The contextual work environment in Kenya has over the years been built on the fact that young people should be employed for their future success. This norm hurts the country’s employability resulting in a high unemployment rate.
Many youths graduating from high school or colleges head to the country’s capital hoping to get employed, but many end up ‘tarmacking’ for years without any hope.
However, according to Fred Banja, a successful businessman and Bondo constituency aspirant in 2022, the trend can be changed if proper channels are laid and young people are engaged to think and believe in themselves.
“As a youth, you do not need to be employed so that you can change your future. If someone gives you Kshs.2000, that is the employment opportunity he has given you. Of course, not everyone is born an entrepreneur, but you can figure out what you can do to be self-dependent,” said Mr. Banja in an interview with News 9 Kenya.
Mr. Banja added, “Take me for example. I never got into direct employment after finishing high school. I had to hustle and save some money for my college fees. After doing my fourth form, I came to Nairobi and stayed with my Aunt at Kibera Olympic Primary School. From there, I was able to take out some casual jobs, earned some money which I used to open up a chips stall.”
The Business guru said that self-belief and determination gave him the zeal to carry out the business, which of late he has never abolished.
“From the chips selling business I was able to go to college, where I did a course in communication, and to date, I run a company that deals in communication. So I can say, it’s about believing in yourself,” he said.
“After my graduation, I am glad that I didn’t allow myself to go through the tarmacking process because I believed in the powers of my physical being and the education I received coupled with the growing-up process that I went through.”
“I believed I could make a living by myself and not bother anybody to employ me. I never sent my cv to anyone because I believed my destiny was in my hands. To date, I have never worked for anybody and I hope that this should be a motivation to young people out there.”
He blamed corruption as the main cause of unemployment in the country, adding that the vice can only be ended at the family, where it starts.
“Corruption in the country can be stopped only if we individually cast it out at the family level. No leadership can stop it, but if we become responsible and think of others, we can end it,” he noted.
Mr. Banja cited how young people get knocked out of employment opportunities, saying that it is one of his plea and prayer to see a Kenya where youth are supported in their endeavors and not promised to be ‘leaders of tomorrow’.
“Take national tenders for instance, do you think they are rightfully won? No, tenders are given to individuals, and this is the kind of corruption that has hit our economy so badly,” he exclaimed.
Asked if elected as a Member of Parliament, what interest will he carry to make amendments to the current economic environment in the country, Banja said he will focus on working together with the youth and help them strengthen their belief growth in the society.
“Growing up as a young person, I went through many challenges that are synonymous to every one of us who have gone through village life but these challenges did not stop me from achieving what I wanted and reaching where am today. I will move young people and work together with them.”
“I believe in leadership that is transparent, inclusive, accountable, and proactive. I believe in leadership that empowers the community and utilizes public resources that are equitably entrusted to us. That will be my stance when you give the ticket to the parliament.”
With over 20 years of experience in business, Fred Banja is the mantle to lead youth to their destiny as they struggle to make ends meet.