I had the pleasure and opportunity of attending the first ever Young African Think’rs Convention held in Kenya today. At first, I did not understand what the name even means. Young African Thinkers? I thought everyone thinks.
What was special about this organization. But being the adventures being I am, I also wanted to find out. I needed to not just dismiss it without first understanding.
It was supposed to be a Three day Convention held at the UN-United Nations offices in Kenya.
We were split into different categories: Education, National Cohesion and Integration, Technology, Business and Entrepreneurship and Health. Each category had a specific problem it was trying to solve. I for one went with the Education Category. We were supposed to try and come up with a solution that helps make our high schools safer and calmer for all. Our other task was to integrate technology into the already existing wellbeing curriculum to reduce anxiety and stress in our schools. Why these challenges to be specific? We have had rampant cases of arson attempts in our schools. We had a case of the same happen recently at Moi Girls High School. We have also heard of students committing suicide in school. We definitely have to do something about it.
I have a friend who is always pushing that therapy be more than what it is in Kenya. In Kenya, the most common therapy exists in mental institutions sadly. It is not as famous as it should be. He is always asking me every time I bring up a deep case to him if therapy would help in such a situation. I was always quick to dismiss it telling him about how many Kenyans would not even afford therapy. I was wrong. We need therapy. We need to get rid of the baggage and the bad rep the notion of therapy holds for us as Kenyans and even as Africans as a whole. What would happen if therapy was introduced in our schools? I am sure that many cases would have been detected earlier on. What would happen if schools focus not just on education, but on the wellbeing of the student too? High schools is a stage an individual is going through so much and it can all be so confusing and too much. If only the guidance and counselling set-ups in school were used for exactly that. If they were safe places for students to air their feelings.
This Convection was definitely an eye-opener for me. I got to meet so many brilliant people and make new friends. I am glad I participated even though I did for a day only. We had many great speakers. One of them was Manu Chandaria.
Some of the takeaways from the speeches was to practice and maintain the art of giving. We are all innately kind but feelings are not enough. We need to act on the feelings and make a change in someone’s life. We all need to be hot and bothered about the poverty situation in our Country and in Africa and then do something about it. We should have a collective idea of giving. We are all kind at heart but the kindness is just a thought unless/until it is converted to an action.
As a country in specific, we have also lost the art of conscience. A few years ago cases of money laundering were punishable and considered very big cases. At the moment we read and see of cases of people siphoning amounts worth billions and our reaction to the same has become indifferent. There is always a new case every day. The worst part is not even the fact that they go unpunished, or that it is our money that we pay in taxes in play here; it is that we have become desensitized to a point where even young people are focussed on just being successful by all means possible as long as they don’t get caught. No one gives a rat’s ass about their repercussions and the implications of the actions on others. The common icon that young people are the leaders of tomorrow is so dumb and stupid. We all need to take charge and we need to do it now. You need to not just think about ideas but at the same time, you need to do something about it.
Don’t waste your time. Focus and attend to what you came for. We need to use the road to success and avoid distractions on the way. If you want to go to heaven/hell you have to die first.
Conventional ways of doing things are not working anymore. We need to restructure.