Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I was inspired by this article on mama's blog to write this one.

On a previous blog I wrote about how we kenyans talk too much and hold too many conferences but don't come out of them any better. It's because of lack of commitment actually. I'm not saying I'm any better, but at least I don't waste my energy... what I'm saving it for, I do not know. Truly, I tell you, some of my pals come to me and they say, Screamer tell us; what can we do to make money while we are still in college? And I try to think up a few things to conceal my cluelessness and uncertainity, so I suggest a couple of things... they are not impressed. They suggest a couple more but none of us think any of them would work. Then we sit up looking at each other like dummies and I feel bad. I feel bad because these boys want to do something but they can't figure out what! I exclude myself here, because I somehow don't have as much enthusiasm as they do. Not because I do not need money though.
Then I try to analyze the whole situation, who's fault is it? Are we not creative enough? Are dumb? In the end I blame the system in which we live in, and the society we grew up in. We don't like to read books of any kind, we don't really learn much in schools, we despise protocol, rules and regulations. We don't perceive education as worthwhile. We (for fairness sake, most of us) all like the same things; movies, booze, sex, music and partying! We like to lie to ourselves that everything is okay. Our dream is to loot public funds to make ourselves rich overnight, nobody cares! These are the ills of society we were brought up in. And the education system isn't helping in revoking these negative values.
I do not like to preach or to whine or go on and on about what is wrong. But this is how I feel. It will take much to change this attitude. We the youth could do a lot of good if we wanted. See, a career in music is not bad, but music is intangible. I believe that an economy is built by production of actual goods, and this requires skill. This skill is what is lacking.
The youth are slack, but again it may not be entirely our fault. Not to say that anybody owes us anything. But we are not the way we are because we are young, its partly because we were nurtured to be this way. So everyone may as well be guilty.

9 Educated Opinions Yet:

Mama said...

Screamer, I dont know if it is about Kenyan youths being slack's our system of doing things.

The curse of this country dear Screamer is that it doesn't recognise enterpreneural skills, hardwork, integrity, innovativeness, transparency, efficiency and all those other good things that are making Western economies work.

Recent case in point, this guy who was building some mansion in Nairobi and then found out he had been swindled by some goons in Nairobi at the Ministry of Lands. Such cases abound Screamer and really to be honest, what is the point of working hard if your hardwork will never pay off?

Go to government offices and see how resistant they are to work (not hardwork) just work! They are also resistant to transparent systems of working and of course are allergic to computers. At the end of the day, no matter how well put together you are (your documents, your whatever) you are not going to achieve anything because nobody's going to help you.

In schools, you have heard of top-up marks for certain pupils from certain schools, whether they read or not they will get what they will get and some others whether they work hard or not, they will not be able to compete with people from these schools. That is just how life is in Kenya.

The worst bit is that people who steal are the ones we celebrate and adore. We get awed by the wealth exhibited by our politicians and treacherous businessmen types like Pattni, those are the people we celebrate in this country. People who try to show a little bit of innovativeness, like building tin flying gadgets we laugh at and wonder what demon possessed them.

The government doesn't support the manufacturing industry in this country, that's for sure, we have been in the habit of closing down our industries, and in the process have shut down our economy. Now we are dependents of the West and Asian nations, not that we can't produce on our own, but because nobody wants to support industries over here.

Tell me Screamer, with such a system in place, what would be the point of hardwork? Why should someone get up and go do stuff to better themselves?

Oh goodness me, I have made a post on your post..pole.

Shiko-Msa said...

Screamer I realize I'm effectively prohibited from commenting now that Mama has done so but rules are made to be broken no?

Anyway, I'd also just echo her sentiments 100%. I remember doing an article about wasted talent in Kenya. Here is an excerpt:

'So Tusker Project Fame is looking for talented musicians, and somebody discovered Dennis Oliech. School Science Congresses have been around for as long as I can remember and are held year in year out. One would think the purpose of these congresses is to identify young Science talent for nurturing. But not in Kenya. Here, the kids, brilliant ideas and all, are sent back to school with a certificate or trophy to continue learning the History of Guatemala. And that is before computer errors mess up their KCSE results.'

And that is just science.

Shiko-Msa said...

Do engineering companies send representatives to these Science Congresses? I think they should. Right down to the zonal level – up till the nationals. In fact they should form part of the adjudicating panel. They’re best placed to identify talent in the engineering field. They would know better which projects can be of commercial value so as to further patent and commercialize these innovations on behalf of the kids. They have the ability to then support the kids financially and intellectually.

willpress said...

Im feeling every line of your sentiments, Screamer. .and the comments so far are also spot on. I see the trend here is to let it all out so I will do exactly that.

This feeling of uncertainty and cynical helplesness also engulfs me when I meet a relative who goes like, "So where are you working again?" or a pal's parent who has a load of questions about your plan for the next 5yrs. Of course, I mumble something but in real sense a nigga is almost CLUELESS! And that goes for most of the youth ìn this country .

