Guest Post: Mathare Futurism: From Beggars to Masters Of Our Own Fate

Words: Wyban Mwangi

Allow me the joy of teaching you a new word today. The word is ‘duru’. Most of my millennial peers, where I come from, have an extensive grasp of what it means. It is simply the art of approaching a stranger, after careful analysis, wearing a sunken face then stretching your hand to them the same way a customer does when asking for their change. I am emphatic about calling it an art, since it is a skill that requires a lot of practice and experience. Mothers and aunts are the best teachers for this skill set. At least that is how it was set up for my family and many other families within my community as I grew up.

Young, Horny And Restless

I was invited to a school to deliver a motivational talk to a group of preadolescent and adolescent youngsters.  I regretted the invitation as soon I accepted it because school kids are a difficult proposition. Adults can be forgiving when you are boring, however a young school audience work with the assumption that you will be stale unless you produce hits like Sauti Sol or have a TV show like Jeff Koinange. I did not want to be preachy, with the usual work hard spiel, go to Harvard, be all you want to be.

Standing in front of the young audience, I started by announcing what I thought were ‘my cool’ credentials, ending up quoting the Fresh Prince, Will Smith from a song out of the 80s, “Parents just do not understand” a reference that only their parents would understand. Half the gathering was lost in thought, the other half, looking everywhere but at me and the few who were paying attention refused to laugh at my lame jokes. I kept it short and concluded by pleading with my young audience to share what was truly on their minds and not just want they thought their teachers wanted to hear.

10 things I would tell my 20-year old self

By James Wariero

The 20’s is the decade of life most adults remember fondly. It is a heady time of multiple transitions, new opportunities and expanding freedom- from parental control, lack of disposable cash and school restrictions. After completing school; you form important friendships that will last you a lifetime; you are likely meet the person you are going to marry, maybe even get married.

I started my twenties as a second year in university wearing loud T-shirts with equally loud messages and ended it as a new parent wide-eyed and humbled cradling a small human being. The 20s is a decade of exciting transitions. There are a number of things someone getting into their twenties, or there already, needs to keep in mind in order not to waste this pivotal decade of their life.

Many folks think that their twenties is the time for a happy-go-lucky lifestyle, where opportunities can be met without responsibility. It is bad enough that this may end with a wasted decade of ‘delayed milestones’ and missed opportunities.