Speaking Kenyan Politics: Language

One language that we have not yet learned is that of speaking to one another across political barriers. My dear Kenya has spent the week in the first set of party primaries for the upcoming general elections. With over 40,000 candidates vying for the complex tiered county governments (47 of them) senate, and parliament, the primaries are much like the athletic heats which determine which Kenyan athletes make it to the international stage. The difference being that winning any of the seats is a guarantee of a hefty salary with perks that may extend beyond one’s term. As you can imagine, the polls are filled with colorful language that does not seem to have limitations. The winners list seems to be filled with new, younger, and untested faces. The first big bit was: Fagia Wote (Sweep Them All Out!) where voters decided they were done with several big names.

And now the major primary contests are all but over. The tribunals featuring primary election complainants are sitting day and night resolving one dispute after another. What started off as a full field of the same faces from the last election has been given a makeover with less of the old, and more new, fresh faces. Some of the mighty have fallen, the unlikely underdogs replacing them. A few of the previously heartbroken losers from previous contests can scarcely believe they are back. We are still mostly armchair political pundits roasting those we managed to catch on camera in the heat of the contests. We still have not learned to speak to one another. We still think it is virtually an anomaly to have someone win a contest in a region that does not match his name. We are still eating the mashed foods of young learners in modern day Kenyan politics.

Also, we are learning the meaning of the phrase: Independent Candidate. This is the place those unsuccessful in the primaries, and unwilling to concede will find their way to the electoral box. Kariuki has a meme you need to take a sec and chuckle at, that describes what this means to the man on the street.

And me, what language am I searching for now? I am a registered voter in Kenya – so I can afford to talk. Thinking deeply about how to write about my choices for MP, as of today being between Boniface Mwangi, Jaguar and Steve Mbogo for Area MP. On that I need new language too.

So who else am I watching talking about Kenyan politics on the internets?

Who are you watching and listening to regarding the elections in Kenya? Drop me a comment or write your own post in response

Josephine

The Only Race Kenyans Are Not Winning

I am amazed that last week, a Kenyan couple took home the Paris marathon titles for men and women on the same day. In Kenya, winning a marathon is normal, and even expected. However, in the race to find ways to support the Kenyan public to fight gambling addiction, Kenya is losing.

I’m having a hard time finding tears to cry for local game owners whose national taxes through the betting industry in Kenya have been raised from 7.5% to now 50% of all gaming revenue. Mainly because they have proved ineffective in self policing and correction (e.g. underage checks and support for gambling addicts) Their advertising revenues carry major budget share in a variety of publicly accessible media, and almost muzzle journalists’ ability to critically analyze the impact of gaming on Kenyans.

Unlike other addictions, which are more visible now in the media, like alcohol and substance abuse, gambling addiction hardly gets any airplay. Invariably, you hear and see more about the betting promotions than the ails. You read less Op-Eds and see less school based anti-gambling campaigns. Betting ad revenue seems to be carrying the day.

However, if the heavy arm of the taxman cannot provide a temporary umbrella for the suffering of families which are struggling with gambling loved ones, who can?

In a 2017 study conducted by Imperial College and the National Problem Gambling Clinic in the United Kingdom and reported by Science Daily, the most problematic gambling behaviours included sports gambling, and gambling was more likely to activate the same pathways as drug and alcohol cravings. Even more scary? Scant research exists on the impact of problem gambling on adolescents and youth. A 2006 Psychiatry (Edgmont) article estimates that for every one adult with problem gambling, 2 to 4 times as many adolescents are likewise affected – with the consensus being that gambling is worst when it starts at a very young age.

Are we just waiting to cry so hard, we will only be able to cry out of one eye?

Let us get serious.

 

Hey! Get Ready:Get Hired

I am happy to spend a good amount of time helping family and friends with their resumes and CVs, and it is about time we all get to the good stuff – better skills and employability. I am most interested in helping youth and those yet to be gainfully employed to get ready to take on the job market.

I said:

Apparently, by now – 2017- all university & diploma graduates should not list computer literate and punctual on their resume. It is assumed that you can do a presentation, type and edit and post your own work (and all other computer functions) and that showing up on time should be second nature. Your resume should in fact aim higher and list other things at which you are skilled.

My friend M commented:

It’s not even for recent university graduates. I’m seeing it in “professionals” through age 28…. typing with 2 fingers, late to every meeting or shift and providing what is considered by the individual to be a legitimate excuse each time, inability to use Excel/Word/PPT, etc. And as people are getting their degrees at older ages due to financial struggles and other setbacks, their willingness to learn more than “college” or even to understand that learning doesn’t stop after college leans towards the apathetic. “But I’ve just worked so hard to finish college,” is their thought. The employer’s thought is “But you are still not compliant with state laws, best practices, and professional development requirements to meet your continuing job responsibilities.” And it is over and over and over again, same conversation, different employee.

Yes! to the UN Global Goals, which encouraged us to do more. I agree we can “By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all men and women including young people, and persons with disabilities and equal pay for work of equal value” – Global Goal #8 

8.-Good-Jobs-Economic-Growth-V2-640x739

How Do You Get Started ?

I did a quick search and found a few gems:

  1. Barclays has built a great LifeSkills site to allow youth, parents and teachers to : Build a Job Hunting Toolbox, Identify Skills, Gain Experience, Be Inspired
  2. European Union’s Europass offers information for those seeking to develop and create EU based CV and other job-hunting credentials. This is useful for CV based countries outside the EU which operate on principles related to previous EU countries

If you already have a Resume or CV and ready to finally update it:

    1.  Here is what TIME Magazine thinks you should be doing to improve your Resume (Jan 5.2017) including a nice free downloadable template shown below.money_01_30_17_resume-template
    2. Also, find out from the Interview Guys exactly what kind of resume you should be designing. This means, what structure by timeline, how long and whether you should have more or less on your resume.

All the best!

What other questions do you have about skills building, resumes, and creating impact from your presentations?