The Eldoret Forum on Social Transformation – A heated affair!

On Saturday 10th October 2015 I facilitated a youth forum on Social Transformation in Eldoret Kenya organized and hosted by The UniLife Movement. The event brought together over 50 students from local universities in Kenya, youth leaders and young professionals to discuss the ‘Role of Youth in Positive Social Transformation’

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Eldoret Forum on Social Transformation

The group came to a mutual agreement that Social Transformation can be simply defined as ‘The change we want to see in our societies today’. These young social transformers concur with me that everyone has the capacity and responsibility to effect social change.

Issues addressed

They identified a number of issues that we need to change in the Kenyan and African society today including tribalism and stereotype, corruption, lack of interest among the youth, laziness making youth to want easy wealth and wrong value systems. I will pick a couple of these issues and share with you the arguments that this focused group presented.

  • Tribalism and stereotyping

The group of young social transformers was really concerned by the extent to which youth today are propagating tribalism even within their colleges. This has gone to the extent that people are skeptical about saying their second names for the fear of stereotyping. It is sad that this is happening in the corridors of higher learning institutions where the top creme of our country are expected to be gaining knowledge and skills.

One lady from a particular region shared her anger when after introducing herself to her classmates, they asked her what she was doing in university yet girls her age were already married in their community. Listening to this young lady who has come out against all odds of wrong cultural practices to pursue higher education only to be rebuked and stereotyped by her classmates, it got me shedding a tear for this poor nation. It gets me to wonder how much this education is helping our country, if at all it is.

  • Laziness and easy wealth

It was clearly brought out that youth today have rich celebrities as their role models. Many of these youth want o own mansions drive luxury cars and live lavishly like their celeb role models, yet they don’t want to work hard for it.

A high school teacher shared how her student is selling drugs and not taking education seriously, claiming he wants to get rich like a popular city politician. According to the teacher, the student sees no need of education when he can make thousands a day selling drugs.

This is the sad truth that is hidden from us every day; we pretend we don’t see when our own young people get lost due to lack of proper mentorship. It is so sad for me that young people want to get rich like so and so without understanding the story behind someone’s riches. Most of the rich people admired by our youth today have come from grass to grace in a long journey of struggles, persistence and resilience. But unless they share their stories, our youth will always think it was a walk in the park.

  • Corruption

As much as we have systems in place to combat corruption, from the forum it is clear that corruption is still a great hindrance to Social Transformation. It is sad to hear a young person aged 22 sharing how many times they have been coerced into paying a bribe to get a service they are entitled to. It is even alarming to hear a first year student say how much in bribe they had to pay to get admission into a college they qualified for.

A section of the youth at the forum

This is the reality that we don’t provide platforms to discuss. One lady, an aspiring model was very concerned that she could be asked by judges or organizers of a modeling event to give sexual favors or bribes in order to be announced the winner of the modeling competition. I am sure we can all relate to this in some way or another.

Personal Reflection

If this is what our youth are exposed to from an early age, do we have any hope of having a transformed society? Do we see any light at the end of the tunnel when universities are closed up due to tribal incitements to our youth by our own leaders? When university students are getting Sexually Transmitted Degrees that they have not worked for? When we see sections of our society stereotyped on the basis of their wrong cultural practices?

The youth in this country make up over 67% of the population and if we want any social change we can only bank on them. This however, cannot be achieved when they are already contaminated by wrong value systems instilled by our lustful leaders! If at 20 a young lady has paid in kind to get an admission, course marks or win a competition, what kind of society shall we have in 20 years to come?

Verdict? Take Action!

From the Social Transformation forum by The UniLife Movement it is evident that young people need to be engaged actively in transforming their own societies. One of the ways is though such platforms and forums to discuss the reality on the ground and what they feel about it.

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‘We Need to be the role models!’

We the youth need to get angry! ANGRY about the immoral things going on in this society! ANGER can be a good spark to initiate social change! But we also need to be informed on the correct approaches to address these issues.

We should forget about blame games we play with politicians and realize that we have a role in transforming our societies. We should seek information and learn that hard earned wealth is long-lasting and respected. We should seek education and liberation of the mind beyond the academic corridors. We should take part in all forums that seek to expend our visions and capacities to turn challenges into opportunities.

We the youth have the numbers, we should get a common ground for effecting change in this society, we need a good environment for our children tomorrow, free from old lustful scavengers and full of focused role models and mentors. Mentorship goes beyond words of motivation, it involves getting ANGRY and joining hands to take action and make this world a better place. Our poverty, challenges, hardships and struggles are enough motivation to make Africa a great continent, I pledge my support! Do you?

Let us not wait for those who are not ready, they will find us moving; Social Transformation is a journey anyway! But like is commonly said; you can’t give what you don’t have; let every young person reflect on their value systems and get the right values that will propel their life further into success.

