By Cirū Ngigi
There’s been a running joke recently about how older people shouldn’t vote. People who are fifty and over are why #Brexit happened and why America is stuck with that strange man.
In Kenya, my observation is that they’re the demographic that is most opposed to #LipaKamaTender, the demographic that thinks about Ūthamaki and “now it is our turn” the most. They’re the demographic that teaches us to be tribal, telling us all the people we shouldn’t dare bring home as spouses.
They’ve silently sat through hiking university fees, land prices, rents, food prices, hospital bills etc. They’ve not done much for us as a nation outside of, “Study hard and be a doctor. But we don’t think you deserve to work in humane conditions. Si a torch works just fine as a theatre light? You don’t know how to wash and powder gloves like we used to do? You complain too much you young people. I started earning that kind of money in my forties!” Sir, it’s your oppression that makes the money you made in your forties be necessary in my twenties!
I’m beginning to see the sense in that joke. British and American kids will pay for many years to come. Their parents and grandparents will just up and die and leave them a stressful existence they didn’t even ask for. They voted to stay in the EU. They voted to be governed by Mrs. Clinton.
If we, the Kenyan kids had ignored our parents and voted on values we’d be doing so much better as a country. Now imagine how different the world would be if that demographic wasn’t allowed to vote or make major decisions? They wouldn’t decide on issues they won’t be alive to suffer through. Figure out how many wars less history would tell us about! Local example: during the struggle for independence, it was our young grandparents who fought for themselves.
Their folks were busy collaborating to be home guards and senior chiefs. And then an old man, Kenyatta Sr, became president and look at all the things we have to pay for because of that. He’s been dead almost thirty nine years. Our parents who were young then are mostly still here! Yep. Vote between the age of fifteen to fifty. Then stop before this, “I make pretty good decisions!”, thing gets in your head and you start ruining all the nice things you built.
(PSA: Imagine you don’t have to take me seriously! I know all those things about the democratic right to screw your children over. I also firmly believe that Kenya is built by everyone and that each generation contributes beauty to the country. Everyone should vote. Wisely. Leave a world for your kids you’d want to live in. Create a world for your parents that makes their sunset fulfilling and amazing. My update is what we call a foolish joke. So stop before you try.)
Signed Cirū Ngigi