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January 17, 2019

To be Kenyan and young

GENERATION Z: The young generation has earned itself a bad rep because of their perceived recklessness. Photo/ELKANA JACOB
GENERATION Z: The young generation has earned itself a bad rep because of their perceived recklessness. Photo/ELKANA JACOB

Every once in awhile, I get an email, a link on twitter, or even a message in my Facebook inbox asking me to read something. I’m perceptive enough to know that the author of the item is not just looking for my attention but that of the wider public.

Last week, I got a tweet from one David Gitau, with just a link. His link led me to a rather smart, analytical, yet sad blog about his generation (

Sometimes, it behooves me to lend my column to someone else’s voice and today is one of those days. Read on:

I’m 21. In this day and age, that’s all I need to say and some very nasty conclusions about who I am will be made.

As a 21-year- old guy, this is the stigma that comes with being young right now. I am part of the most disrespected generation that has ever and (possibly) will ever walk this earth. That is very sad, but what’s heart breaking is that we deserve every bit of disrespect that comes to us, and maybe even more. I’m not religious, but if what they say about the end of time is true, then this really is the end.

I would rather look at it from an evolutionary stand point.

Would I want any of these lazy, self-obsessed, sex-tape making, twerk video making, every two- minute selfie taking members of the dumbest generation ever to reproduce? No, I would not, and I take this opportunity to apologise in advance to the coming generations because they have no chance with parents like these.

Where is technology and industrialisation going when being a socialite is a career? Are human rights activists going to be extinct now that all anybody cares about is themselves? Is the written word dying now that the alphabet has been killed and xaxa is an acceptable substitute for sasa? Is this the end of art if we share photos of every single thing we do? These are but a few.

My main reason for writing this is mostly selfish. As part of this generation, I am sick of being grouped with these kinds of people simply because we are in the same age group. I happen to work very hard, I try and think of others once in a while, there is no naked photo of me on the internet, and as far as I know, there is no twerk video of me out there. I aspire to do some good in my country; my ambitions aren’t restricted to being famous for no reason.

As for my secondary reason, I believe history will judge me for my indifference in this moral genocide that is rampant in my society. By watching silently, I am every bit as responsible in this as those who actively participate in flushing human decency down the toilet. I think about the Mau Mau freedom fighters, and how ashamed they are of my age mates and I, If they knew they were fighting for our right to double tap someone’s boob job on Instagram, they would probably have given up and taken jobs in some colonial coffee plantation and waited for their inevitable death by flogging.

I think it’s the Bible that tells those without sin to cast the first stone; well, I am a sinner, but goddamn it, I’m going to throw some goddamn rocks at those who have cost me and any other person my age our worth in society before we even had a chance to prove it.

So I say these things in the hope for change, I don’t know what kind of change, but anything is better than this. After all, can it get any worse?

Well can it? I truly hope not. So as 2014 comes to a close, it is my hope and prayer that the author of the blog who’s title is “Generation Death” and his peeps will decide that 2015 is the year Kenya sits up and pays attention to young people for all the right reasons. David I hear you, but now that you know better, you must do better. No excuses.

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