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Ushago is a no! Cultural erosion among Gen Z

By Winnie Onyando September 27th, 2023 2 min read

The yearning for a sense of belonging is a common desire among many individuals.

Those living in the diaspora share tales of missing homes.

Understanding one’s origins and ancestral heritage is a privilege that is proudly cherished by numerous millennials.

However, for many GenZ, who were born and raised in urban environments, this sense of belonging is elusive.

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Some of the GenZ children have spent their entire lives in Nairobi, never venturing to visit rural areas.

Even those who have had the privilege to visit these rural regions find it challenging to connect with their relatives in those areas.

In contrast, many millennials were raised in rural settings and only traveled to Nairobi after establishing their roots.

Even those born out of wedlock often made an effort to trace their heritage. In contrast, many GenZs are only familiar with city life and view rural living with apprehension.

Eunice Achieng, for instance, cannot relate to rural life, and she shares her experiences with Nairobi News.

“I have visited the village very few times, and I don’t have a close relationship with my cousins or relatives there. Therefore, the prospect of visiting the rural area has never been an exciting one. My siblings and I go to great lengths to avoid going to the village,” Achieng told Nairobi News.

She further adds, “I don’t even know my tribal language, so returning to the rural area is unappealing because of the stigma associated with those who can’t speak their mother tongue. My cousins who live in the village often make us feel like outsiders because we can’t relate. Honestly, I wish I could connect with my roots.”

On the other hand, Joshua Mulwa says, “I love the city life; I was born and raised in Nairobi, and to me, Nairobi is home. I have been to the village for events, but it’s not my preference. I find the city lifestyle fun and exciting, whereas the village does not hold the same attraction for me.”

“Occasionally, my parents insisted on us going to the village to bond with our relatives, trying to bring us together. However, it was never successful because relating to my relatives, especially those in rural areas, was challenging. While millennials stressed the importance of connecting with relatives and building stable relationships, many young people today are left without a strong connection to their heritage as they actively avoid rural life.”