• Like cancer at its late stages, stupidity is spread deep in all parts of this country.
• It touches institutions and even deep in the ministries, which are supposed to be guided by technocrats who know how best to steer and implement national policies.
Kenyan rapper Kennedy Ombima, better known as King Kaka, recently released the spoken word labeled ‘Wajinga Nyinyi’ (You are fools).
In this artistic expression, he dishes a stinging rebuke of Kenyan society, castigating the country for its collective foolishness and stupidity in knowingly electing leaders responsible for their misery and erosion of its mores. Many agree with him and the message has resonated across the country.
However, stupidity is not confined among voters only; rather, like cancer at its late stages, the malady is spread deep in all parts of the country. It touches institutions and even deep in the ministries, which are supposed to be guided by technocrats who know how best to steer and implement national policies.
Sorry to burst your burble but even the most heralded and praised Cabinet Secretary is at the core inept and not all that glitters, is gold.
In 2013, a person who was instrumental in taking Microsoft to India to launch its outsourcing business there told me India has done so well in the outsourcing business he and other like-minded individuals were willing to help other countries start and attain the same level of success in this growing business.
Although the individual had several countries in Africa in mind, I had us focus on Kenya as a pilot case and, to this end, we prepared, and I personally delivered our proposal to the then ICT minister, Fred Matiang’i.
The proposal was for us to set-up an ICT training facility at our expense and only required the government to select the candidates for the institution upon a given academic criteria and aptitude for the IT industry. We had in place a robust process developed over the years to identify and select the candidates and we ready to show the government how to do this.
Once the students are trained, we were to give each two-year employment contracts providing backend support for our clients globally, and after completion of two years, they were to be encouraged to set up their own tech support service businesses. According to our projections, we were to have 500 trainees the first year (2013) with the number growing to 8,000 by end 2017.
The creation of this capacity of industry ready professionals was to help Kenya acquire a premier status in the IT sector by creating a continuous supply chain of skilled and certified young talent that can address industry requirements. This would in turn help attract small and medium IT service companies, product companies, and MNCs to Kenya — which we highlighted in our proposal.
Yet, this amazing proposal is still collecting dust at ICT ministry.
More recently, a colleague of mine and I decided to use our money to promote and support girls’ soccer in Africa—at the prompting of our own daughters. Someone I know runs a soccer academy in Western Kenya and my colleague and I paid him a visit to explore this and brought along some gear for the girls.
Because we intended to make this a nationwide and Africa-wide endeavour, we naturally wanted to meet with the CS for Sports or someone at her office to further discuss. I attempted to reach CS Amina Mohamed through her two private numbers to no avail. I reached out to her office.
My email was clear what we wanted to do: Meet with the CS or someone at the office to discuss how we can help promote and support girls’ soccer development in Kenya, including arranging friendly games and coordination of scholarships to universities in the US. I also made and highlighted the fact this endeavour was at our expense and the government would bear no costs in how we’ll run the programme.
The person who responded to my email was also clear: He or she didn’t care. The CS was not available for such meetings, neither was anyone at the office!
If that’s not the height of stupidity, I don’t know anything that is.