Friday, May 04, 2007

Why Young People Can Never Lead Kenya

Vijana tunaweza gutuka, lakini hatuwezi ongoza!
This blog is getting political despite teeniez’ apathy towards the dirty game. Am I doing the right thing by getting political and straying away from the entertainment scene? Maybe not. But this being an election year, you can’t get away from the murky topic of politics.
Back to my mantra above (no disrespect to what the Vijana Tugutuke group are doing, your work is really appreciated); everyone seems to be of the opinion that young Kenyans (to be politically realistic, these are people aged between 25 – 35) are going to take up leadership of the country. I have only this to say for the people who believe in this school of thought: IN YOUR DREAMS!
First things first; what leadership are young people taking up? It would have to be parliamentary seats. Why do I say this? A parliamentary seat, means that you can be appointed into ministerial position and therefore wield power to control government policy. To win a parliamentary election you need money, which often translates to influence. To make money, you largely need to have lived long enough to accumulate a substantial amount of wealth to fund your campaign. To be influential, you need to have lived long enough to make the necessary friends who allow you to have this power. In addition, to hold public office you need to portray leadership and trust qualities. To be a trustworthy leader, you need some sort of leadership experience. If you’re a political novice, the only experience you can count on is professional. To stand out as a professional leader, you need to have worked many years to rise to top management positions in order to display your potential. Even the youth won’t vote for an aspirant who does not portray leadership attributes.
So, whichever way you look at it, being young is a major disadvantage. Realistically, with the exception of about 5 – 10 individuals, the youngest age of an MP in the next parliament will be 40. And even for those exceptions, the only reason they will make it to parliament is because of political patronage, ‘inheritance’ of a seat once held by a family member or through brilliant entrepreneurial skills that have led to an accumulation of enough wealth and influence to guide them to the August House. What say you?