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Monday, November 05, 2007

How Important Is Younger Leadership To Kenyans And The Future?

I recently had a grueling soccer match with my 17 year old son and 7 year old grandson that taught me a lot about why we have a leadership problem in Kenya today.

The idea of the game was to display individual flair and dribbling skills with each player supposed to dribble past the other two and score in the single goal we were using. Now, I was a pretty useful soccer player in my days and managed to play for the school first 11 when I was in Form 1 (high school used to go to Form 6 in those days) and it was only my interest in rugby that made me shift my concentration away from the game and more into rugby, otherwise I was headed straight for Harambee Stars. I still ended up donning national colors in Rugby while still a sixth former. I was in fact knocking on the rugby national team doors when I was in form four. I am not bragging here folks, the background is important because of what I am about to say.

Our games with my son and grandson are pretty serious affairs with everybody playing hard to win. It is so serious that there is no laughing around, unless somebody gets so well beaten that they lose balance.

My grand son grabbed the ball first and shifted his feet over the ball either way without touching it—Ronaldino style, which did not fool me but when I lunged for the ball...

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Vikii said...

Now is this about youth and leadership or about devolution?

Lemmie ask a question here people, What do you fellows understand by 'devolution'? What the ODM gang are advocating is called MAJIMBO or backward federalism! There is no such thing as devolution in their minds. Devolution can still be achieved in a unitary system and this is something Raila Odinga and company are pretty well aware of. Trying to 'run circles' on us with little semantics wont work, not this time round. Majimbo (ugatuzi, utangulizi or whatever are just face-saving vocabulary)is a dangerous game, the kind that Kenyans should not want to play.

Youth and leadership;What essentially is the correlation here? Gideon Moi became an illegitimate billionaire at a very young age. Someone told me Kamlesh Pattni was also a millionaire by age 27. Let us face it people, leadership is about integrity not the number of years one has in their pockets.In short, vice is not a monopoly of the old nor is virtue a preserve of the young.Ronald Reagan, Abdoulaye Wade, Mwai Kibaki and Ariel sharon are just examples of old men who were (are) greeat leaders. Paul Kagame, Bill Clinton,Tony Blair and, some would say, Barrack Obama a(we)re young men who are great in every little sense. Likewise, there are and will always be criminals on both sides of the age divide. I support a relatively young presidential candidate but if that is the only thing you can see in him then I am sorry you dont have reason to vote for him. That is no reason.

What are our priorities as kenyans? I thought EXPEDIENCY defines some of you, but now there is a new word in the book.

Chris lemmie also ask you a personal question, which you are not obligated to answer: Will you vote? If yes, whom will You vote for and why?

luke said...

Chris make no mistake, younger leadership is IRREPLACEABLY important to the future of Kenyans.Here is just one example how and why- i lament the poor role Uhuru Kenyatta has played up until now as a fake "official leader of opposition". after his short stint as a failed "project protegee" of former president Moi, he was given a fresh chance to redefine and re-package both himself and KANU as the younger, fresh-faced new ideas totting opposition to President Kibaki and his entourage of old school thinking "wazee wa kazi" many who are well past the age of retirement. Even though he was made captain of a sinking shipwreck in the form of KANU, Uhuru's youth and relative political inexperience would not necessarily have worked to his disadvantage had he chosen to blaze a new trail as opposition leader-he did not have to thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices as he has now succumbed to new in his new found role as a PNU supporter-he could have chosen to honestly and courageously use his intelligence to be fresh and thoughtful in sell his leadership in KANU to Kenyans by clearly articulating what it is he would do that would make the opposition appealable to Kenyans once again as party of the future
I contrast his public career with the relatively short one of John Githongo, who although was not a politician, gave the best indication of how young leadership could change the way Government's do business. It was his responsibility to speak the truth and expose lies and isn't that what he courageously did even when it cost him almost his life?
now between the two of these fine examples of young leaders, who do you think has inspired more kenyans to truly jivunia kuwa mkenya? One attempted to restore kenyans confidence not just in our institutions but in what the character of someone who is proud to be a Kenyan is like, while the other has led many to conclude that he never really cared for the insitution which he had a duty to uphold. you decide
Dinousaurs from the past can only roar and swallow whole without chewing and biting into the heart of the people's aspirations and connecting with them to lead Kenya into 21st century,i am trying to implement Makau's suggestions to not be boring but its a struggle

Vikii said...

