This first appeared on http://blog.storymojafestival.com/
The generation of light, the dot COM generation, the baby boomers, 90s kids; all words used to describe this idealistic generation I was fortunate enough to be born in. Comprising of people born during and between in the mid 80s and the late 90s its the generation which I consider the greediest our country has seen so far (a trend that I don’t see changing). Born into a period of what we call awakening we grab whatever problem comes our way and vehemently, collectively fight it. Oppression, famine, authoritarianism, poaching, environmental degradation, poverty, domestic violence, ethnic hate, human trafficking, gay rights; all of these have fallen under our gaze and are being fought with our words and our actions.
We WILL be different!
We WILL make a difference!
We will CHANGE THE WORLD!
I go through my Facebook newsfeed and I see a myriad of posts from different people (some of them by yours truly) that advocate for said change and I think “wont there be a time when we eventually just give up. Won’t life finally catch up with us, punch our collective nut sack and say STFU this is what reality is like; your dream of utopia is merely that, just a dream. Go on with your life, get a job, line up at times Tower for hours to pay your government and just generally give up. Forget about elephants and their plight, forget the issues of people in far away parts of the country, forget that your government is constantly in turmoil and forget that lady starving in the street. Gay bashing? Not your problem anymore. YOU NOW HAVE YOUR OWN PROBLEMS.”
This happened to the previous generation didn’t it? I mean think about it idealistic students who once rioted in the streets calling for change suddenly found themselves holders of degrees, part of the human production line that is now our country. Plans for halting city business the attention of he government became household budgets and tax return forms. But it didn’t happen to them all. Some still are active in trying to get our country to the right place it should be in socially, politically and economically. Other however, read from a different script.
Some activists for political and social change are now on the other side of the fence. Our generation hidden behind our laptop and smart phone screens now protests against a government built by our predecessors and the people they fought to oust. They got arrested and beaten by the establishment, spent years in detention and once they finally got into a position to change things what did they do? They said, “It’s our turn to eat”. Coup plans and .Not too long ago they were throwing stones, chanting slogans like ‘bado mapambano’ as they tried to bring down an elitist establishment but now here they are featured on “Who Owns Kenya” and nearly every rich list that doesn’t end with “under 40.”
Why do we think we’ll be any different? Once we get our degrees our high paying salaries and our responsibilities will we still have the time to join in the never-ending struggle that is democracy? Will we become a cog in the corporate machine? Or will our kids take up the mantle against our former colleagues who will then be holding the reins of power with our current leaders whispering in their ears. Will they look at us and ask
YOU could have been different,
YOU could have made a difference,
YOU could have CHANGED THE WORLD
WHY didn’t you?
Will we look back, shrug our shoulders and say, “Well, we did try.”
I hope not.