Today, I turn 28, the age of Musalia Mudavadi when he was appointed a Minister by former President Daniel Moi, becoming the youngest ever minister in the history of Kenya.
So far, I have been proud of myself throughout the years. In celebration of my birthday, I announced the formation of Nyambega Gisesa Foundation which has been carrying out philanthropic activities in the grassroots.
The Foundation carries out projects that cost less than Sh10, 000 each, because this is what we afford. We do makeshift bridges from timber logs, pay exam fees for poor children, distribute second hand clothes, pay for driving and mechanics lessons for poor youth, buy mitumba uniform for football clubs, and donate umbrellas to women who sell onions, vegetables and tomatoes on the road sides.
As I turn 28, I have made myself proud in the past couple of years.
Last year, I finally graduated from university with a degree in Financial Economics, after nine years of agony chasing after missing marks and a university administration that for almost three years had chased me away from class. I also launched my first book.
In 2014, I applied to join the University of Nairobi to pursue law, one of my childhood ambitions.
The previous year, in 2013, I participated in the general elections where I vied for a political seat and lost. I was very sad and mad at myself for failing.
However, my consolation after losing the seat came a few months later when I was honoured as the Journalist of the Year, in Kenya’s most prestigious media awards, becoming the youngest ever journalist to receive the coveted award.
In 2012, my name was proposed for the Kenyatta University Alumni Association recognition as one of KU’s outstanding alumni. Unfortunately, I was yet to graduate from campus.
This year, I plan to finalise writing my upcoming book, Expulsion Notes, which is a personal narration of the Kenyatta University 2009 twin students’ demonstrations, which parliament describes as the costliest student unrests in the history of the country.
I also plan to put my ‘house in order’, the term my grandmother uses when referring to a wife and marriage.
I will also be dealing with my kitambi…
However, despite such fetes in my life, I remain an example of the life of a youth in Kenya- broke most of the times, stifled of opportunities by the cartels and the corrupt and branded as controversial or too jumpy so as to keep us away from opportunities. Remember when a dog wants to eat its puppies; it accuses them of looking like sheep.
Years ago, at this age, our fathers had their own houses, were happily married and had one or two children, largely because of the less hurting economic times.
Today, we struggle to pay our loans. We owe mama mboga, the woman who cleans the house, the bar man, your mom, the bank, Helb and even the ladies we pretend to ‘sponsor.’ We are yet to present gifts and freebies to those we have promised.
The system has corrupted our minds. Even the movies we used to watch now have the voice of some guy known as DJ Afro. A high number of qualified youth have no jobs because they don’t have someone to grease his or her hands. Neither do they have the resources.
We don’t exercise. We grow overweight and think that sex is enough to keep our bodies health.
We party most of the times. Hanging out is now the thing. We drink with men and women whom we don’t even know their names.
We go to church, the morning after a night of sinning. We even don’t know the name of the Pastor but know the name of the hottest dude or girl in church.
We worship old and moneyed politicians who stole the opportunities of our fathers and are now busy squandering the opportunities of our children.
Most importantly, we have the requirements and qualifications to change our country.
The late 20s and early 30s is the age, in which we can take our rightful place in history.
We are better educated than our fathers. We are better exposed. The world is now a global village that with a phone you can directly make a call to the President.
The Mau Mau and the likes Jaramogi Oginga and Jomo Kenyatta were the first liberators. They gave us independence.
The likes of Raila Odinga, Martha Karua, Kiraitu Murungi, George Anyona and James Orengo fought for our democracy. They were the second liberation heroes.
This is our time to change Kenya. We should spearhead the third liberation, that of economic empowerment and expanded human rights.
We have to support fellow youth in this endeavour.
I am 28. I stand with other young people bringing change.
I stand with my friends Ronnie Osumba and Dennis Itumbi, who is spearheading change in government.
I stand with my friends Dennis Onsarigo and Mohamed Ali, who use media to fight for the common man.
I stand with Cyprian Nyakundi, Dikembe Dikembe aka Seth Odongo and Robert Alai, who use social media to fight fro democracy.
I stand with Ess Okenyuri and Wambui Nyutu, who use their lobbies to fight for women empowerment.
I stand with Moses Nandalwe, Josiah Murugi and Anthony Kibagendi, who fight for their political space in a game full of ogres.
THIS IS OUR TIME.