It is no longer juicy to read Kenyan newspaper headlines. The narrative is the same. ‘ So and so linked to the NYS scandal’, ‘Governor of this and this county embezzled funds’, ‘So and so involved in the shameful Rio scam’. It is distasteful. Unpalatable. Corruption is no longer shocking in Kenya. In fact, it is the ‘It’ thing. In a survey conducted by the Aga Khan East Africa Institute targeting young Kenyans earlier this year, the researchers found out that young people would steal and engage in underhand methods to get rich and only care not to get caught. Don’t ask where the rain started beating us—you already know that.
What does it mean for the country’s future?
Ours is a bleak future. Yes, it sadly is. These young people are being employed into the civil service, as law enforcers, into the county governments while others are vying for political positions. There, they will live what they believe—that corruption is an easy way to riches. All they have to mind is never getting caught. And slowly, Kenya will sink into a man-eat-man society. Although, it already has!
What is my role in the change process?
The buck never stops with the president. Not in the case of the Kenyan corrupt culture. It stops with me. It stops with us. We are the people who will fumigate the corrupt vermin from our midst. We are the people who will make a resounding “No!” If we do not do this, the culture will prosper and gag our necks. Guilt will eat us to the core when we look back and see that we contributed in destroying Kenya with our very own hands.
A new generation of the Wangari Maathais is needed. A new generation of the Nelson Mandelas is required in our country. We need more people like Boniface Mwangi who will stand strong and unbounded to speak against the vices happening in the country. Let us be. Let us be that generation.