If You Want Chaos… Take the Back Seat

Nerima Martha Wako
Talking about politics to young people is always interesting. You never really know how to start. Do you ask if they read the newspaper?  Or do you mention the most recent government scandal and hope that they chime in with an opinion?  At least there you can gauge that they may have an idea after all!  In all honesty, I normally get 3 common responses.  I hate politics - that is one territory I know very well not to venture in to.  Some even go as far as asking you to stop speaking about it all together. Then there is - I really have no interest for politics, and politics is boring.

Young people! I really have to break it to you (I am lying, I secretly enjoy this reality check): you have to be interested in politics!  This is the thing; many people try to distance themselves from politics. Which I can't blame you for, because over the years that is how things have been. We get tired of the petty dramas our politicians play.  But we need to realize that politics, the running of our governments, affects us all. And you know what, its time that it was said.

For instance, when it comes to traveling, the relations that our neighboring countries have will determine whether I need a visa to travel or not. For Kenyans, all we need is an identity card to travel to Rwanda.  Or another example is the price of our food or anything in the supermarket that has a VAT tax. This price is not fixed by the way, it gradually increases. But the one we notice fluctuating the most is Fuel, we become concerned when all of a sudden a trip to go somewhere by "Matatu"(Commuter Omnibus) costs slightly more.

The misuse of public finance by our governments will definitely take its toll on the people. Our government keeps telling us how broke they are. But at the end of the day we all know this money has to come from somewhere. The most likely candidate is.... you! So as you stay in your illusion of a world where you don't care about politics, you will continue to watch prices go up on everything except the amount of your salary. The pinch will get tighter and tighter as you start your own businesses and initiatives on agribusiness, health and education (coming up with solutions that the government really should be spearheading). The one thing that can make this already crumbling foundation crack into pieces- is the result of unstable government, which often happens after an election in Africa.

In the situation of a war, you cannot think about building a business or a home when you are desperate for refuge in a neighboring country or further abroad.  So dear Young People, you do not have a choice when it comes to politics. You should be involved!  Not only on election day to vote for leaders that have your interests, but in the overall accountability of your government and its leadership. We all want to see our nations prosper, and to steer a great ship we must all be involved in the rowing.

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