“I define liberty as the state of being free in society from oppressive restrictions designed by authority on universal opportunities, own way of life, independence, behaviour, or political views”.

Today I did sit in the company of my PUSA – Gender Secretary Moraa Bundi Moraa, some Students leaders and Members Of Parliament like Hon Teddy Mwambire to present the youth Agenda to the BBI committee at KICC, while presentations were on, a lot was happening in my mind. I think I am justified by the Holy Spirit, if not by Kenyan law to share my opinion(s). Rene Descartes says “Dubito ego cogito ergo sum”

Comrades, I personally hold this view(s) that on such a great day and opportunity as this, it’s prudent of our kind to reflect where we have come from as a youth community, where we are and our vision going forward. Looking back, just laconically the August house passed a number of bills to bolster the agenda of the youths in this country, one of it being the 30% procurement opportunities which by evaluation, has been poorly implemented and therefore predominately if completely taken by rich old men. The few who get an opportunity get it under restricted conditions that makes the beneficiary take define it as a privilege and not a provision of law. This to them is a must of necessity to please the over-the-counter masters! No safe spaces at all!

Uwezo Fund, NYS, Youth Fund, Bursary has been politicized and become a corruption soft target from the exchequer to an extent the original vision remains a smokescreen before the targeted benefactors; youth. The youth are mostly quoted in the dictionary definition as a human period preceding adulthood and secondly in the politicians’ mind as campaign soft target and/or goons. Not in developing them in a serious sense. When shall we have a fair deal in our own land? The land of our fathers!

The old men who amorphously support the repugnant systems of tender-prenuership may say that there are no youths to be considered for such opportunities, some accuse the youth of being negligent. Well, my comment on this is times and seasons have changed, the people at positions of influence have never been subjected to the same conditions we are in, why us? Again, my question to such people by way of the practical exhibition is, were those people born old such that they never became youth in their lives? and if no, that is if at some point in their lives were youth, were they employed, were they empowered, then?

Youth have become another item of exportation in this nation. I presume that the highest number of Middle East country’s house helpers are from this country, this is because there are no safe spaces for them in their own land. I hope you can recall how some of them have been coming back as corpse(s)!

There are no vacation jobs anymore in our University and Colleges yet we have youths who have failed to graduate owing to school fee arrears. You find these same people have been put on CRB by HELB, on the run away from TALA, O-PESA, BRANCH et cetera if not the gambling silent killer, on the other hand not even able to do more than the normal poverty appealing duties. Are we likely to get a safe space in our own land?

Young educated youth are automatically left out by job advertisements let alone interviews, just because they don’t have the required experience, is this not structured to lock them outside forever and ever amen?

The most stupid and I repeat, most stupid thing to happen since Methuselah was a sperm in Kenya is to have all youths offices and departments held by tired old men who masquerade as youths! Isn’t this an act of reducing to the absurd?

Poor legislation, in reference to the item of striking out students organisations – was yet another depth of digging deeper than we were already in. As if Duale & Co. members had forgotten the role played by students organisations, the catholic church, Women groups and Civil Societies in revamping democracy during the third wave in 1985. Now the academic lives of the Comrades are being sacrificed by everyday expulsions and suspensions as if we belong to an imaginary Kenya (in the world of forms by Plato).

The building bridges committee initiated by H.E the President and the Rt. Prime Minister have 14 people and out of those, I think the youngest by look is Hon. Amos Wako, see, we automatically locked the youth out once extra! Are we likely to have safe space any soon?

We the youth, by virtue of our academic command, age & level are called upon to bear great responsibility in the liberation of our fraternity, because even some of the leaders we did elect are the bolts of the same machine that crushes us as a nation, now we have to go back and educate them. Times are changing and we must change with them. The word is must!

Late Cde Abram Okngopotse Tiro (1947- 1974) who served as the President of the North, South Africa before he will be bombed by the Apartheid regime once said this “The magic of human achievement gives an irrefutable proof that as soon as nationalism is awakened among the youth, it becomes the vanguard against the alien rule” for our case I will add, it becomes the prerequisite against impunity not only in Kenya but in Africa at Large.

Friends, no one will take the pain on our behalf. No one will go ahead on our behalf. No one will wake up earlier than everyone else on our behalf. No one will mobilize resources on our behalf. No one will campaign on our behalf. No one will kneel and pray on our behalf. No one will wipe our tears. No one will genuinely smile too, at and with us. No one will sing on our behalf. As Obama said, we are the ones we have been waiting for, we are the change that we seek. Further Lucky Philip Dube exhorted us through his song teach the world, that take it upon yourself and restore your nation’s dignity.

This is not the time to admire the men of timid peace. It’s the time to admire the man who embodies victorious effort; the man who never wrongs his neighbour; who is prompt to help a friend; BUT who has those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of actual life. Comrades, I do not know the path that majority of you are gonna follow. I honestly don’t. Its personal opinion but as for me, give me liberty in my country or give me death!

By Fikirini Jacobs, Pwani University Students’ Association Chairperson

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