Exactly. Luke like you say John Githongo and Uhuru Kenyata are both young.According to you, not both are good leaders and not both are bad. One of them is, the other isnt. When you look at grey haired men like Nelson Mandela and the work they have done in the positions of leadership they have had, you get convinced that it all boils down to the individual. Some people believe John githongo is an exemplary leader. He may be,but if that has anything to do with his age, not many are convinced. It is all about what ideals you hold dear to you.

I have never at any one given time said that I am satisfied with Kenya's past or present leadership. It is not what we deserve. What I always call out for is a fresh re-assesment of our priorities. SELFLESS LEADERSHIP is what we need to look out for. I am not sure if only the 'Vikii generation' can offer that. You will find people with the ability to offer such across the board.

Taabu said...

Age is only a three lettered word that brings both joy and agony depending on occassion and target. Some old for nothing will always intimidate you with age while all they have to their credit is a cumulation of errors in their lives. Theirs is one episode of living that literally translate to the opposite of being DEAD.

Useful YOUTH is a product of constructive thinking. Mandela and Abdulaye Walde are two old lawyers who make Kajwang look a dinosaur of ideals. The flipside is that OLD IS WOOD. Old age is only a gem if your thinking and deeds are in tandem with integrity and selflessness. Nothing less nothing more.

Our only problem seems to be the cleverly crafted slyness to accept the truth. We delve with issues while enslaved and beholden to our horses. We read malice in every honest assessment. What a better way to engage in self-deception.

Give me Madiba anytime but please don't abuse my intelligence and patience by insinuating that we have or had any face/head near his. An honest comparison would reveal our past and present leaders as tribal coconut heads lead by the ego leash and tethered on lootocracy.

Poor Kenya and Kenyans? Who will bell the cat now? Anybody?

Phil said...

Chris, in as much as I am finding it hard to buy this grandson story based on my knowledge of who you are; you just sound like an Impala / Mwamba guy. What position did you used to play, if I may ask? (must have been a 'loose-head prop').

These youngsters will never take us anywhere. And especially the 8-4-4 breed. A good example is the football standards in this country.

One young man known as Peter Kenneth and another Coca Cola Africa Executive Mr. Kariuki who were once chairmen of KFF, took over the management football in this country from the likes of highly successful Job Omino and late Dan Owino. Less than 15 years after their reigns, there is no more football worth talking about in Kenya; and it all boils down to the fact that fans voted in the high flying Peter Kenneth and Kariuki. The failed to deliver to Kenya the first trully professional league. Worse still, although Kenyan players regularly play in Tanzanian, Ugandan and even Rwandese leagues, there is no foreign player doing the same in our pathetic league. All for the simple reason - we trusted young professionals to manage football because being well educated ex-players themselves, we assumed they understood the matter perfectly. How wrong we were. Thats the reason I remain skeptical about voting in young leaders without mixing them with seasoned reformist of the Raila, Orengo calibre.

ODM is that perfect match that this country has been waiting for. Multi-tribal, both young and old, both genders, reformist, corruption free leaders. (Please note, no one is guilty of corruption unless convicted by a court of law).

Meanwhile Chris, you are invited to come with that family to Impala 6 a side soccer tournament, and we shall teach you guys a few lessons before sending you to the neighbouring Ligi Ndogo for further lessons. Make sure you carry little 'Ronaldo' along.

Taabu said...

