Wednesday, October 27, 2010


2012 is fast approaching and the debate is now focused on whether the youth have the numbers to beat the old guard come the elections. East Standard Newspaper reported the following stats: 48% of the 12, 477,061 registered voters are between the ages of 18-35 while 29% are between 36-50 and 21% are between 51-60. If at all the election is reliant on the numbers, it would be safe to say we have this in the bag but is it really about numbers? The article then goes on to submit quotes from “highly relevant political gurus” that state that the youth are living in dream land if they think they can wrestle leadership roles from the old guard!! Whilst this statement alone makes me gag at the lack of faith in us, I must say at this point in the game, it might just be an accurate stance. We may have the numbers to change the course of our country but who would be possibly be using our vote on? So far, the “youthful” leaders vying for candidacy are one Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Higher Education Minister, William Ruto and Saboti MP, Eugene Wamalwa. I refuse to mention the likes of Hellon, well, because I am refraining from turning this post into some sort of comic relief piece. All the same, after mentioning the 2012 prospects running under the guise of “Barrack did it and so can we for we too are youthful” I am inclined to believe that a revolution of the magnitude we need may take more time than we may have liked. Here’s why: the incumbents mentioned are not really new to us, and from the past, we know that their doctrines are very much influenced by the old politics we are trying so very hard to move away from. So the question then is where is the freshness we are in dire need of? Where are the new progressive ideals that we so desperately need? Where is that sense of security we long to feel and the sense of trust we long to place in our leaders? I’m inclined to agree with the political strategists…we might have to wait another five years for our very own Barrack.



Anonymous said...

I hate to piss on your parade but I bring only bad news. Democracy is the opiate of the poor and uneducated masses- emphasis on poor. Money still determines elections, both in Kenya and in the US. Anyone we elect will be a member of the status quo, they may be young in age but the clearly represent the interests of the old money power brokers, case in point the bum that is Uhuru Kenyatta- born into wealth that was misappropriated from the Kenyan people, has never worked an honest day in his life, and make no mistake of it, will represent the same old money interests that made him rich.

The only way for the youth to agitate change will be in the legal and business arenas. Success in these areas will give rise to a new class of nouveau riche Kenyans- an educated middle-class that is necessary for a democracy to be effective. Only then can we free ourselves from the yoke of the old money power brokers. The appeal of Obama, was that he was neither politically, nor financially connected to the older Bush generation politicians and money men, as such he drew grassroots financial support and also funding from Hollywood sources who are somewhat divorced from the traditional corporate American influence.

Gigee Nyaga said...

Of course I fully agree with you on all fronts, and it would be absolutely unrealistic to not acknowledge that political aspirations need to be backed by big money. What I am most agitated by is the guise under which the aforementioned candidates are trying to run by, which is simply a cause and effect fallacy that many could possibly buy into.."since I am young, under presidential candidate standards, I must therefore be the change in which you seek". If you follow closely, you will notice that they are all trying to shy away from their folks political ideologies, stating that they are their own men. Now me and you may see right through that, but that's not to say that everyone will, which is why I feel it's my duty to say..."hey look, these people really represent the cycle we are trying to break"! As you said, it really is up to the educated middle class to rev up all the institutions really, I'm talking political, social and economic institutions of Kenya to even remotely come close to changing things around. Easier said than done considering more than 50% of educated people both in the diaspora and back home that I have contact with, barely give two shits about what's going on at home, which leaves us with very slim pickings as far as leaders are concerned.