Dear Kenya; You endlessly Practice Ageism to each Generation
“Ageism is the stereotyping and discrimination against individuals or groups on the basis of their age; ageism can take many forms, including prejudicial attitudes, discriminatory practices, or institutional policies and practices that perpetuate stereotypical beliefs”- World Health Organization
Naturally, every citizen ought to be a patriot! Every person feels happy to have a place called home and statelessness is one of the hopeless situations one can find him/herself in. This is why we have Kenya; a country of innovative, creative and resilient people yet less civically engaged, and perhaps more loyal to their ethnicities.
With its abundance, and once a nation with the most optimistic people on earth just at the beginning of the 21st century, Kenya, your citizens, the young ones are less happy and disillusioned.
Dear Kenya, we, your young citizens, have been moving around your land under the #Jiactivate banner, a social youth movements to listen to and talk to your youth. Dear Kenya, some youth are very inspiring, hardworking, and resilient and focused in making you prosper. Perhaps your economy is largely driven by the sweat, energy and creativity of the private sector, yet these ‘workers’ remain in the periphery.
Dear Kenya, we went to Busia and the youth decried lack of inclusivity in the allocation and sharing of county resources. In Busia, your youth say, their baby, the National Youth Council Act has been thrown out with the bathwater. The healthcare system is not working, and the facilities have no drugs. The 30 year old graduates, married men have no jobs.
Dear Kenya, in Vihiga, drug abuse and teenage pregnancy are rampant. The youth are idle and angry.
Dear Kenya, Siaya youth feel that no one will listen to them, or act to their concerns.
Dear Kenya, Kajiado youth complain about delayed payments for their services rendered, and they are not happy about harassments.
I know we are rich as a nation. I know we do not put our priorities right. I know we defer our hunger, always. I know the youth of 80s and 90s played their part in building you, Kenya. But they now struggle to make ends meet. I know the youth of 2000s are learned and hopeful just as those of 2010s. Yet, you still practice ageism on them as you did to the 80s lot.
Dear Kenya, the rising youth population means that a rock must be placed underneath you to support the weight. We do not want to eliminate each other to make the load lighter for you. You must carry all of us, on your shoulder, legs, heads, ears, hair etc. We are not the same. Some are light, young, heavy, old, opinionated, hopeless, carefree and disengaged. All are your people.
Dear Kenya, some of your members under #Jiactivate, say invest in the fight against corruption, unemployment, healthcare, sustainable development/food security and reap the dividends of youth population bulge devoid of ageism against any generation .
Dear Kenya, kindly remembers that the framers of the 2010 Constitution, by design and default, in article 55 recognized the youth, the majority as marginalized members of the society. Please do not discriminate against them, more so on of their inexperience, lack of skills, poverty level and empty pockets. Please, view them as innovative, energetic sea of humanity that can build or destroy. Intergenerational accountability devoid of ageism, is a sure bet in unshackling the chains that make young graduates, some parents, live in squalid conditions, in the land of abundance.
Please KENYA, #JIACTIVATE