SOCIETY TALK

Why politicians’ kids should steer clear of politics

The last thing jobless youth being harassed by Helb and KRA need is a lecture by someone out of touch with their reality

In Summary

• #NginaKenyatta trended for the entire weekend, and she had it coming

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s daughter Ngina Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s daughter Ngina Kenyatta
Image: Douglas Okiddy

There is a universally agreed rule that celebrity kids should be kept out of issues pertaining to their parents. As long as they don’t take a public stand, they are innocent. The unwritten rules especially concern children hailing from political families. The job of a politician’s child is to be seen and not be heard.

During Obama’s eight years in presidency, his daughters Malia and Sasha were bashed countless times by individuals from the opposition for silly things, such as their dressing or their posture.

Every single time, those individuals would face the wrath of the public. The outrage was unanimous. The girls were innocent as they did nothing more than support their father by standing beside him silently. The Obamas knew the rules of the game, they never allow their daughters to speak publicly on their behalf. The same applied to the Bush girls, Jenna and Barbara, as well as Chelsea Clinton.

 
 

For some strange reason, Kenyan politicians decided to rewrite the rules. They use their children in political strategies to target their children’s peers. By doing this, they ought to realise that their children become fair game. If the public is justified in condemning their leaders for poor governance, then they become justified in criticising the politician’s child for taking a stance publicly.

When Ngina Kenyatta stood up last Saturday to school us unemployed Kenyans on how to beat unemployment, she deserved the response she got. Ngina spoke during the African Philanthropy Forum at Strathmore Business School in Nairobi, where she was addressing the topic of “Accelerating Youth Employment in Africa”.

In her speech, Ngina shared with us her ‘solutions’ to youth unemployment, most of which included taking up new and innovative fields of study. The reason why #NginaKenyatta trended for the entire weekend of Twitter is one she will never fully comprehend. No, nobody bashed her for being Uhuru Kenyatta’s daughter and Jomo Kenyatta’s granddaughter. Ngina’s speech stirred up an already simmering cauldron of emotions.

The youth are facing higher unemployment rates under this government than they did with any other government. They are constantly being harassed by the likes of Helb and student loan institutions who want their money back, yet many of them have no employment. The youth are constantly harassed by taxation offices and civil servants when they choose to build SMEs. The youth are more frustrated now than they have ever been, as they face a myriad of problems pertaining to unemployment.

The youth do not need a member of the royal family… I mean, of the first family, to explain to them how things on the ground could be different if they followed the advice of a 20-something-year-old who has never applied for a job in her life. The youth don’t need one more person telling them how to make things better, they need for things to be better. The youth don’t need more stories and strategies on how to curb unemployment, they need action to be taken now.

Ngina Kenyatta is the director of a board. She has never been unemployed. She is not the average Kenyan youth. She is not qualified to address the youth. She should not be offering solutions to a problem she doesn’t understand.

Kenyans do not need children of politicians speaking down to us on issues we face every day as a consequence of mismanagement by the current regime. Children of politicians should recede to the shadows where they belong, but if they choose to take a stand publicly, then they should be ready to deal with the consequences.

Edited by T Jalio