Gone are the days of our fathers. The good old days when grandpa would educate his sons so that they could become “Mwalimu” or “Daktari”, an old man’s pride was to see his sons become respectable people in the society. In those days, a teacher was held in high regards. Everyone looked up to them for guidance; they were the bearers of wisdom. Their word was almost second to law, no one dared question the teacher’s knowledge (mostly because majority of the masses were uneducated). Mwalimu was a respectable title; “mheshimiwa” had nothing on it. And the teachers’ in those days kept true to the society’s expectations, they were the first ones to build “nyumba ya mawe” compete with shiny iron roofing sheets. The cemented floors of their houses were a sight to behold, distinguishing Mwalimu’s house from the village commoners’ who were used to mud and dust floors. School children would compete to mop it if Mwalimu’s wife requested for assistance. And in the evenings, village elders would gather around Mwalimu’s radio to listen to the Kiswahili news at 7pm. You see, in those days, Mwalimu was a role model, a mentor, a trend setter…
Now, the “mwalimu” is despised. Many see them as failures whose grades could only afford them to be called to do “Education” at the university for lack of a better option. People associate Mwalimu with strikes to demand for better pay. “Hawa walimu hawachoki na hizi migomo” parents are heard mumbling every time they hear the teachers’ unions giving the government a notice to increase their pay or else they will go on their infamous go-slows.
See, the mwalimu’s pay has remained the same despite the changing economic times. The Mwalimu is no longer a role model, but a miserable creature operating on minimum pay on whom everyone’s pity falls upon.
Gone are the days of our mothers. Days when grandma would seat her granddaughter’s around the fire and tell them to work hard and be disciplined so that they may become the wife of a Mwalimu or a Daktari. See in those days, it was a woman’s pride to married off to such respectable men. Our father’s deemed it useless to educate a woman, after all she will be married off. But the times changed, and father’s realized that an educated woman fetched higher bride price and was popular among the Daktari’s… and so begun the girl-child education revolution.
Times have changed since the days of our fathers. Nowadays, parents are no longer worried about the career paths their kids choose. “At least he has moved out of my house”. “Atleast he is no longer borrowing me money for upkeep”. “So long as he’s not a criminal I’m fine”. Parents are just grateful that their son moved out of the house at 28 and doesn’t have stray kids unlike Mama Junior’s son.
The parents of this generation have it rough. Imagine the usual nosy aunt asking you what your son does for a living. And you’re left tongue-tied, because in real sense you have no clue. “Anafanya kibarua ndogo ndogo tu hapa na pale” You’re left blurting, and quickly shift the topic of conversation, “Umeskia IG Kimaiyo ameresign? You quip.
Times have changed. Life is hard. The youth are no longer enticed by the professional career life. It is tedious and the gains are just not worth it. They want fast money; money that you don’t have to earn through hard labour, sweat and toil.
See, this generation does not value societal respect. In a generation where a person is judged by the latest fashion item, phone and vehicle they own, no one has time for things like respect. No one cares how you got your money so long as you have it. The end justifies the means. Money is power. Money gets you the life you want. You are basically a nobody without money.
And so the youth do anything for money; reduced to opportunistic and economic prostitutes; jumping from one job to the next so long as the terms of payment are better.
This generation has seen the rise of the Socialites, the Deejays, the Social Media managers, upcoming rappers and musicians, the guys peddling data bundles in the black market, the online clothes-shop vendors, the online brand ambassadors, the bloggers who’d crucify all literary ethics just for some view, and those who thrive on the gutter press for a livelihood….The youth are hungry for money and they must make a coin, government job or not. And if you thought the same zeal would be extended in investment, well, you’re wrong.
We live in a generation where a 25 year old man would rather own the latest iPhone yet live in a bed-sitter with nothing but his bed, 2 sufurias, 2 plates and a meko. These species are the same ones “turning up” and drinking themselves silly in high-end clubs and events just to fit in. This generation doesn’t give a fiddle about establishing one’s self or creating wealth; they are content with keeping up with the current trends…
How times have changed….