The Musings of a Millennial

I was grateful for the rains but with it came traffic. Traffic had become so bad that one fateful Saturday night, a distance that I would have spent an hour took us twelve hours. We ended up sleeping on Mombasa road. Traffic had become terrible I was now spending at least five hours on the road to and from work.

It was Tuesday evening and was stuck in traffic. It was dark to continue reading ‘Bite of the Mango’ and I had finished going through all the social media platforms that I belonged to. Rongai matatus are known for crazy graffiti, blaring music and undisciplined drivers but the plain blue matatu I had boarded was the exact opposite. I slid the window open as the air had become congested. It was raining outside.

Earlier in the day, as we were having lunch, I had revealed to my colleagues the amount of time I spend on the road, and they had responded with jaws dropping and gasps. “I would give anything never to do that” one had said. The conversation continued by suggestions of my moving out. However, I shrugged it off and quickly moved away from the table. Ever since I had got the new job, my friend had suggested that it was time for me to get out of the nest. Everyone felt that I needed to move out, except my parents.

I had this abysmal fear of moving. The thought of moving made my stomach churn and my head heavy. I thought of the current state of the country, unemployment among the youth was at 54 percent and job security was something of the past. Recently, I heard the story of a young man who had a prestigious job at a leading media house in Kenya. He graduated from high school at the top of his class and graduated with first class honors. He had been jobless for two years and when he got the break, it was an answered prayer. One year later, he had been laid off as the electioneering process had taken too long and had affected the profits of the company. This had gotten him completely off-guard. Most of his salary had been spent on paying bills, offsetting loans and helping his parents back at home. In four months, this new development had left him homeless and back in the streets doing odd jobs for survival.

There was also my friend, Fridah, who had been excited when she landed her first job. Two years after her graduation, had been spent searching for employment, internship and volunteering. Through the numerous Facebook posts, it was crystal clear that she loved working with the organization which created awareness about autism. Three months later, I noticed that the postings had ceased and I reached out to her. She had been fired since her boss was a corrupt and would not accommodate someone who had integrity. This completely left me dumbfounded and wondered where the world was headed if we were meant to conform to wickedness.

I also had my friend, John, who worked in a Chinese construction office. John was lucky to have landed the job before he even graduated. He was served as the assistant finance and administration officer. Even though the working conditions were poor and it did not pay well, he was grateful to have work. He was not idle as many of the people he had graduated with. Three years into the job, the Kenyans in the said company had been fired sequentially, and he awaited for his turn. Days in the office would be spent looking for other employment opportunities. Hoping that he would quit and not get fired.

Before I landed my new job, I had struggled with getting employment. In my new position I learn of the term youth NEET (not in employment, education or training). I had been part of the statistics for two years. There was the youth bulge, with a high population of youth, in fact the most well-educated generation, but the economy did not expand to accommodate the work force. This posed as a crisis. No amount of preparation would ever have set me for life after campus. I had applied for every and any opportunity that had crossed my way in desperation and been frustrated and in despair. My social circles had grown thinner especially with peers who had gotten meaningful jobs and did not know how to relate with those without money.

As I alighted from the matatu, I found hope in a friend who lived in Rongai, worked in Lavington and went for evening classes in Westlands. I would not be influenced by peer pressure. In a world full of uncertainties, I decided to live a day as it comes and enjoy the little pleasures that come with it.

Recently, the world celebrated the International Youth Day themed safe spaces, I hope that the youth are encouraged to voice out their anger and frustrations. That the society and the government shall see the youth as capable people and not a generation that has been coddled.

Faith Mukiria is an Assistant Program Officer at ZiziAfrique

This article first appeared on hivisasa (

Leave a reply