OPINION: The generation that changed a nation


OPINION: The generation that changed a nation
File image of people in the Nairobi City Centre. PHOTO| COURTESY

By Allan Chesang

If you struggle to put food on the table despite all your daily hard work… If government policies greatly disadvantage you and are more of a barrier than an enabler… If you are highly taxed but still can’t access basic needs like quality healthcare, and have to watch a loved one die helplessly… If education has only added to your misery, and you just can’t find opportunities because you are neither a somebody nor know somebody somewhere… Then you are a victim of a broken system.

This country, and the future that we need, desperately calls for people who are ‘woke’. Selfish politicians, strong cartels and incompetent leaders have their knees on our necks.

They are stifling our growth and threatening our survival. Our detriment though is apathetically waiting on hope for politicians or activists to fix the broken system. But how long will we wait?

We need people who can champion a new cause leading to tangible change. People who can redefine our vision as a nation. We need to resist and stand up against the status quo. It’s time to make politicians pay attention to the needs of the ordinary people instead of yielding to the needs of cartels and political financiers/wheeler dealers who only serve to oil the wheels of corruption.

We need a judiciary that is uncompromisable, swift and fair – if justice is to be our shield and defender. We need a parliament that is more loyal to the people that elected them than political parties and leaders that are hungrier for change than they are for power!

We want to be remembered as the generation that changed a nation!

That we fought against the status quo and stood to be counted… That we did something about the state of affairs and made a difference where we could. That we did our best, given the circumstances.

Just as the Mau Mau rose against the British invasion, we can rise against the cartels that deprive us of our basic rights, as basic as access to clean water. We can rise against corruption and bad governance. Let us take action and create the change that we want.

Most politicians are afraid of a populace that is conscious and actively seeks its rights. By holding politicians to greater levels of accountability, we can elevate the standard of leadership.

Unfortunately, our education system does not culture or condition us to stand up against injustice. This is accentuated by the diminishing number of role models who fight for what is right.

Since Okiyah Omtatah went the less acrimonious legal route for an individual to demand for change, and Bonnie was threatened that he would be snuffed out like the Jacob Jumas… The streets are practically silent. Waiting for someone to make the change… Waiting for you… Waiting for me.

Truly, there is no better time to demand for change than now! It is time to get that damned knee off our necks! Let us use all avenues to demand, clamour and call for change. Let us cripple the broken system until it is fixed. Let us have the courage to change what we can, the wisdom to use the best approaches and the unity to stand together for what is right.

Let us raise a new generation of fiery, firebrand, passionate activists using modern means to shape society. That generation is you and me.

If you can’t find a reason good enough… Then just do it because you can!

Allan Chesang is a commentator on socio-political issues and founder of the Allan Chesang Foundation

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