What you need to know:
- Are we, children of Africa destined to sit back and watch from a distance?
- Are we only here to applaud, standing from a distance?
"Life began for me when I ceased to admire and began to remember," says American writer Willa Cather.
An epic battle is being waged between me and my conscience. The fight is sparked by what we hear on BBC’s Project 17.
Briefly, the programme is about 17 sustainable development goals, and what 17 seventeen-year-olds think has been done thus far to realise them, and what more ought to be done.
Sadly, none of them is Kenyan.
Which brings me to my struggle with my conscience: Why not me? The truth is, I am scared. I love a stress-free life.
But friend, are you scared of challenging wrong and fighting for what is right?
Scared to appear “un-cool”?
Why? Who says we can’t? Says who that we, children of Africa, are destined to sit back and watch other teenagers protest against racism in America?
Or Gretta Thunberg’s tour as she challenges world leaders to address climate change?
Or the children in Paraguay recycling waste material to make pianos and violins — instruments that many dream of playing but few ever get the chance?
Are we only here to applaud, standing from a distance?
Certainly, we might not have equal opportunities, but surely if we applied ourselves, we would find we have an abundance of means right where we are.
I mean, almost all of us are social media and tech wizards. Give a “gen zedder” a smartphone, and Voilà! Wonders!
I feel so happy now that the US is re-entering the Paris Agreement — anything that holds whatever ray of hope for our world, from the spy whale being freed from captivity to Nasa successfully converting Mars’ carbon dioxide to however little oxygen, fills me with joy.
I should think it’s high time I cease to admire Ashley organising a climate march in Australia and began to remember I, too, have a part to play.
God help us get over our timorousness, or else do what we ought first and chicken out later.
May Kenya produce its own Gretta soon. And why not?
Tatyana, 18, studies at Pangani Girls High School.
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