You were born to be a bystander:

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This is quite simple. You are a bystander in your own life and do not take the leap to help or contribute to making things rights that you see are wrong, even though that is sometimes very subjective.
Look at the world today, we have Syria, Gaza, Sudan, DRC, Nigeria, Kenya and many other nations all facing one conflict or another that has been a thorn in their backside but all we do is look, take a picture and post it up online. The exact thing that I am doing here right now.
I recently watched this video that shows how heartless we can be when we are in a group of people, yet when we are alone and the blame will clearly be on us, we somehow all of a sudden have the urge and the power to stand; face people, act and do the right thing.
Why is that? Well you are a bystander, you have always been and nothing will change that?
Or do you do you disagree? What have you done to help someone out when you see other people walking by? Or do you just tell another person of how you saw a man on the street in bad shape or the after effects of a grenade?
Can we become a race of people that do not wait for someone to take action before we have another Kitty Genovese? Wait are we not having millions of Kitty Genovese every minute?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdpdUbW8vbw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSsPfbup0ac

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MODERNIZATION OR ARE WE LOSING IT?

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Social studies and history describe family as the basic unit of a society.  The Oxford dictionary defines a family as a group consisting of one or two parents and their children or simply people related to each other. Ethics on the other hand defines family as the foundation of a person and it is this view that I would like to take to best bring out the point of concern. Family is the basis of our spiritual,psychological and physical beings. A school of love and virtue as well as a social security for the vulnerable. Family is a community of persons where moral values are taught and the spiritual and cultural heritage of society are passed on. It ensures people are strong in their commitments and promote both social responsibility and solidarity.
However it is sad to note that this is not the case in our countries currently. Families are more dysfunctional than functional and I am afraid this is to blame for the violent and strikeful state of our African countries. It is said that children learn what they live thus living with security they learn justice and if they live with acceptance and friendship they learn to find love in the world. The opposite also holds so if they live with criticism they learn to condemn,hostility teaches them to fight and this is the kind of environment in which we are raising today’s children. With the divorce rates in our countries am scared to imagine the future. Today’s child is exposed to more than they need to know or see such as violence and abuse within the family. Lack of love and affection. The changing family setting is leaving out vital elements only taught at this elementary stage and believe it or not the long term effect is in our nations because yesterday’s children are today’s leaders while today’s children will be tomorrow’s leaders and the cycle continues.
Modernization of the family as it is popularly known does have its fruits and I would be underestimating your intelligence by failing to recognize that. It has improved languages and further opened communication channels between family members which has in turn contributed to the outspoken and assertive members of our societies but how many families are bringing forth such people? With modernization the basic expectations within our communities are evolving and this could defend the divorce rates, that great people still come from such families, it’s not a big deal.
But where do the majority lie? Is it affecting the state of our nations? Is modernization an expense to our nations? I am not expert at this matters nor am I trying to impose my opinion on you am just a citizen concerned about where our nations are headed. So post a comment, stir a debate and let’s exchange notes.

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Is Women in Power The Only Way of Empowerment?

Gender inequality has been an issue in both the local scene and the international arena with women fighting for equal opportunities with men if not greater ones. Looking at women in powerful political seats is the assurance we need to prove that women in Africa and Kenya to be specific are really being empowered.  In the new Kenyan constitution women are further empowered with 47 assured women representative posts in the senate and a few other elective posts. Such seats taken up by women such as Millie Odhiambo are some of the testimonials we have of empowered African women, however a conversation with a group of friends gets me thinking, is this the only way to empower women? Is this even empowering women? And I ask myself what exactly is empowering women? Think of the woman in Turkana south with about 4 children how do you empower this woman to make them self-reliant, to make them know the difference between arrogance and assertiveness, to make her able to provide for her children in the right manner. Maybe answering such questions is our way of finding out how to empower women.

Giving  women many politically assured seats is not the way to empower them, what we need is  to make women people , by people I  mean that awareness should be created to let it be known that women also have a voice and don’t need  posts reserved for them because that’s not what it takes for them to be empowered. Let’s be realistic all this posts reserved are they left for us  because we now have gender equality or is it because we just want to harsh up the talk concerning gender discrimination? Political seats are not the only form of empowerment or are they? How many political seats are there in one government? Are they even enough for half the population of Kenyan women? No. what we need is a system to get to each and every woman, make them believe in themselves then push the rest of the population forward.

But then again these reserved seats can be a boost to the woman, an avenue to use to push other women forward. An avenue to start projects that will make women self-reliant. A way to show other women that they to have a voice and its time they showed it. These seats may not necessarily be for all women but the whole idea is to put a fraction of the women out there to help others and to implement policies in favor of women.

Are we as Africans using in-powerment to empower women?, is it working?  And is it only way we can use to reach out, to make our nations stronger?

African Nations Alienation

No this is not to do with African nations turning their people into aliens. Well at least not in the term it is commonly used for. I may not be speaking for the majority of people,but I speak of a growing mindset within our people. A mindset that is based on despising any foreigner outside the continent of Africa and creating our own form of a bubble, in efforts to incorporate a sense of a developed Pan-Africanism.

By just reading the above you may think of this mindset as utterly ridiculous, but there are always the advantages and disadvantages of each and every mentality within the world.

 

This mindset in a general summary is one whereby African nations focus on solely developing the continent and severing any ties with any nation outside of this beautiful continent. The perspective incorporates ideas such as leaving the colonial mindset and understanding our true rich identity, culture and resources which we can then use to the most of our advantage.

A good example of an outline for what would be implemented is seen in the speech of the first President of the independent Republic of Ghana, Mr. Kwame Nkrumah, whilst attending the opening ceremony of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU, which is now known as the African Union, AU). In this speech he emphasise the factor that Africa is rich enough to depend on its self only if it is willing to do so with full co-operation between nations. He stresses the fact of how Africans are deceived to believe that they are incapable of finding and developing the resources needed, when in fact the truth is most of the resources the ‘colonial power’ (developed countries in this context) have been imported from Africa.

Another argument is the factor that foreigners do not incorporate educating their people on all matters of Africa, yet they still manage to become successful in most if not all sectors that can be measured. Therefore, is it then reasonable for Africans to incorporate the study of the ‘foreign way’, instead on focusing on our own matters first? If foreigners are able to encompass themselves in a bubble of their own and not know a single thing about Africa, why then must Africans know practically every detail of what occurs in the foreigners nation? The suggestion is that Africa should alienate itself from the study of non-African areas and be more specific to their surrounding, because the system in place outside of Africa may not be particularly suitable for Africa.

 

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On the other hand, it can be argued that the reason we study foreigners ways of living is because we have implemented their system in many if not all of our nations. Due to this situation, we must then learn from them on how to make this system successful, by learning everything they have done to arrive where they are at this present time. It is more than obvious that “The West” and “The East” are more developed than Africa and therefore Africa should be the student and learn from the teacher. After all the way we have founded the system and way of living, is in attempt to fully reflect the nations of those who colonised us.

There are others who would rather argue that we should not disregard foreign history as it would help us both learn positive aspects that we can implement and negative aspects that we can avoid. At the same time, we can manage to bring mixture of both the foreign knowledge, as well as the Africans. In essence creating a balance, whilst producing a generation that is more equipped with a higher level of knowledge that they can adapt nearly anywhere. However, what is to determine what is taught and passed down to younger generations and what is not, if we are truly to have this acclaimed balance?

 

In conclusion, my simple question is should Africa alienate itself from foreigners in order to develop and prevent further exploitation without development? Or is there truly another way?

Stirring Youth discussions