Linus Kaikai kicker on King Kaka’s Wajinga Nyinyi
It took a near insult for Kenyans to appreciate some basic but hard truths about the country.
I call it a near insult because many Kenyans, at least those who gave their views in the social media, did not have a problem with the description of Kenyans as Wajinga Nyinyi or ‘you fools’ by rapper Kennedy Ombima whose stage name is King Kaka.
The hard-hitting, spoken word largely stated what every conscious Kenyan knows: from the poor state of the economy to corruption, and divisive politics to false election promises.
What was knew is, the rapper called out Kenyans for being so blind about their situation and for being so forgetful: amnesia he called it.
I followed conversations online and realized many Kenyans, millions, actually agree with King Kaka. But I say, that is not enough.
It is not enough to just agree and to lament: Lamentations do nothing beyond perhaps drawing a tiny speck of sympathy from your tormentors.
Kenyans must not just lament, they must do something: they must draw the proverbial line in the sand and reject what in the rappers’ words, the systematic destruction of their country.
I have had conversations with many young men and women, the youth of this country and many of their views reflect King Kaka’s words.
Many are frustrated that the presidential election is a tribal blood sport and an ethnic census.
They are frustrated by the absence of ideology in electoral politics and a culture of tribal thinking forced down on them by among others their parents and politicians.
They are demotivated by electoral promises that mean nothing, just outright lies.
They are also frustrated by what they say, the absence of options and the dominance of what one of them told me ‘the usual crop of bigwigs.’
To the very many youth that hold similar views, here are the reasons you should not despair.
Just nine days ago, 34-year old Sanna Mirella Marin, became Prime Minister of Finland and the youngest serving head of government in the world.
There is a simple secret behind her success story: constructive participation.
She joined active politics through the youth league of her Social Democratic Party where she served as the youth vice president.
I speak of constructive participation because many youth in Kenya have been swallowed by what I want to call negative participation.
We have seen promising youth leaders turning into useless palace slaves for the often wealthy serving politicians.
Their youth and ideas have been wasted down the drainpipes of short term gains that only perpetuate the thinking of those they told me ‘the usual crop of bigwigs.’
We have seen university student elections that are shamefully a reflection of national elections in both processes and outcomes.
This in-breeding of bad manners should be rejected by the youth because it is the quickest way to kill a country’s political future. The youth must break free and end this culture of dependence.
They should rise up the political ladder in their own right as potential national leaders. They should draw inspiration from the history of our own country that has seen youth or student leaders going on to become credible national leaders.
Our youth should also draw inspiration from the story of Tom Mboya who as a young man in his 20s was among the best mobilizers in trade union and party politics.
In his 30s, Tom Mboya was President Jomo Kenyatta’s principal political ideologue shaping the early days of Kenya’s independence.
Tom Mboya never used his age as an excuse and in politics, he never quite played second fiddle.
To all the youth, Merry Christmas and a happy new year.
Linus Kaikai is the Director of Strategy and Innovation at Royal Media Services
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