Tuesday, 23 September 2014
This piece was inspired by a youth-related seminar I attended recently. We are often watched but rarely seen. The jobs go to the aged - fellows of uncertain age but certainly not a day below 70.
Now that there are no jobs for the youths, is it not time to see their gifts and acknowledge their wounds? Most youths today have no clue of their talents or gainful projects they can engage in to transform their lives. The youths should be given the opportunity to participate in life-skills workshops with employees paid for by the government who are trained as mentors.
The government's effort must be so conducive for mentors and mentees to engage in deeper conversation about what’s going on in their lives. They grow up believing that only white -collar jobs are gainful employment. Most parents in this country are too poor to finance their children to talent academies and instead take them to school to study professional careers. The number of students graduating from these schools do not match the slowly shrinking Kenyan job market.
The state can also motivate corporates to come in by developing initiatives like Corporate Mentoring Challenge- where special recognition is given to companies whose employees engage in mentoring youth.
This will greatly address unemployment and tame the ever rising crime levels in the country, mostly committed by frustrated youngsters. However, mentoring our youths should never be a substitute for a caring family, community support, or a concerted youth policy agenda.
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
On Tuesday, in his meet-the-people-tour, Nairobi governor Dr Evans Othiambo Kidero made a stopover in Eastleigh - the unrivalled Somalis business hub on the east of Nairobi christened "small Mogadishu".
Despite being a jubilant, I wish to bring to the attention of Nairobi's 'Commander in Chief' that I voted for him during the last general election, but had the Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal nullification of his election, I would not have voted for his re-election. Why? You may ask. It's simple. Very simple. In the last 18 months he has been in office, there is nothing to write home about.
We the people of Eastleigh live in estates that are chocking under the weight of garbage and bursting sewers. To add insult to an injury,our roads are under construction for over 3 years,probably more than it took to complete the Thika Super Highway. Hawkers are everywhere on the streets for their only market (former Nairobi City Council Market) has been grabbed. The mushrooming Merus-owned miraa kiosks make the environment dirty as they throw garbage and miraa leftovers (Somalis call it barixi and hardly buy) on the roadside and in drains. Eastleigh is literally chocking!
I invite the governor and his Environment Executive - a former Town Clerk no less! -to visit Eastleigh and stay there for a day and perhaps spend a night in one of Eastleigh's skyscrapers to see the extent of dirt. Not just to be dropped by a fuel guzzler, talk to the people for less than ten minutes and disappear to where-who-knows.
Eastleigh is the only suburb outside the Central Business District that contributes close to 30% of the entire revenue collected by the City County of Nairobi. For your information, Eastleigh is dotted with skyscrapers of which many were constructed within the last eight years. I have been taught that development comes with social amenities. None exists here. People travel from all over Kenya and neighbouring East and Central Africa countries to Eastleigh to shop. You will virtually find anything under the sun in Eastleigh.
The recent police crackdown in Eastleigh -Police are being investigated for harassment, extortion and assault -in the name of fighting terror had a serious negative impact on its business and image. Eastleigh has bounced back!
Kidero where are you???