I would like to think that today’s kids are so clever in comparison to how some of us could not even spell the word ‘corruption’ back in the 80s and 90s.
It is not like we were any indifferent about the state of affairs but whatever was happening was not anything compared to what is happening now. Today if you ask a five-year-old to define graft, he or she will rumble about and mention William Samoei Ruto, Anne Waiguru, Josephine Kabura or even Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta. Yes, it is that bad. We talk about it silently for fear of repercussions but it is that bad.
We have become a nation driven and defined by corruption. Our hard work is bringing us closer to becoming the first leading corrupt nation in the world. Believe me you, we are headed there. Forget about the massive PR going on social media platforms. Those are just meant to sanctify the few sacred cows.
We are so passionate and least remorseful of whatever repercussions it brings along. The rich continue being rich and the poor continue wallowing in their mud huts and jiggers on their feet while constantly asking themselves when it was that the rain started beating them. Their children suffer from malnutrition as those of higher above the chained clean chunks of meat from rib goats and whatnots. Some become sick and die while their counterparts are flown out of the country for the best care; cost being not a factor.
The poor dwell on a meal a day, walk miles and miles away from home to get education. Welling tears sting the eyes of their parents as they urge them to trudge on, wearily as the best is yet to come their way.
Thing is, they know it is hard out there but at the same time they know that without motivation and support, these kids will give up and end up just like them. Years later, after painstakingly never giving up, they are home with degrees. There’s no job. They tarmac, make thousands of applications that none go through. They up their game and make placards noting their qualifications and end with the phrase “please employ me!” note the supposed magical word ‘please.’ It clearly tells of the degree of desperation that poor youth bears while you in your fancy car roll down your window with a frown on your face and contempt towards him/her for the jam they are causing during rush hour. It hits you not that that person you are frowning at is the breadwinner of their family and he/she has no job.
The government has done little about the countless unemployed youth in the society yet they complain of rising cases of insecurity. The leaders we voted in want little to do with us. As soon as they are in power, they disappear and five years later make cameos and put fake smiles on their faces as they greet you. Suddenly, they realize that the roads in your area are impassable. They see that tank erected with a purpose of supplying water to the people. In their desperate measures to win votes for the coming elections, they commence the attempts to accomplish what they should have accomplished in their first year of power. Sadly, with many people being illiterate in the same forsaken societies, they applaud his/her ‘good work.’
The intellectuals who are apparently jobless now look at them with fiery eyes. They are sick to the stomach as they know that the society is being blackmailed. Disgusted by these heartless leaders, they rise and want to take the power from them. Bold, visionary and potentially the best leaders we could have but what happens to them? They are shunned for they have no handouts. They have no ties to prominent people and soon enough, as quickly and as they had emerged, they become ephemeral stories. A year later, it dawns that we have replaced a bad government with the worst government. A government that steal millions from the poor and oppresses them to the worst debilitated state possible. The pattern repeats itself and creates a cycle of them and us. Them play by the rule of I scratch you back and you scratch mine. The poor has to pay you for them to get a job and however, annoyingly, you have nothing to lose. You know another one will come running along.
The economy fails, your businesses flourish. Whistle-blowers confront you, you jail them and or shamelessly pay them off. Worse still, some lose their lives and all evidences point at you but after all is said and done, you still shine. God sees you, that isn’t a lie.
Why should the poor be oppressed? Why should that youth with the best qualifications remain unemployed? Why should that kid in a desert of life study under a tree and go to school so as to eat? Why are your ‘brilliant’ ideas met with criticism and protests? Do you know that you are the reason why the illiterate believe that money can solve their problems? Why should the corrupt leaders still paid to further kill the already oppressed? Did you know that lives lost through clashes belong to a human being like you? These are not rhetoric, I need answers.
Those without the voice cannot complain as they cringe with fear and disappointment. Others have been blinded by your altruistic nature and now they are paying for their mistakes. Corruption has made us lead lives without meaning and ones constantly dotted by disasters and unending tears. We are sick. Very sick of you such leaders who steal from the public.
I speak as an oppressed society.
(Special thanks to Korir Isaac for this great message. You are a champion)