There is a notion among younger people that we were not born to suffer. That because you are a university graduate, some jobs are beneath you. That because you are a university student, you deserve all the comforts of life, a good job and a good life.
The last few years, many young Kenyans have been speaking against not romanticizing suffering. Women especially are opposed to any type of ‘suffering’ and have been very vocal about it.
Yesterday, I watched the news of this female student from Murang’a. She does a dozen menial jobs to stay afloat while going to school. The news was brought as if she is such a miracle worker and she deserves better.
Not to belittle her efforts, she is actually heroic. What is not heroic, is her working to earn a living.
Disabuse yourself the notion that some jobs are beneath you, and can only be done with some people. Some may say, what is the point of a university degree if you end up beating up rocks into concrete.
Even in first world countries, people do menial jobs for a living. I remember being told by an African American female friend if we could to shovel some snow for a few dollars in New York. There were other jobs I would have done on the side like washing dishes in hotels part time, but hii ujeuri na ujinga ya hapa Kenya made me think I am special.
I know a good number of Kenyans who started from the bottom of the barrel when they went to States and have worked their way and nowadays they can splash Sh 2 million for a month-long holiday in Kenya.
I know many Kenyans in their 40s, now millionaires who started from the bottom and now they are comfortable and can drink their mature whiskey in peace.
Unless your parents were rich and left you a piece of action, or you landed a good job, from time to time, you will find yourself at the bottom. Selling clothes on Instagram. Selling plates on Facebook. Hawking books in town. You may find yourself in a mjengo. Selling uji or githeri to the workers. You may sleep hungry. You may lack rent. Your parent or sibling may die as you watch because you can’t afford the bill. It happens.
The expectation that once you have degree, you deserve a good job, good car and comfortable life is all in order. But sometimes, it is not realistic and may take forever to come by. I know so many graduates, some who graduated on top of their class, some with international degrees who are currently seeing dust in Nairobi.
If you think you are too special for some jobs, then better come from a rich family, or better get that job that you deserve.
Don’t ever let a privileged person mislead you that you were not born to suffer. We all suffer, as long as suffering does not become your destiny.
One last word, every time it is a woman breaking her back to make ends meet, the news is portrayed as if women don’t deserve that… Come on, women agreed to be willing participants in the soulless capitalism. They should take it in, warts and all.
By Silas Nyanchwani