“Unemployment is capitalism’s way of getting you to plant a garden.” Orson Scott Card.
In 2017, the United Nations Development Programme placed Kenya’s youth unemployment rate at 26.2%. This was for those aged 15 to 24. Each year, the many Kenyan Universities keep churning out fresh graduates, adding on to the existing big number of unemployed graduates in the country. Maybe youth unemployment in Kenya should be declared a national disaster.
Idleness has become the new norm in the society; on the streets, local hotels, pubs, and even along the bus stops. Over indulgence in drugs, betting and fornication has become the norm in our youth’s lives. Many hang around in groups, discussing petty matters; politics, football, current affairs, health, and what’s going on with their best celebrities. At the end of the day, food has to be put to the table, bills paid among many other financial commitments. For someone who has spent the whole day doing nothing, the only means of survival remain in vices like theft, robbery, and some even violence. The rapidly growing population in the country, nature of labor and disparities in regional development are just but a few of the causes of unemployment. One notorious and underestimated cause of unemployment is our inappropriate education system; the Kenyan education system prepares people for jobs that are not there, the 8-4-4 system is designed to overcome this anomaly but it is intended to make people self-reliant. An education that leads to further imprisonment in cocoons is not the best for a nation. Ask yourself, are we still using cars made in 1985? House styles, are they still the same? Even music genres have massively evolved! Why then are we still using the same education system that was used back in the 80s?
Unemployment has become such a problem that it has led to cases of depression, suicides among other many problems. Truth is, we were not prepared appropriately, we are unfortunate to be born at a time when major changes and discoveries have been made. With our parents and grandparents’ ways of life trickling down to us, we are torn in between living our lives and copying past generations. Either way, whatever the reason is, we all need to find ways of curbing the disaster.
The most common way to eliminate unemployment is through self employment and entrepreneurship. On this one, most people complain about start up capital. Capital is quite a problem but starting with what you have is important. Afterall, even these multi-billion dollar enterprises did not start with billions in capital. Also, we can’t all find employment in the city. The upcountry is filled with opportunities like crop and animal farming.
What are you doing to ensure you pay bills and eat despite not having a job? We would like to hear your story!