I was talking to a friend of mine who quit his job to start his own small medium enterprise and from what the lady told me, I learned that sometimes, in order to win the war, you have to lose the fight.
As I talked to this friend, I learned that there are thousands of people, majority of them young people, who are suffering silently with their current employment because of frustration and the fear of the unknown.
The unemployment rate in Kenya now stands at 39.9 percent with the World Bank estimating four years ago, that 25.5 million Kenyans were unemployment with 80 percent of them being young people between the age of 18 to 30.
With such a high rate of unemployment in Kenya, getting a job in Kenya is a matter of life and death. Those who manage to get a job, take it as a matter of life and no matter the challenges, the sufferings and the frustrations they might go through, they will never let it go because to them, that job is their life and letting it go is the end of life for them.
Most employers, having learned the increased number of young people desperately searching for jobs, have taken the advantage to mistreat the one they have, blackmailing them with the knowledge that the desperate employees have no other way but to hold on and work because if they quit, others will be employed within hours.
“Desperation is increasingly killing creativity among our youth. Most of them, I can assure you, once they land on a job, the concentrate on protecting that job other than on developing their career. They stop thinking outside the box and only concentrate on thinking from within.’
That was my friend, who has now set up a small business in the village.
” I urge young people not to be desperate. There are many opportunities available out here. One only needs to make a decision, open up his/her and think big. Jobs are hard to come by, yes, but for one with a big mind, there are many ways to make money out here.’
There are many opportunities in farming for instance. Many young people hate farming. To them, white collar jobs are still the new thing. They want to put on flashy clothes and blingblings. They never picture themselves toiling in the fields to earn a living. There are few young people who are reaping big from farming.
“What many young people don’t know is that farming does not necessarily mean that you have to go to the field and farm and ” dirty” yourself. You can provide a supervisory role in your small farm, continue putting on your suit and let others work for you and you will make money.”
(This article has been written by Fridous Munialo, an SME strategist at Kenya Industrial Training Institute)