I shouldn’t have an opinion on Ted Malanda’s opinion (see link at the end of this post) but having read it from Kenyatta Otieno’s wall, I think fellows like Malanda overrate themselves on simple common sense issues.
The street kid said what everyone knows. Tell me anything new he said? The only strange thing that’s making fellows like Malanda wax lyrical is the expectation that being a street kid, the boy shouldn’t have known what everyone knows. Pure fallacy.
Even more egregious for me is the reaction – of pity and empathy – that those who comment about the boy are now oozing. Is it because he spoke in English – the language of the so called ‘elites’?
Beyond what the kid said, what have we now learnt? For me, that is where ‘university’ education should set in. Ted Malanda shouldn’t just shitload it on us by claiming the kid is better than ‘some’ university students. It is such statements that have cheapened university education in Kenya.
The difference between Ted Malanda and that kid – and I assume Malanda was lucky to acquire university education – is how he guides society to understand the systems and super-structures which make an otherwise smart kid languish in the intolerable streets of perhaps one of the most selfish cities in the world – Nairobi.
University education should make one ‘theorize’ social systems and exposes the contradictions in each, in the process helping society choose one and not the other. What system led to a boy that bright wasting in the cold streets in a country where a 17 year old son of a cabinet minister drives a sh20 million car with no known employment or business history?
For me, it starts and ends with our political and economic system. When we see such rare spectacles on TV; the question that should disturb us is, ”how did it happen”? Then, ”how can we change it”?
Kenya – for all the Global Entrepreneurship summits (GESs), the World Trade Organization meetings (WTOs), the iHubs and NaiLabs, the Java Houses and Subways, the IMF and World Bank projections of ‘economic growth’ – is a country on the DECLINE.
They will deny this but save for the politicians and the state tenderpreneurs, a few in the professions, a few journalists and very very few socialites, like Vera, everyone else is doing so bad around this place. The worst hit are rural poor communities.
You recently saw a policewoman being slapped because excited kids were slapping a chopper, hoping to see it ‘react’. For the poor, anything excites.
This morning in our WhatsApp group I requested my former high school classmates at Kanga (my stream had class size of about 48 boys and around 43 went straight to the university, many, like myself, have now graduated with honours and in the ‘job market’) to share with me their gross monthly incomes for a research I am doing. Where averagely 20 of us would be chatting at any one time, I found myself being engaged by less than two of which only one was helpful.
The point is, the economy has collapsed. Many of the productive workforce are either unemployed or underemployed. And many are starting with huge debts.
So rather than us questioning and exposing this economic and political system that’s essentially regressing a once most optimistic nation, all fellows like Malanda can do is compare himself with a bright street urchin and declare he is not any better – and yes he is not.
That kid, I suppose, is the by-product of a system that steals from the public sector to ‘invest’ in the private sector. He is the unfortunate victim of our vulture capitalism – Waiguru economy.
I got even more pissed when I saw Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga give the poor thing a copy of our late constitution. The constitution whose chapter six allowed two CONFIRMED crimes against humanity suspects to ascend to power. The constitution that has been incapable of sending even a single multi-billion economic crimes suspect to endless damnation in jail. The constitution that a judge of the supreme court trashed while receiving sh200 million bribe.
That’s the very document that sent that kid to the street. It was such a sick joke on the kid I almost puked.