Gen Z show their might through sustained protest


Protestors march along Processional Way, Nairobi on June 18, 2024 during the Anti-Finance Bill demonstrations.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Young people are uniting around a common cause with remarkable coherence.
  • Through online petitions, they have articulated their concerns and demands.

The #RejectFinanceBill demonstrations have showcased the power and influence of Generation Z. Across Kenya, young people have rallied together, harnessing the tools of the digital age to amplify their voices and effect change.

The energy and organiation behind these protests reflect a new era of civic engagement, one driven by the tech-savvy, socially conscious and outspoken Gen Z.

One of the most striking aspects of the #RejectFinanceBill demonstrations is the use of social media as a platform for mobilisation. Gen Z, known for their proficiency with technology, leveraged X, Instagram and TikTok to share information, coordinate protests, and rally support.

The #RejectFinanceBill hashtag continues to trend nationally, drawing attention from both local and international media. This digital savviness is allowing for rapid dissemination of information, ensuring that large numbers of people can participate and stay informed.

Coordinated messaging

Despite being a diverse group with varying interests, young people are uniting around a common cause with remarkable coherence. Their collective voice is powerful and clear: the Finance Bill 2024 poses unacceptable challenges to their economic future.

Through online petitions, live streams and coordinated messaging, they have articulated their concerns and demands. This unity, I believe, is not just about rejecting the Bill, but also about asserting their role in the democratic process, and their right to shape policies that affect their lives.

The demonstrations also highlight Gen Z’s creativity and innovation in protest tactics, including marches, sit-ins and virtual protests, adapting to imposed restrictions. By combining traditional protest methods with digital innovation, they managed to sustain momentum and keep the issue in the public eye.

The protest also demonstrates Gen Z’s awareness and engagement with global issues. Many draw parallels between their struggle and similar movements worldwide, expressing solidarity with peers fighting for economic justice and human rights.

Facing significant pushback from authorities and critics, Gen Z protesters have displayed remarkable resilience. They are navigating threats, arrests, and attempts to silence them with determination and strategic acumen.

Power of collective action

Their ability to adapt and persist under pressure is a testament to their commitment to the cause and their belief in the power of collective action.

Gen Z’s capacity to mobilise quickly, use technology effectively, and sustain a unified and resilient movement is a powerful indicator of their potential to drive social and political change.

As they continue to mature and take on more significant roles in society, their influence is likely to grow, shaping the future in ways that are just beginning to be understood.

The #RejectFinanceBill demonstrations show that Gen Z are not just the future; they are a formidable force in the present. 

Mr Makokha is a communications and PR practitioner. [email protected]