By Allan Chesang (African Times Guest Writer)
An estimated 800,000 Kenyan youth join the
labour market each year whereas
unemployment amongst the youth is
approximated to be at 35% comparable to the
overall national unemployment rate of 10%.
This figures are staggering, yet there is hope
Each and every one of us has a natural knack or
gift or talent at something. Anything. If not
talent, then each one of us has the ability to
learn a skill of trade.
When you are caught between a rock and a
hard place, then you realise that the will to
survive does kick in.
Ask yourself, what am I good at? What can I do,
at ease that can earn me income? No matter
how small at first. Because what’s important is
taking that first step. Let us stop looking at the
whole picture for a minute. Let us stop thinking
about moving from step zero to step a hundred
all at once. Instead let us look at moving from
step zero to step one. One step at a time.
A journey of a thousand miles starts with one
step. Then a step at a time, we shall find that
we are actually moving forward. It is so
important to move forward always. What’s that
saying? If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run,
walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. As long as you
keep moving forward.
So have some alone time to think and analyse
yourself critically. What am I good at? Gifted at.
Growing up, at school, what did your fellow
students casually comment on your gifts? What
did your teachers say you are naturally good at?
Is it writing, drawing, and sports? Is it music,
drama? If you can’t think of anything, then let us
open our minds to learning a new skill.
In the world we live in today, there are a lot of
things that we can do. Be it digital marketing,
be it the beauty industry. Identify what you are
good at, then market yourself. Don’t be shy. Ask
for help. Beggars are not choosers. Network.
Dare to put yourself out there.
Then before you know it, you have moved from
step zero to step one, then step two. If before
you didn’t have a thousand Ksh. Now you earn
that a thousand. You will fill such joy. Such
pride. That will propel you to move to step two.
Then step three. And as time moves by, you find
that you actually have a running business that
is earning you income.
Then you get capital to expand your trade. Do
more on a larger scale. Then before you know it,
the workload becomes too much for just one
person, and you hire help. You just created
employment! That is creativity .That is
For those of us who are blessed with the
capability to create employment urge you to
take a chance at our Kenyan youth. With
caution obviously, but remember, many a folk
strive for high ideals. Thus your calculated risk
may just turn into a profitable venture.
Give that friend you know that job you need
That assignment you need get done. Give the
youth a chance. They are the future. And they
may surprise you with their talent, and natural
gifts. Let us support the local traders rather
than rushing to import.
As consumers, let us buy from that local
manufacturer instead of going for that
expensive imported product.
Let us support our own. Because we have the
solution in our hands. Right here. We just have
to think outside the box. Push ourselves beyond
our comfort zone.
The human brain is malleable and expandable
to accommodate the need to survive. Necessity
is the mother of invention. Where there is a will,
there is always a way. Let us do this!
(Allan Chesang is a commentator on socio-political issues and the Founder of Allan Chesang Foundation)