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Forum participants after the discussions.

The discussions are still ongoing; online and offline, join #testeb4taste @magerodeo @unilifemovement and add your voice to the conversation.

We all have the potential and capacity to effect positive Social Transformation, always remember to #testb4taste; BE INFORMED, BE TRANSFORMED!!

Yours truly,

#TheSocialTransformer

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Youth Potential in Social Transformation

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Every time I see the word ‘youth’ somewhere my heart skips a beat! I have this special feeling that makes me want to stop and go into any place whose sign reads ‘youth’ to see what they do and speak to them. The word ‘youth’ reminds me of the current African challenges and gives me the optimism that we can face and solve these challenges, as long as the #youthpotential is well harnessed.

Youths are a mighty force to reckon with. They can move mountains and transform nations from one stage to a developed and well recognized state in the international community. Youth have physical power, courage, sense of adventure and enthusiasm to explore the unknown. They are not bogged down with the chains of traditions and preconditions. They can explore the untraded path and create new societies.

Youth never don’t believe in the notion of “Impossible” rather they spilt this words into “I am possible”. Youth are those forces for whom perfection in transformation is myth. They never stop in the race of transformation and to adopt with the new environment. Transformation is something that inspires the youth and provides lessons to tackle the new challenges.

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From ancient uncivilized society to modern 21st century, youth have never stopped in their path. Be it the path of fire or path of leaf of rose flower, they love to walk. A great philosopher, motivator and icon for the million of youth around the world, Swami Vivekananda once commented; ‘give me thousand of youth with a body of steel and courage of a lion and I shall transform the nation’ His words cannot be criticized; they are commendable for every young person.

 Happiness and satisfaction have always been an integral part of one’s life. Happiness has always been the ultimate goal to be achieved.

Today’s youth should devote their lives for the spread and realization of these thoughts and ideas by Swami throughout the world. Youth should never entangle themselves in the territorial jurisdiction of the political entity which we commonly call the ‘state’. They should stay above and beyond this!

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The biggest duty for youth is to serve the only one religion of the world that is HUMANITY. If we want to make our nation stronger and grow then we have to engage our youth force constructively! Lets we stop using youth just for the political agendas. The transformation of our societies and nations can only be achieved and sustained if young people are actively engaged and guided to make significant contributions to this process. Social Transformation is a process and we need the reckoning force of the youth all the way!

Youth & Social Transformation

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‘SEASONS IN LIFE’

Just like there are four climatic seasons. These seasons happens throughout the year. And as we move from one season to another so our life changes from one season to another. These two categories of seasons are so much related and we can learn a lot from the climatic seasons. What we need to know is that we have no control over these seasons, they just happen. The best way out is to learn what these seasons mean and how best we can handle them. No matter the season it’s just a matter of time and the season passes.

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Winter (Preparation)

It is the coldest season of the year in polar climates. It is characterized by falling snow and freezing cold temperature, usually exacerbated by strong winds. Business is not as usual during this season. Students don’t go to school and office work slows down. The days are shorter and the nights are longer. The same happens in our lives. There comes a time when almost everything does not happen to your favor. The question is, how well have you prepared yourself to handle such times? Just like people shop for warm clothes and even change their daily routine to fit in the cold weather, what do you do to prepare for your worst season? This is the period where not much physical work is done. As one is sitting around fire place to prevent themselves from the cold weather, this is the time to make good use of your mind. Engage your mind and find way forward for the season only lasts for some time.

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Spring (Take action)

This season comes just after winter and before summer. It is very short in Polar Regions. This is the season of new beginning. Fresh buds bloom and animals awaken and the earth comes to life again. This is the season you need to arise. You need to conquer all that which made you fall during winter time. This is the time to plant the good seeds in your life. This is the period you need to be more vigilant and take note of every opportunity in life. Ensure that you make as many investments during this season.

Summer (Arise and shine)

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It is the season when temperature rise and days are longer. This is the period to harvest what was planted during spring. This is the time for people to dress up lightly in fancy dresses with sunglasses and party. But it should be noted that the joy of this season is determined with the effort made during spring (planting season). Despite the fun experienced during this season it is important to notice that one should be very careful all the hard work done over spring will go to waste. One should guard their harvest as there are preys around looking at that harvest and given chance they will steal or even destroy the harvest.

Autumn/fall (Accountability)

This season is accompanied by cold weather. Plants changes colours and lose their leaves. One needs to sit down and reflect their deeds. After a deep reflection one will know what to get rid of in their life and the positive things to keep. This is the time to take responsibility for our actions. This is the time to clear off all our mess and to identify our strengths. By doing so we will be ready to face whatever is to come in life.

Creating Youth Social Movements; changing the statusquo!

It is evident that youth in Africa still feel left out of major government functions and decision making forums that affect them directly.

