GOVERNANCE

Why Kenya needs a moral revolution

Calls for a violent revolution only sows seeds of hooliganism in a country, a character that if not nipped at the bud, could gravely damage the social fabric of the country

In Summary

• Ethics classes and topics need to be introduced in schools right from the elementary stage of learning.

•  Right from the first day a child enters a classroom, they need to be taught about corruption and why it is evil.

Activist Boniface Mwangi
REVOLUTIONARY? Activist Boniface Mwangi
Image: FILE

Last week, rapper King Kaka released a song named ‘’Wajinga Nyinyi’’ that has since gone viral.

While it has received a positive reception, there are some who are against King Kaka. Only that it will not yield much in changing the course of this country. Neither will voting ever change this country nor a revolution. Why? Because the leaders we elect are from us and are a mirror of who we are.

Corruption is only bad when we are not directly involved: When it is others eating, instead of us. Essentially, many Kenyans don't mind corruption, as long as it acts in their benefit. They say when corruption favors you, it's called connection. That is why unemployed youths are running to an aunt, uncle, cousin or a family friend asking them to, "connect" them to a job. Isn't that corruption? Why not apply and wait to be hired through due process? So, when one finally lands a job and sees some money somewhere, it will be almost impossible for them to avoid the temptation to steal it.

Kenyans have a tendency of forgetting very easily. Just last year, another song titled ‘’Tujiangalie’’ by Sauti Sol that highlighted the problems in our politics was trending. Everyone was talking about it. We sang and danced to it but many never internalised the words. I’m afraid the same will happen with Kaka’s song.

After every five years, Kenyans are given a chance to elect leaders of their choice. We go back to square one: Weeping and complaining about how the economy is not doing well. Then we look forward to the next election so that we can “vote out” bad leaders and “vote in” new ones. It goes on and on and on and Kenya remains essentially the same. That means as the electorate, there is something we are not getting right.

What's the way forward then? We need a moral revolution. Much hope lies in the younger generation. A lot will be achieved by having a software change. Ethics classes and topics need to be introduced in schools right from the elementary stage of learning. Right from the first day a child enters a classroom, they need to be taught about corruption and why it is evil.

They need to be taught to hate corruption and the corrupt throughout their lives. Thirty to forty years down the line, the first cohort will have come of age and most people will be straight forward.

The leaders chosen and appointed will have a high level of integrity, the same way a large proportion of the population will. The course of Kenya will take a new direction. We don't need wars and violence in the pretense of, "a revolution." Personally, I love my life and would wish to see how tomorrow feels like. I hope every Kenyan does. The calls for a revolution only sows seeds of hooliganism in a country, a character that if not nipped at the bud, could gravely damage the social fabric of the country and serve a huge blow to its international image.

I understand that the BBI report proposes the formation of an ethics commission. This is a great move. It will ensure Kenyans are taught moral topics that will make them well-mannered, critical and socially acceptable beings who will eventually make informed decisions even at the ballot.

If Kenya is to realise her dream, then moral education in schools is urgent and inevitable.

Researcher and communications analyst