Dollar Tradition?

Updated: Dec 2, 2019

Imagine a law which says that if you do not support parents in need financially after you are gainfully employed, then they can take you to court and you can be jailed

Some traditions which make us Kenyan are being forgotten because today’s youth are experiencing more than our folks did. We are traveling more, we have better and faster access to information and opportunities, and we’re making more money than they could have dreamed of. This means we’re also being influenced more by other cultures

The world is a global village, it is said - and it’s great that we’re all better connected. But we must never forget that propagating their culture is how empires colonise territories 

In the recent past, nobody in Kenya would dream of questioning what their parents thought was right. Even older siblings were beyond reproach. Respect was respect. This had nothing to do with what one was comfortable with. It had everything to do with how we lived in the homes we grew up in. Those who came before us had enough experience and had done well enough for themselves to put roofs over our heads

Beyond roofs, we took to the skies courtesy of our parents and we studied in foreign lands. We experienced foreign ways of doing things. And this was an education in itself. We saw the good and the not so good that the world had to offer. Today, more Kenyans live in the diaspora than ever. Our parents raised global citizens. So much money is being remitted back home, it’s a factor of the national budget. This is positive for Kenya and we should be grateful for it

The one thing we should never do is assume we’re doing more than the people who put us in this position did. We should never claim that no foundations were left for us to build on

We should recognise how far we have come. These are the foundations our parents built. Their parents before them fought for a more liberal society. Our great grandparents fought for Independence. The fact that we’re making more money than our parents is their achievement. Not ours. We have achieved nothing but imprudent decision making at the polls, resulting in people living abroad and calling Kenya a failed state

This is not a failed state. Why would you send money to have properties built back to a failed state? Kenya produced the first African ever to lead the free world. His parents made that possible. Kenya only recently produced the greatest athlete humanity has ever known. We’ve all seen where he likes to celebrate when the world recognises him - with the people who brought him to the world


Hubris makes young people today think we’re working harder than our parents did. Entitlement makes us think they owe us for not leaving us the only kind of wealth foreign cultures have taught us to understand: money 

This is why we send money to our parents and older siblings to build houses they, not us, will live in, with words that should never be spoken to an elder. 

“Mzee, hizo bei za material najua, hio pesa imetosha! Usijaribu kuleta ukora”. This, coming from a youth who left the country ten or twenty years ago

These insults to their position, after they sacrificed a more affluent life to build a foundation for us, is exactly why some relatives recoup their investment when we send money back for what we consider development

Perhaps we should study some old ways of doing things so that we can understand the way forward for all of us. Perhaps we can still leave a legacy as powerful as Independence. Or Free Speech 

#ElevateTheYouth #MashuJAH #InuaEntertainment

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