These are really interesting times. Our brothers and sisters in Kenya are now getting ready for the court petition phase of their election. The lawyers are burning the midnight oil while keeping a keen eye on their bank accounts. Also at the same time, the country is a bit disturbed with the talk about secession. I know it is not something that is going to happen but it compels one to think about why such talk never seems to go away.
It is a question that bothers many in Africa where you find countries with different ethnicities and some not feeling like have a seat at the main national table. This could be either because they are considered numerically or geographically insignificant to the power centre. After achieving independence, African nations faced the challenge of nation building and to be honest many have not performed well in this regard, leaving room for conflict to simmer and surface often.
The Kenyans are also debating an impending plastic bag ban. Something that Rwanda has effected since around 2004 and has proven crucial as far as having a clean environment is concerned. Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko was here for the inauguration ceremony and carried a note book and a pen. I hope it was not blank by the time he left Rwanda to embark on fixing Nairobi City. Kenyans who have lived here should be the ones talking to their friends back home explaining that indeed life is possible without those jualas.
I have some relatives who are in town for some social engagements and after they are done I will ask them if they felt inconvenienced by life in a place with no plastic bags. I have to do this because Uganda has also talked about banning plastic bags but that was just it. Talk. I wish the Kenyans can go through with it and it gradually becomes an East African standard. This region is beautiful but it can be much better if the environment is taken care of a little more than we are doing.
I had wanted to write more about the plastic bag ban or the plastic bag free life in Kigali, but on Friday I found myself stuck in traffic because over 8,366 students were graduating from the University of Rwanda. The event took place at Amahoro National Stadium because 8,366 people plus their guardians can only fit in a stadium. However the stadium is not what we should be looking at. We should be looking at the job space.
I prefer to call it the job space instead of job market because I expect graduates to deliver, to perform, to execute and to excel at it. I do not like the dichotomy that birthed the whole, “don’t be job seekers be job creators” line. I detest it because we all know the graduates will be asked for years of experience to join employment, and they will need a decent level of capital to start off as job creators. After taking memorable photos in that gown the next step is not easy for any fresh graduate.
The world is changing at a pretty fast pace thanks to technological advancements that impact on life in general. The pace of change is so fast that for many in school, by the time you are done with studies, the world you have been prepared for is a thing of the past. You soon find out that there are new ways of doing things, new attitudes and perspectives that you need to learn soon and fast without getting a certificate for them.
Fresh graduates need to think about where the world is moving to and try to be there or else they will be left out. The changes lead to new challenges which also call for new solutions. If you get a chance to land a job try to think of it as a chance to learn. You have to learn how things are done, be good at it but also think about how that too is changing and position yourself in such a way that you remain a source of value to the ones that sign on your cheques.
Ultimately what will matter more is if you have the skill to learn new skills and to be really good at whatever it is that you do. Graduating from university is great, learning to deliver, execute and excel at your job is better. Good luck to all the fresh graduates. The world needs you to prove that you are needed.