Kenyan Youth: The Unwanted Generation III

Remember when we wrote that the Kenyan youth are an unwanted generation? Here it is and the second part in case your memory is a bit foggy from all stress you’re undergoing or the poisons you’ve been partaking, or both. The chances of getting stabbed by criminal gangs is higher than that of you landing employment. You’re more likely to get a call from Kamiti inmates informing you that you are the lucky winner of some ruffle draw you know damn well doesn’t exist than get invited for an interview. We live in a country where prisoners make more calls to your phone than employers.

The fact that graduates have to resort to carrying placards to at least get the attention of potential employers is in itself a damning indication of where the youths of this country are held. While it is commendable of the ‘well wishers’ who come out to offer these totally qualified placard carrying job seekers employment, I have my reservations about the approach; do we have to do something that drastic to get your attention? If you have open positions in your organization, why wait until someone risks their life in Nairobi traffic before you intervene?

I am elated that John Kariuki, the jobless and homeless A student, acquired decent clothing, shelter and something more worth his while than basking in the sun like harvested maize at Uhuru Park after NTV highlighted his plight. Kudos NTV, keep up highlighting such human interest stories. You can lump all the political news after the Sports News and just before the late night soap operas, for all we care. After all, watching pot-bellied sexagenarian grandfathers dancing, or rather, attempting to dance to bazokizo is ridiculous and comical, and a futile attempt at connecting with the youth. I have never watched a politician gyrating like he’s having a heart attack and felt, “ Man, look at this guy! Observing the way he’s having epileptic fits, he can make an outstanding leader.”

If anything, it is this dancing by our politicians that has agitated the gods to bestow curses upon our country. I mean, look at serious countries with serious economies, their politicians aren’t joining folk song dancers in dancing jigs. The MCs at their events don’t yell “chini kwa chini” as their cue for going down low and twerking. The heavens heavens must be mad, and sad, at us for making old men and women squat and bend over a staple in our political scene.

You don’t see nations with vibrant economies having their leaders engaging in such ridiculousness. Their minds are occupied with crucial state matters like job creation, public wage bill management and improving the economy, not taking dance lessons from teenagers. Leaders in these countries create favourable environments for the youth to thrive that they don’t have to spend their waking hours performing stretching exercises so that they are flexible and fluid for their dance videos. They don’t have time to trend banal hashtags. Hell, they don’t count the alms they throw in the way of some 36 youths to defend even the most indefensible of government actions(or inactions) as creating employment for the youth. They give youths proper jobs. Maybe the drought will ease up, doctors will go back to the hospitals and lecturers will go back to the classes if everyone who calls himself a leader stopped dancing for a couple of days. The heavens are riled up with all the hip-thrusting and shaking of backsides. Anyway…

Would Sicily Kariuki, the Cabinet Secretary for Gender and Youth Affairs, have offered John Kariuki a job if he’d just straight up walked into her office and asked if their was an opening? My guess is as good as yours. Thinking that he would have even met the CS is even stretching our imagination. He’d have met a secretary who would told him that the government advertises all it’s job openings in the PSC website and the newspapers. Or wherever. We are a country that loves drama. One has to be dramatic in this land to get noticed. Should TV crews follow and film every jobless graduate for the Cabinet Secretary responsible for youth affairs to notice that there’s unemployment in this country. Must the youth of this country carry placards to get employment? When did placards replace the good old resumes.

Even so, if today all the jobless youths took to the streets with placards as their CVs, we would be accused of having been by funded by foreigners to topple the government. Our surnames would be matched with some opposition personalities who will be accused of inciting the youth to insurgency, when the truth is both sides of the divide do not have our interests at heart.

And please don’t tell us that we are choosy and entitled! Isn’t it desperate enough that we write our qualifications on cardboard? We want jobs that bad. That we, the millennials, refuse to start from somewhere like you all did is a total lie.

I remember when having finished campus, I set out looking for internships, paid and unpaid alike. I was willing to spend my money on fare and lunch to work for free in return for the much vaunted experience, and, perhaps, a recommendation letter, but most of the places I went to turned me away. They weren’t taking interns. In other places, the security guard wouldn’t let me in. I had leave my application with them although I have a haunch they never got to their intended recipient.

A friend even invented an ingenious way of circumventing the security guards where he’d ‘stalk’ the company online to find names of employees whom he’d say he had an appointment with just so he could be let in through the gate. His efforts were for nought because the almost 18 applications he managed to sneak to the HRs this way, only two got back. They called back to inform him that they didn’t have internship opportunities. This is the story of many others who don’t have friends who have blogs.

I get enraged when I hear people say that the youth nowadays are picky and that’s why we are unemployed. Utter rubbish. Show us where those jobs are and we’ll start the following day morning. And don’t even get us started on that “you should be entrepreneurial” BS.

You need capital to start a business. Go take a loan from a bank, you’ll say. You forget that HELB reported us to the Credit Reference Bureau for defaulting a loan that we haven’t refused to pay, but one that we can’t pay–because we are not gainfully employed. Our credit rating is worse than your conscience. Oh there’s also the small matter that we have to pay the CRB with money we don’t have. If only banks could give us loans to pay the CRB to clear our credit history.

Also, same way not everyone can be the science-type, not everybody is cut off for business. Entrepreneurship is not a suit that fits everyone. Some just want to wait for end-month.

In this country, comrades are treated like chicken.

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