The general elections see a massive turnout from Kenyan youth every five years. The youth make nearly two thirds of the total registered voters. They take the credit for giving the most votes to any political parties or coalitions existing at the time.
Kenyan youth are also very vocal in political campaigns. They carry banners, cloak their respective political party or coalition’s attire, and chant their slogans.
Yet, despite the continuous massive youth support for the politicians, the latter deceive them. The lies from politicians to the youth become a vicious cycle that plays out in every general elections. History also shows that Kenyan youth have failed to learn from any of the past lessons.
The Kenyan Constitution identifies the youth as persons between the ages of 18 to 35. It also identifies them as a special interest group (Article 100).
Kenyan youth are slow learners
One fact about majority of Kenyan youth is that they are slow learners. They are the largest population group in Kenya. Yet, they suffer from ills such as unemployment and they are more prone to making unwise decisions.
Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope. – Aristotle
Politicians exploit this ignorance and immaturity among Kenyan youth to manipulate them without any regard for their welfare.
Kenyan youth are prone to violence
Kenyan youth have an affinity for violence. Many of them result to violence to express their dissatisfaction with certain things in life and in the society. This factor makes many of them an easy prey for the politicians to exploit.
There is a subconscious way of taking violence as a way of expression, as a normality, and it has a lot of effects in the youth in the way they absorb education and what they hope to get out of life. – Salma Hayek
For example, the politicians played a big part in planning the dreadful Post-Election Violence in 2007 and 2008. However, the youth carried out the violence with gruesome consequences. They killed, maimed, raped, abused, and displaced other people. They also destroyed property worth a lot.
The violence also disrupted the political, economic, and social order in the country.
Kenyan youth are easy puppets for politicians
During election campaigns, the youth become easy puppets for politicians more than ever. They receive cash handouts and bribes in return for blind royalty to the politicians. The politicians use them as dummies to do bidding on their behalf.
The youth sell their votes, their respect, and any dignity they have left to the politicians. They worship the politicians who are their ethnic demigods.
The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently. – Friedrich Nietzsche
Yet, euphoria is what cements the relationship between the Kenyan youth and the politicians. It is what makes the politicians easy to herd them to do their dirty bidding. The youth in a state of euphoria are in a trance. They cannot see, hear, or think clearly. Their common sense in such a state kicks the bucket.
The politicians programme them into retrogression and brainwash them to hate the truth. The politicians instruct the youth to hold those whom they think alike (herd mentality) in high esteem and to hate those who think differently.
Kenyan youth should stop being puppets
Here is a story about a young man who meets a lion in his path. The man fears the lion shall tear him limb by limb. He kneels down and covers his face with his palms to pray for the lion to spare his life. He peeps through his fingers to see what the lion is doing at that moment.
Strangely, the lion sits and covers its face with its paws. It is obviously imitating the man. The man becomes perturbed but curiously asks the lion why it is praying. The lion replies, “Don’t you pray for your meal before you eat?”
This story has an important lesson to Kenyan youth around the country. You are not one with the politicians who exploit you. They are the predators and you are they prey. They will only imitate you and come down to your level when they need favors from you.
Like the lion pretending to pray, they will come during election time asking you to do their bidding. However, they are fattening you up to eat you up. You must learn to empower yourselves. Campaign money, bribes, and handouts do not last until the next election.
You must learn to organize and fight for your own problems. Do not make it easy for politicians to manipulate you for their own selfish ends. When you fight each other or do their dirty bidding, you stand to lose a lot. After all, they gain everything and they have nothing to lose.
Therefore, you should only fight for that which unites and benefits Kenyan youth. That way, you shall have a strong and united voice in political matters and other areas affecting you. United we stand but divided we shall ultimately fall.