It has been observed that even with an increased call for youth participation in business ventures and central government organs, the youth still don’t get to be in the top leadership positions that set policies and make decisions for them.

This is quite an interesting scenario considering a country like Kenya where 67% of the population is made up of young people below 35 years.

In Nanyuki, Mt Kenya region of the republic of Kenya, a group of young people under the @mtkenyayouthhub, an initiative by the local youth and ActionAid’s Activista came together for two weeks to gain skills and knowledge on how they can collectively advocate for a change in the status quo.

This was coordinated by young social transformers David Macharia, Vincent Otieno and Damaris Rabenza.

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Based on my work at The UniLife Movement, I was selected to be one of the two lead trainers on developing a Youth Social Movement, working closely with the great @sunguoyoo of Advocates 4 Change.

The youth in Mt Kenya in Laikipia County agree that more has to be done in involving the youth in matters of national concern, most importantly those that directly affect them such as entrepreneurship, poverty elevation, sexual health, county and national leadership, unemployment, art & talent development among others.

However, these young people claim youth have spend decades whining and complaining to politicians for what is not done for them. These cries have yielded no fruits.

They have vowed to stop the idle complains and set up a youth social movement, as a platform upon which all focused youth that need a change in the status quo can take a central role in achieving this rather than sitting back, complaining and being used by greedy politicians

Actually it is for this reason that I accepted to interact with them for a week as a facilitator, my objective was to help them form a great team of united youth with a common goal and vision.

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In fact these youth already had a vision; all they needed was motivation and correct leadership from within themselves to achieve it!

This meant that the first step was to help them realize that a leader is part of the team and everyone has a role to play in the success of the team; coming together is a beginning, Keeping together is progress and working together is success!

Success here meant seeing the vision achieved, bit by bit!

I committed myself to giving them knowledge on basic leadership in group, commonly referred to as Middle leadership where everyone can actually lead within the group.

Looking at the various examples of leadership styles in Africa that were effective was a good inspiration for this group of social transformers.

I also gave them a taste of communication skills as a vital part of the success of a team.

Now that they have a team focused a common vision, it was crucial that they learn how to communicate effectively with each other and give feedback correctly, whether constructive or corrective.

Listening skills too is an integral part of communication that I couldn’t leave out in helping this group form a solid focused founding team for the social movement.

I saw it necessary that they get exposed to basic conflict management skills too. Being a team of youth with varied opinions, it is expected that they will have conflicting ideas occasionally.

Conflicting isn’t really a problem, but the way a conflict is managed could either build or destroy.

For this reason, I had to help them develop good conflict management skills that focus on building the team as well as attaining a given task successfully.

We also had a dozen of team building and motivation activities that ensured they understand each others’ strengthens and weaknesses, while learning the essence of team work.

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It was a motivating moment to see every one of them performing a task for the mutual success of the whole team, without any instructions.

 

 

 

 

 

With all the team building and motivation it was prudent that they practice setting goals and defining tasks that can lead to achievement of these goals.

 

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This turned pout very effective and helpful to the second week trainer @sunguoyoo, who assisted them to define a goals and objectives that they will start working on as a social movement.

 

 

We couldn’t leave all the effort at that, without creating some social media buzz, courtesy of the social media campaign skills from Global Platforms.

We initiated the ongoing #ForgottenMajority twitter chat to highlight the views of youth across Africa on how we can get actively involved in Leadership and decision making for the benefit of Africa at large.

It was an inspiration for me to see how the youth here presented their objective arguments and suggestions on the matter.

The group skype call with @bonifacemwangi was all we needed to join #teamcourage and take the first step towards activism for change!

I believe that every young person, regardless of the location has an idea of how well we can fight poverty, promote social impact projects and kill vices like corruption.

If only we the youth could stop whining, complaining and allowing ourselves to be manipulated by rogue politicians, then we can truly be the change we dream about every day!

Let’s borrow a leaf from these upcoming social movements like The UniLife Movement and the Mt Kenya Youth Hub Social Movement, to create youth movements that will inform, motivate and include every youth in constructive dialogues and activities.

As I wish the Mt Kenya Youth Social Movement the best in their endeavors:  I wish to recognize and appreciate groups, companies, organizations and @ActionAidKE in particular for their commitment to empowering young people to get challenged, and create the change they want to see in their society, rather than spending years complaining and doing nothing, we are together in this journey for Social Transformation!

                                                                                                                     Uncle Deo

@magerodeo

12 cardinal habits of truly confident people

I did some digging to uncover the 12 cardinal habits of truly confident people so that you can incorporate these behaviors into your repertoire.

1. They Get Their Happiness from within

Happiness is a critical element of confidence, because in order to be confident in what you do, you have to be happy with who you are.