Assumptions and generalizations dulls even the most entertaining comment. True youth in itself is no virtue if not alloyed with progressive thinking. Similarly there is no pride in being OLD yet foolish.

By the way, what does education system have to do with one's capacity, mental or otherwise? Give me a bright 8-4-4 chap anytime and I will show you a dimwit from elsewhere. This cheap stereotypical thinking is what we use to mask our individual inadequecies.

For the records the 8-4-4 syllabus ends at first year university. After that one goes through the same curriculum and it saddens me to see even university secretaries deride students as 8-4-4. I should know better. I have seen these so-called 8-4-4s beat beat 7-6-3 students hands down. So please don't export tribal steretypes to education.

That clarified, integrity and selflessness remain irreplaceable tenets of effective leadership. Permuting other factors won't wash. Age is more of an excuse rather than reason for doing right. I rest my case.

Proud Kikuyu Woman said...

'Chris', one point:

1) Age ain't nothing but a number. Notice that this is nothing but a cliche from the role model countries you want us to follow (which ones have 'young' presidents?)

Philemon Othieno Wesonga aka Phillip Doila, three points

1) In a country where the expected life expectancy at birth stands at or around 49, who said that about 66 is young? Or Taabus simple average of 51? No one is young, no not one. Notice, if Raila does not win this one, he will be 70+ in the second round, and by the end of his first time, will be as old as Moi when 'we' voted him out. What will you tell us then?

2) Did you notice the Peter Kenneth's and Kariuki's names both begin with K, and they both hail from the same region, while your hero-managers both begin with O.Like most of your other concerns, could 'that' (tribe) be the real issue?

3) Quoting you ..."(Please note, no one is guilty of corruption unless convicted by a court of law)"....Shall we, therefore, leave Kibaki and his govt alone on corruption since not one court has tried them and proved them guilty? What about the Kroll report and all the corruption scandals you've been promising to unleash? So no one is guilty after all!

Phil said...

Taabu, please please, mark my words " especially 8-4-4 breed" this is no blanket condemnation. I am quietly telling myself that you could be defending someone here, even before I accuse them of anything! This has nothing to do with ethnicity Bw. Taabu.

I gave an example of the mess in football and I am sure you can give other examples PKW, especially because these two K's (as if kenneth is a GEMA name) were the young generation that may just take over in 2012!

What I am saying here, lets have a mix of youth and experience. I leave it up to Kenyan voters to decide what is youth and what is experience.

Vikii said...

Defending who? Nobody wants to be defended against whatever it is you are confusing yourself with Mr. Phil. I know many failures who were born centuries before the 8.4.4 system. Likewise I know many young failures. It is all at the inividual level. Simple, I will not vote for you just because you are young or just because you are old. You have to give me reason to do that.

Phil, how bad was Kenyan soccer when Kenneth Matiba and Clement Gachanja called the shots at the KFF?

Of course PKW justice is selectively applied when one is out to achieve some ridiculously narrow political ends.

kalamari said...

I think what Chris is trying to say here is that Kenya needs 'young leaders' in the sense of 'new ideas' as opposed to the need of jamaas below the age of thirty five. In a way, Mandela and his brand new African concept of serving his term and democratically relinquishing power, is truly a young leader. On the other hand, Kibaki, with his old ideas of election-time title deed handouts, Moi sycophancy and tribal appointments in key ministries confirms that he is indeed not only an old aged leader but one with ancient, tried and failed old ideas. The very type that 'anti-eurekad' in Chris' mind, panting and grasping for dear oxygen while chasing the football up and down the field.

