On Saturday, while attending the social media day, a renowned Marketer, Colin Asiimwe, raised a strong point in his 6 minute presentation, that I believe, many people who were in attendance paid little attention to.
Colin, dressed in a red tie and tight hugging blue shirt said that our young innovators (and young people at large really) were not thinking so much about the future. To defend his point, he stated that young people walk into institutions with less experience but have the ability to offer new ways of using knowledge (within and outside the institutions) to change how these institutions work, but they don’t.
I want to agree with him, and indeed from a different point of view.
The one place that young people have not ventured and innovated in, is politics.
Our country’s politics is still oriented on the old analogies of war, insecurity and petty gimmicking. Many of our political actors are, for the lack of a worse word, pass-time comedians awaiting their chance at the grand stage. They pay allegiance to the highest bidder and think the least about the future of the country. Political lenses in this country are adjusted to petty ideas and suggestive gimmicking.
We still can’t, as a country; run an efficient health system, a functional democracy, a productive education system, construct a full network of roads, fix potholes, define and strengthen an economy. Even getting people to do the jobs we pay them millions to,that too, we have failed to do.
The reason for this is quite simple. Politics defines our culture, it determines where we shall spend our money and how much of it we shall spend. Politics fixes economies, gets food on people’s tables and constructs homes for people. Politics, despite being riddled with inefficiencies, determines how much you buy your beer, how much you pay your landlord, where and how your rolex guy will operate and what price he will sell his next rolex. Politics, simply put, is the father of the social, economic and basic tenets of a society, and we ignore it.
The young people today would rather in hushed tones at bar counters talk about how rotten the country has become and offer ideas on how to make it better but leave that at the bar counter for liquor stores to keep.
We would rather eat rolex and mini coca-cola for dinner when infact we know our day’s work is worth four dinners at a fancy restaurant but we can’t be paid so because the economy is crap! We would rather flex muscles with the landlord at the month’s end when infact we know we’d be in our own houses but the political system hovering over us doesn’t think enough for the 21st century problems. We’d rather apply for scholarships at Ivy league universities when infact we know deep down that we can, with effort transform our education into an Ivy league status.
We are comfortable quoting the dismal figures on how many Ugandans have access to an education or health facility in our innovative pitches for applications and we are happy noting that now many of them can access smartphones but we’ll make our apps reach them either way. We are masters at skirting around the inefficiency that government presents and solve everything, except the problem itself.
We would rather lawyer for large firms to strike million dollar mergers but never for the government to make a penny off investment firms. This attitude, with which we have carried ourselves in, is largely a making of hopelessness but if we can’t confront our one major fear – The politics – how else are we to make the future better?
I believe, and rightly so, that the young population of Uganda today has within them the capacity to make Uganda work. We shouldn’t surrender our future to octogenarian naysayers looking to make a killing in politics.
In my new resolve, I promise to write anything and everything I can to get us involved in the politics of our country, what is your resolve?