By Albert Nyakundi Amenya aka The Banana Peddler
The government may have successfully defused Al Shabaab bombs in the country, but there are more deadly bombs currently being planted everywhere. These bombs are tremendously toxic and will especially target major towns. Once they start exploding, the damage they’ll cause may not be preventable. Sadly, the bombs are planted by the government itself. The bombs are made of the extremely poor and unschooled people who are desperate to stay alive. The cities of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Eldoret are the choice destinations of these wanderers each of which knows not where his next meal will come from.
This country has become an extreme shithole where we export what we don’t have and import what we have. Our professionals are fleeing our country for greener pastures. Unschooled citizens are living under shacks especially in Nairobi. There is nothing in their pockets. Estates such as Dagoretti, Dandora and Githurai, Mathare and Kibra have become danger zones especially at night because of the biting poverty. Many other outskirts are endangered too.
This country is so far rotten that nobody cares about what happens to his neighbour. I wonder why almost all Kenyan universities runs courses in psychology, sociology and other social sciences yet no one seems to give consideration to the threats to peace in places inhabited by jobless, unschooled, penniless and unskilled people. How does the government expect young men to survive in the city without a shilling in their pockets and without hope of eating a meal in one week? A friend of mine tells me Kenya Hustlers Association (KHA) have discovered a herb that when chewed, could ward off hunger for 2 cool days.
The best indicator of a collapsing economy is joblessness. The rate of unemployment (especially among our youth) in Kenya is 65-70 per cent and not 25-35 per cent as quoted by some government organizations. It has been a long night in Kenya, really. I didn’t believe our economy would survive sup until this time. What with the ceaseless hemorrhaging we witness every day. Common sense should therefore tell anyone that the day of reckoning is not far away.
What Kenya needs are good people, not good looters. Our country needs workers, not loafers. It needs action, not gospel. One of our greatest let down in this country is Christianity. Kenyan pastors have become the greatest conmen. They keep misleading the sheep everyday but siphon tithes and offerings/begus from them. Instead of asking people to work harder and alleviate poverty, they replace laziness with prayers. The faithful being the sheep they are branded refuse to work hard and end up spending their entire lives in church praying and shouting “I receive” waiting for miracles to happen. Get up and work. God’s blessings will locate you!
Our system breeds unschooled youth and dropouts who flood our cities and find their way to ghettoes. Others take it to Bodaboda riding to try and make ends meet. In my weekly column before, I have given classical examples to show how dangerously wicked unskilled and unschooled ninjas that troop the city could be. Needless to add, some of them take it to armed robbery. When unschooled people go for robbery, they are merciless. They steal everything and kill everyone in the house then disappear to their ghettos in Kibra, Mathare Mukuru Kwa Njenga and other slums. Some become cattle rustlers or thieves. Some join dangerous criminals like drug dealers or become thugs for politicians. When accidents occur, they unfeelingly rob corpses and wounded victims. No human sympathy.
A solution to these dangerously poor urchins must be found quickly. To begin with, the use of Bodabodas for commercial purposes in Kenya should be abolished. The job is not helping these young men. Robbers are using motorbikes to rob innocent Kenyans because it is the fastest means of escaping. All orthopaedic hospitals in our major towns are filled with Bodaboda riders and their customers/victims. Many are those in the mortuaries. If Bodaboda riders are sent packing from major towns, the death toll of our young men will reduce and many of them may be forced to return to the village and do farming.
When young men drop from school or run away from villages, they move to the city. They are misled by stories of their mates making millions not knowing they do so by robbing, stealing or killing people. It is not everybody that succeeds. They don’t know that life is more difficult in Nairobi than in the village, especially when one visits without money. And crime does not pay. They don’t know that at some point, these criminals are caught, jailed or killed instantly by angry mobs.
The jobless young people am talking about are now in their millions in Nairobi. Hundreds of thousands of them also reside in Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru, Kisii, Kakamega and other towns. They cannot read what I have written because majority of them are uneducated. Those politicians using them for political thuggery should please pass the right message to them. Their government has a responsibility to take care of them. Where it is unable to, it should persuade them to seek greener pasture in their villages and not constitute a nuisance to peaceful city dwellers.
(The writer sells Bananas in the streets of Kisii Town)