First I blame the education system where very little substansive learning take place. What is learnt better is cramming techniques. Very little or no enterprenueral skills are acquired here, now that Agriculture and Arts n Crafts and other courses such as Power Mechanics that were scrapped from the curriculum. Education here has been commercialized and is now a booming business. Parallel programmes open the floodgates and everyone now wants a University degree, nothing less. So what happens if every tertiary institution is converted into a university? Where wil we get people with technical skills??? Somebody once joked that Kenyans are the most overqualified people on Earth. When I look at the 30 something year olds staying at home jobless with degrees or even PhD.s I tend to take that statement very seriously!!

These so called youth funds, CDF funds or even Chora Bizna Proposals are extremly hard to come by and many of us shun taking another loan from the government since we drank away the HELB loans during our university years.

Look at how the second generation of parents (those with kids born in the 70s and 80s) the have brought up their kids. Very few make their kids get interested in how money is brought into the house. So we have family businesses and SMEs- farms, stores, garages etc- facing imminent threat of collapse on the demise of the propreitors because their kids have no idea how to run these b.tches!!! Thats partly why its a miracle in this part of the world when an SME lives on beyond 5 goddamn years!

Capitalist Consumerism pia ndio hiyo. .what Marx calls commodity fetishism. The youth are engulfed in artificial ideals borrowed from the very tools of globalisation : Tv, internet, exposure in short. We all must wea the designer clothes, own the iPhone, drive a fuel guzzler without sufficient avenues or opportunities to get there! So who can blame us if we want Pattnis autograph for swindling the government. Deep down inside we also want to get where that money is and loot that sh.t. It all starts right from university and high school politics dont it? If we think corruption is starting to fade then lemme warn that the worst is yet to come. We have started seeing the signs what with computer errors in our budget estimates. Cyber crime is on the way, kidnapping is picking up and white collar crime is moving up the charts. ( I will give a personal testimony on how quick money tastes gud later!)

My lament ends here for now. .

Screamer said...

First thank you all for your comments.

Mama, this is how it is in Kenya, right. But the mistake we have done is to accept it as it is. As much as we may abhor the current situation, there are people who actually relish it. For they find relief in knowing that it matters not how qualified you are or how diligent you are, that they can still make it. It gives them hope. So in the end people don't see the need for education.

Our 'proffesionals' or 'experts' for example, in their respective fields, are in those fields for the wrong reason- MONEY, period. We all want money but look, a doctor for example, wouldn't it be nice if he focused on the patient first then money later?

But I am so thankful for you guys, at least we share something in common.

It is my desire that I do not conform to the ways of the system. I hope I won't be 'wrong' in the end.

Willpress, I feel you to the core.. but I still want to hear that testimony.

Bottom line I just think we should all fight our personal battles, because we can't change the world. I mean, what can we do?

Robyn said...

Bro not only in Kenya-Uganda too and Africa at large.
Now that is where you are wrong-we can change the world-we can pray thats all.

willpress said...

I have a cousin of mine, orphaned at a young age, living with the grandmother. Life really has been a major struggle for the chap. A guy with lots of bright ideas that none of our uncles or aunts were keen to hear. They've sent him to a ka college just to keep him out their radar. You know what the guy is up to nowadays? He MANUFACTURES FAKE MONEY! And I am not lying. . . Nigga showed me a wad of 200k of unfinished cash!! So its a network. . .guys from Kenya School of Monetary Studies pinch some of the reagents. Initial printing is done at a place in River Road. At this point it looks like burnt paper. Then they soak it in some chemical used in transformers and mobile network masts, then they add chlorine to give the texture and later, yeah, they got the Gs! Then they have people they trade in with for real cash say 200k fake for 140k real cash. . .damn, am still in shock. But yeah, I've been in several nights out with the guy. . .we can buy the bar if we want, we have reserved seats, the works! It felt really really good, and some part of your brain starts telling you that you want IN on this.

Meanwhile, he tells me "Bro usilale, time wenye unadoze, wengine wana make dough!" Yeah, thats the kind off generation that is coming up. . .fake money printers and internet swindlers. If you thought Goldenberg was bad, just wait. Theres more where that came from!

Screamer said...

Heeee! Hustler eh? Now I don't know what to say to that, Willpress. Money is good, I don't deny it. I just don't how far I'd go to get it... but anything that money brings, I want it!

So what does this cuzo of yours do with all that money, print more money?


willpress said...

Umm nthn much really. . .clubbin sprees, a random flat screen Tv here, a random fan when suddenly the weather changes, etc etc its a burn-as-you-earn thing right now. Of course, he's just a pawn. .you should ask what the investors, the guys who fund this thing, you should ask what they are doing with a few million in fake currency.,

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