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Ticking Time Bomb: Comedian Njugush makes an urgent call to tackle youth unemployment

Kenyan comedian Timothy Kimani Ndegwa, widely recognized as Njugush, has voiced his concerns about the escalating issue of youth unemployment within the nation.

In a thought-provoking message that spread like wildfire across the internet, Njugush highlighted the grave situation, calling it a ticking time bomb.

The catalyst for Njugush’s impassioned plea was a viral video capturing the overwhelming turnout of National Youth Service (NYS) members during the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) recruitment drive held at Embakasi Garrison on Monday, September 18.

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In his message, Njugush drew attention to the fact that these were not just NYS youths; they represented only a fraction of the unemployed youth population in Kenya. He emphasized that this crisis transcends educational backgrounds, affecting not only university graduates but also those who completed high school and even primary school leavers.

The heart of Njugush’s lamentation was the prevailing silence surrounding youth employment, or rather the lack thereof. He noted that when the issue does surface, the prevailing sentiment is often an exhortation for youths to become self-employed, a suggestion that, according to Njugush, comes with a heavy burden of excessive taxation. He humorously noted that running a business in Kenya seems to require the skills of a magician, alluding to the numerous challenges entrepreneurs face.

“No one is speaking about employment, especially for the youth, and when they do wanasema you self employ yourself then unatandikwa na taxes vizuuuri also business running in this country needs a magician,” read the comedian’s post in part.

However, Njugush argued that the real wake-up call typically comes just before elections when politicians suddenly take an interest in the youth. He expressed frustration at this pattern, suggesting that it’s a temporary surge of attention that fades once elections are over.

But beyond the election cycle, Njugush posed critical questions: “Where does the problem truly lie? Is it in how Kenyans vote, who they vote for, or even whether they vote at all? Is it time to accept that the current systems and structures are not working for the youth and consider creating alternative pathways?”

In his message, Njugush called for a candid conversation about these pressing issues. He challenged Kenyan society to address the root causes of youth unemployment rather than treating the symptoms. He urged citizens to think critically about their role in the electoral process, emphasizing that political change alone may not be the panacea for youth unemployment.

Njugush also hinted at the possibility of grassroots solutions, invoking the image of digging a well for their own sustenance. This metaphorical well could represent a self-sufficient approach where youth create their own opportunities and systems to alleviate unemployment.