freedoms regarding the ascension to governance and leadership.
Leadership is universal such that it starts from a family, self-groups, schools, institutions of higher learning, and eventually to the lucrative national level. This offers youths with various platforms to seize leadership opportunities. At the family level for instance, a youth can take leadership by showing responsibility. Responsibility comes in the form of taking a keen interest in family matters especially decision making on family projects. In self-help groups, youths get the chance to organize themselves, source for funds, manage them, and reap the rewards. Through such innovative platforms the youth have shown good leadership.
Institutions of higher learning are another example of how youth leadership and governance has thrived. Democratic elections are held on a regular basis and students form unions through which they voice their opinions on an array of issues. Perhaps the most memorable times in Kenyan history regarding student unions movement is way back in the late 1980’s through to the late 1990’s. This is a period where students held demonstrations to voice their dissatisfaction with the then Moi government on national issues mainly on democracy. These youths show passion and energy in their demonstrations, two very important requirements for leadership in any society. Whether the current student unions express the same, is a debatable issue.
However, it is unfortunate that the youth have not yet assumed key leadership roles in our country. Despite the above mentioned instances where the youth have shown exemplary leadership, both the youths and other factors such as lack of political goodwill have conspired to ensure the elderly still assume key leadership roles. The youth constitute more than a half of our country’s population, according to the 2009 population census. Regrettably, only a small section of the youth is graduates. Leadership and governance require academic qualifications without which most youths are locked out of leadership positions.
Additionally, present youths have lost focus and taste on national development issues. This is exhibited by the fact that most youths have little or no time following political and economic developments in both the local and international levels. Instead, most of the time is spent on gambling, watching foreign movies and soap operas, and other events that are of little or no relevance at all to youth leadership and governance. It is not surprising to find a youth(s) with micro information on national issues such as major government officials, trends in the political scene, and the country’s economic health. A common excuse is that these issues have no direct impact on them (them here referring to ignorant youths). Such lies compounded, ensure the youth stay far from promoting youth leadership and governance.
Last but not least, the youth lack cohesion and oneness among them to achieve their collective goals and more importantly, leadership. This is on the high most notably during elections where the incumbent and incoming politicians turn youths against each other. Tribalism is usually at the heart of all these animosities by the youth. It is more saddening to know that tribalism has infiltrated our institutions of learning hampering the efforts made at encouraging youth leadership and governance.
In conclusion, the issue of youth leadership and governance needs a collective approach. The youth, the government, and other stakeholders in the society have roles to play in this issue. The government needs to invest in institutions where the youth are taught governance issues, create an enabling environment for youth to contest and rise to leadership in the society. Other stakeholders such as universities can organize public lectures where prominent people in the society mentor the youth on governance and other related national issues. Finally, the buck stops with the youth who have a lot to work on. Focus and literacy levels top the list of to do’s for the youth. Unless the youth develop the sense of ownership of the society
and need to be masters and mistresses of their own destiny, youth leadership and governance is certain to be in the shadows for years to come.