In his son and grandson, Chris sees the likes of Raila. 'Young' people with new and sometimes radical ideas who are willing and able to try something different as opposed to relying on the ECK to rig the election Moi style. Confused and sweating profusely as he watches his son dribble the ball past him, Chris sees a different approach to redistributing the national cake instead of inciting people that ODM will have them evicted from their homes. Terribly bamboozled by his grandsons' terrific and spectacular goal, Chris foresees the fruits to be gained by wanainchi through the complete overhaul of our current system…...instead of backing the status quo that has returned Goldenberg-like ghosts like Anglo-Leasing. As he jealously watches his grandson perform a triple somersault in celebration of his tenth goal (Chris didn't score even one), Chris sees the jubilation among all Kenyans when Raila takes the throne with a promise of a new awakening for Kenya… as opposed to the cries of despair and loss of hope that will engulf all Kenyans if Kibaki cheats his way into a second stint with the promise of re-inviting mercenaries, forgetting the bringing about of a new constitution and putting the last nail on the coffin that bears the shriveled corpse of the official opposition.

As he limps home, embarrassed at the loss of his superstar old skills and after a thorough football beating at the mercy of his son and grandson, Chris finally realizes that the only way forward for Kenya is a vote for Change, Raila and ODM… opposed to a vote for the continuation of old theatrics as espoused by Kibaki grandmasters like the old Michuki, Karume and Nyachae.

Vikii said...

And just for your information Mr. Phil, Peter Kenneth was the chairman of KFF when Harambee stars beat the likes of Guinea (Starring Manchester United's Titi camara), and Cameroon and drew with Nigeria at Kasa. That was 1996/1997 and Peter Kenneth was about 32 years of age.

chris said...

Clap, clap, clap. (Kumekucha gives Kalamari a standing ovation-inspite of his still-aching back from the soccer encounter).

Thank you Kalamari. I wouldn't have put it better myself. I was beginning to think that I have "lost it" even with my writing. The fact that one person got the message so well is a bigger relief to me than you will ever know.


P.S. PKW, I am still waiting for info on your preferred candidate in Kieni. Let's hope he rans circles around Murungaru. Also need info on the poor guy being harassed by Michuki just because he's standing.

P.S. 2: Phil you may be confusing me with somebody else. My grandson exists. I DON'T tell lies on this blog as you are insinuating.

chris said...


By the way, thanx for the soccer invite. When is the Impala 6-a-side anyway?


deroo said...

Phil, Derek here. I think that there is more tribalism in you than in any other blogger here. I have been reading all thiese things with ease in the last few weeks after being away at the Rugby World Cup and I feel that you at times make a mickey out of yourself.

In saying tha Kenneth and Maina Kariuki were KFF chairman when the game went down, you are simply insinuating, albeit with with a tribal lining that Kikuyus and I repeat Kikuyus killed or watched over the death of football in kenya.

I proudly tell you that NO. If you are not aware, JOb Omino sold the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations to South Africa and he got a CAF post in return. Job Omino walked out of football and was not voted out.

The problem with Kenyan football, like other sector of the Kenyan life is not about who is at the top, but a simple thing that affects all money.

Being the tribalist you are as as Vikii says, you are forgetting the Benham under Clement Gachanja and Ken matiba and Briweries were part of thegreat history that football and kenyan sports had in the 1970s and 80s.

I will always ask, Phil, what is wrong with the Kikuyu? Yes, they came from Congo Forest, yes, the Luhya (including Mudavadi's Maragoli), Kisii (OMingo Magara's), Kamba Charity Ngilu), Embu, Meru (Gold Digger Imanyara) all came the same from the same trodeen path.

Finally, football in Kenya does not suffer because of maina kariuki or Peter Kenneth, it suffers from a regional ailments that is found with East and Central Africa, (Tanxzania, Kenya, Uganda and Malawi all dont have Kikuyu chairman!

What did Sambu, a perrenial loser in elections, and extraction of the Sebei or Saboat do as Chairman in the last three years? FLOP BIG TIME!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Deroo. At last Kalamari, Phil , and Taabu have met their Waterloo. I will sit back and watch as these tribal bloggers are cut down to size. Kioko. BC, Canada. Kazi iendelee..

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