Just the other day I was having a chat with a good friend of mine. The whole convo seemed to revolve around how things are tight economic wise and how hard it is to come across an opportunity. Generally, how the whole system seems to be against a young upcoming hustler.
“They told me that education is the key so I went to school and got myself a degree. Four years later, I knocked on their doors for jobs only to be told that I lacked the experience. My University don advised me to take up self-employment and suddenly entrepreneurship looked like a good solution. I couldn’t raise the capital required because of my poor credit score, all thanks to the numerous loans I took up while still in school because of how expensive medical school and campus life in general is.”he said. He had a good point, if one is lucky enough to get the capital to start a small biz, kanjo are always on a hustler’s case.
Hawkers on the streets of Nairobi Courtesy: Nairobi News
It’s really difficult for a young person to make ends meet out here. Vijanaa are burdened with the heavy expectations put on them, the societal pressure to make something out of yourself is real. With each passing day, the situation continues to get even scarier since the older you get the higher the expectations. The good news is we are Hustlers and Hustlers never give up! We cannot afford to give up!
Once you graduate, you are left to figure things out on your own and are expected to give back to the community in one way or another. It’s no secret that this pressure has a negative effect on a person’s mental well-being. This is why some youths are falling into depression, others decide to turn to drugs so as to get away from this ugly reality, even though even for a minute while others turn to crime so that they can make ends meet. Just a while ago, our youths were being enticed to join extremist militia groups like Al-Shabaab. We’ve also heard lots of stories about Kenyan youth who went to the Middle East in search of greener pastures only to be enslaved, abused and even murdered.
It is time the government, private sector and all the other stakeholders worked together to find more solutions before this ticking time bomb explodes on us. Initiatives like the NYS are commendable but the corrupt leaders we have end up misappropriating funds meant to boost the livelihoods of the youth. Special market places should be set up around towns to cater for the ever growing population of small scale traders . The government should also work on encouraging young people to start businesses by reducing/removing the cost of acquiring a business license. A large fraction of Kenya’s population consists of young people and I believe that the government would earn much more income if most if not all youths are employed be it self employment or the other.
Kenyan Youth in NYS
In the meantime, Just keep on pushing fam don’t lose hope or have a negative outlook towards life. Remember a seed has to be buried in soil so that it can grow, we don’t see what it goes through while in there but we always believe that it’s going to shoot to what it is meant to be, therefore don’t give up on your hustle just because things are tight and everything seems to be against you. Believe in yourself and in what you do because Things do get better!