Don’t go for your further studies overseas
Throughout my entire time in high school, securing an admission and a scholarship to a prestigious Canadian university was my holy grail.
I spent four years meticulously engaging in activities that would impress the admission officers of my prospective universities.
Eventually, I got two scholarships to the University of Calgary and Brock University to study communications.
With each admission letter, it felt like I was inching closer to my Canadian dream, the future I had imagined for myself. However, it one day dawned on me that I was brainwashed to rubbish my birth country which has made me who I am today.
Consequently, I declined my offers and chose to study in Kenya, and be the change I want to see here. Of course, those around me thought I was insane. This decision has encouraged me to have conversations with my age mates on why they want to leave Kenya every chance they get.
It is disheartening how many consider studying, working and investing abroad is the only way they will create quality life for themselves.
This is a disturbing mindset to be held by so large a population, yet African universities have some of the best medicine, law, engineering and arts programmes. I can list a few reasons why they want to go. The first is our corrupt leaders; they give little hope that there is a chance of being successful in Africa by studying and working here.
So how can we build the youth’s belief in the continent? Parents should cultivate pride of being African in their children from a young age.
We should vote leaders with integrity who can be positive role models to our youth, and invest in them as well.
Institutions should include in their curricula knowledge from notable African figures such as Burkina Faso’s Thomas Sankara and South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, instead of white figures alone.
An education that glamorises colonialism deludes young people into thinking that whatever comes from the West is gold and anything that is African is inferior.
All is not lost, however. Young people in Africa are rising to the occasion to fill the leadership vacuum.
The youth are innovating and seeking solutions that will make the transport, health, and agricultural sector thrive in Kenya. I am committed to being one of them.
Shirley is a first year student at Strathmore University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.
This article was first published in the Daily Nation here.