As tribalism in Kenya take root, the youth are shifting the narrative – #TribelessYouth –

HomeAboutTech & BusinessLIFESTYLEPhotography/FashionPOETRY LIFESTYLE As tribalism in Kenya take root, the youth are shifting the narrative – #TribelessYouth November 24, 2016

The Kenyan tribal card is still the only attractive measure used by politicians and leaders to determine their potential in either winning an election or getting into a public office. Kenyans slay in tribal lines and the card is always dangled to people after every five years. This is also streamed in universities and corporate institutions forcing the young to either do a job search in their counties or bribe a human resource manager in a company to get a job. The question remains; who will end tribalism in Kenya?

When a renown politician says that his region ‘has got his back’ – you wonder how the whole country is supposed to support him. The 2017 elections are fast approaching and politicians have already started engaging in tribal meaningless talk and hate speech in their respective regions hence growing tribalism in Kenya.

Before the new Constitution came into power, Kenya was divided into 8 provinces, each province contained a specific tribal group and the groups were further subdivided by the 46 districts. Now, the country has 47 counties and most Kenyans moved to their respective counties with a plea to seek employment in the now infamous rich county headquarters – when a politician stands on a podium and calls for votes in a single county because they are tribe mates; they are definitely killing the country’s democracy.

Tribal card in universities

The public universities are the cradle of knowledge and most Kenyans view them as best expression of nationalism since they contain highly qualified and respected administrators who are supposed to shy away from the tribal bigotry that tear the country apart.

Just the other day activities at Moi University were at a standstill because a Kisii was chosen to run the university. Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago and Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos stormed into the University after the Ministry of Education picked Laban Ayiro as vice-chancellor. The leaders wanted a Kelenjin and not an outsider.

That’s just a single precedent that displayed the highest level of tribalism in the country. According to a survey that was handed to the president, six ethnic communities in Kenya have taken over nearly all the jobs in the 31 universities. The communities which are Kikuyu, Luo, Luhya, Kalenjin, Kisii and Kamba – occupy 70.8 per cent of all jobs available in the higher learning institutions.

According to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) study, the largest ethnic group recruited in the service of the institutions is the Kikuyu – counting 23.6 per cent.

The report stipulates that communities like the Turkana, Maasai, Kenyan Somali, Kamba and Mijikenda are among those that are under- represented compared to their total population.

The results presented by the study are not in accordance with the National Cohesion and Integration Act 2012, which provides that no community should hold more than 33.3 per cent of jobs in any one institution.

Twitter narrative

The youth have decided to change the tribal narrative and end tribalism in Kenya by creating a conversation on Twitter. The now trending topic on the social media platform seeks to call everybody in the country to shy away from tribal lines and embrace #TribelessYouth conversation.

“The only time we will become a #TribelessYouth is when we will stop being used by politicians for their political gains.” Gilbert Tich writes.


Photo courtesy 


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