Kenya: Always Think Positive, Kenyatta Tells the Youth

20 October 2020

Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta has appealed to Kenyan youth to avoid pessimism in order to become heroes and voices of change for the country, while highlighting the role played by 'founding fathers' during independence.

Kenyatta, who spoke in Kisii on Tuesday during the Mashujaa Day celebrations, urged young people to remain positive and focus on what could be done; and not the obstacles standing in their way.

"These young men were not extra-ordinary. They became our independence heroes because they made more opportunities out of the little that they had been given. Instead of focusing on the hardships of building a new nation from the ground up, they focused on the possibilities," he said of the independence fighters.

As part of what he termed as "Mashujaa lessons' to the youth, Kenyatta also urged the youth to always be prepared to pay the price of liberation which he equated to what the independence fighters paid as they fought for the country's freedom.

"The price of our liberation was high, but there was no doubt that our founding fathers were prepared to pay for it. Some of them paid the price with their own lives. My appeal to our young people is not to be afraid of paying the price. If you have a dream, pay the price and the dream will come to you; if you have a challenge, pay the price and it will resolve itself," he said.

Kenyatta also noted that like the founding fathers, youth should not focus on the 'bad and ugly' in the country which, he said, is still work in progress.

"If our attention goes to the bad and the ugly, all energy will flow to the negative and we will become a nation of angry and disillusioned people. But the young people who will embrace the positive and the possible will emerge as heroes and 'makers of things'," the President added.

The youth, Kenyatta also said, must be willing to anticipate change and be the key drivers of change and shed off the attitude of expecting someone else to do something.

"If it's got to be; it's got to be me". That is, if anything will happen, it all depends on me. If change will happen, do not expect your neighbours to be the ones to cause it. You are the one to do it,"

While highlighting the role played by young people in the country, he pointed out various innovations done by young people during the COVID-19 crisis including the over 800 young men and women whose projects were unveiled last week during a Cabinet retreat in Manyani, Tsavo National Park.

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