When We Became Selfish

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I got confused when the might Babu Owino went on TV to warn politicians against using students in the Saba saba supposed uprising. If you are reading this and you do not know Babu Owino, Google is not your friend. Well, the two-time SONU chairman has always put himself out as a revolutionary, man-of-the-people time. His politics most of the time involves stone and run antics when he does not get what he wants.

Furthermore, he is said to have met the former Premier in Upper Hill sometime last week in the run up to the much anticipated saba saba rally. Later on, leaflets found themselves in university halls, asking comrades to come out and fight for alleged tyrannical rule of the present government.

Then just before the big rally, Mr. Owino asks politicians to keep off university students.

These twists and turns did not add up for me. They got me so confused, I think I can feel a bout of aneurysm coming.

Well, let us go back into history to understand my point here. In the past, students have always taken a fore front in the clamour for social change. Most of the politicians in the August House came out in droves in riots for democracy, back when Moi ran a tight ship with this country. Tear gas, beatings and potential jail terms did not scare them or their zeal. Passion for democracy ran deep those days. I was not intelligible enough in the 90s (come on, I was still a toddler), but there is so much you can find out when you just take a book and look inside.

Fast-forward to 2014. Nothing happens. Zilch. Students keep off the streets unless it has something to do with them. They do not care anything about social change in the grand scheme of things. Nowadays they rant on Facebook and Twitter and blogs. Beyond that, nothing else can happen.

This is not even about their decision to steer clear of the saba saba rally. Think of Boniface Mwangi’s attempts to Occupy Parliament? I can bet you that a meagre 20% of those who took part were university students.

We have become selfish I guess. All we want, all we are interested in is to finish our courses, get our powers to read, and then vamoose. We will only go to the streets if our fees are increased, when there is a black out, when one of us is murdered by the police or when the food at the mess is not that good.

I do not know if that is a good thing or not. I am not sure if Babu’s decision to pull out of the rally is a rare show of good leadership skills that seldom raises its head once in a while, or just because Baba did not placate him enough at Upper Hill Hotel.

Think about it.


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