People who brim with confidence derive their sense of pleasure and satisfaction from their own accomplishments, as opposed to what other people think of their accomplishments. They know that no matter what anyone says, you’re never as good or as bad as people say you are.

2. They Don’t Pass Judgment

Confident people don’t pass judgment on others because they know that everyone has something to offer, and they don’t need to take other people down a notch in order to feel good about themselves. Comparing yourself to other people is limiting. Confident people don’t waste time sizing people up and worrying about whether or not they measure up to everyone they meet.

3. They Don’t Say Yes Unless They Really Want To

Research conducted at the University of California in San Francisco shows that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. Confident people know that saying no is healthy, and they have the self-esteem to make their nos clear. When it’s time to say no, confident people avoid phrases such as “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” They say no with confidence because they know that saying no to a new commitment honors their existing commitments and gives them the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.

4. They Listen More than They Speak

People with confidence listen more than they speak because they don’t feel as though they have anything to prove. Confident people know that by actively listening and paying attention to others, they are much more likely to learn and grow. Instead of seeing interactions as opportunities to prove themselves to others, they focus on the interaction itself, because they know that this is a far more enjoyable and productive approach to people.

5. They Speak with Certainty

It’s rare to hear the truly confident utter phrases such as “Um,” “I’m not sure,” and “I think.” Confident people speak assertively because they know that it’s difficult to get people to listen to you if you can’t deliver your ideas with conviction.

6. They Seek Out Small Victories

Confident people like to challenge themselves and compete, even when their efforts yield small victories. Small victories build new androgen receptors in the areas of the brain responsible for reward and motivation. The increase in androgen receptors increases the influence of testosterone, which further increases their confidence and eagerness to tackle future challenges. When you have a series of small victories, the boost in your confidence can last for months.

7. They Exercise

A study conducted at the Eastern Ontario Research Institute found that people who exercised twice a week for 10 weeks felt more competent socially, academically, and athletically. They also rated their body image and self-esteem higher. Best of all, rather than the physical changes in their bodies being responsible for the uptick in confidence, it was the immediate, endorphin-fueled positivity from exercise that made all the difference.

8. They Don’t Seek Attention

People are turned off by those who are desperate for attention. Confident people know that being yourself is much more effective than trying to prove that you’re important. People catch on to your attitude quickly and are more attracted to the right attitude than what, or how many, people you know. Confident people always seem to bring the right attitude.

Confident people are masters of attention diffusion. When they’re receiving attention for an accomplishment, they quickly shift the focus to all the people who worked hard to help get them there. They don’t crave approval or praise because they draw their self-worth from within.

9. They Aren’t Afraid to Be Wrong

Confident people aren’t afraid to be proven wrong. They like putting their opinions out there to see if they hold up because they learn a lot from the times they are wrong and other people learn from them when they’re right. Self-assured people know what they are capable of and don’t treat being wrong as a personal slight.

10. They Stick Their Necks Out

When confident people see an opportunity, they take it. Instead of worrying about what could go wrong, they ask themselves, “What’s stopping me? Why can’t I do that?” and they go for it. Fear doesn’t hold them back because they know that if they never try, they will never succeed.

11. They Celebrate Other People

Insecure people constantly doubt their relevance, and because of this, they try to steal the spotlight and criticize others in order to prove their worth. Confident people, on the other hand, aren’t worried about their relevance because they draw their self-worth from within. Instead of insecurely focusing inward, confident people focus outward, which allows them to see all the wonderful things that other people bring to the table. Praising people for their contributions is a natural result of this.

12. They Aren’t Afraid to Ask for Help

Confident people know that asking other people for help won’t make them seem weak or unintelligent. They know their strengths and weaknesses, and they look to others to fill the gaps. They also know that learning from someone with more expertise is a great way to improve.

Varsity Student Stabs Ex-girlfriend to Death – here is what we are not told!

Varsity Student Stabs Ex-girlfriend to Death – here is what we are not told!.

Varsity Student Stabs Ex-girlfriend to Death – here is what we are not told!

A male University student at Moi University Eldoret – Kenya is reported to have stormed the girlfriend’s room in anger and stabbed her to death in full glare of her two friends,allegedly for having sexual affairs with another man.
It is reported that in the room were three girls, the girl friend and her two friends.
When the male student entered the run, he locked the door and is reported to have threatened the other two girls not to move close as he stabbed his girlfriend to death.
It is alleged that the male student was on a revenge mission out of frustration after realizing his ex-girlfriend was having an affair with another man.
The male student however never lived long enough to experience his revenge as he too is reported to have been killed by a mob.
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My sincere condolences to the family and friends.
However, I am quite concerned with the current trend of deaths as a result of love triangles.
We have recently heard of senior people, police officers shooting their own spouses, colleagues and girlfriends in cases believed to be out of love affairs.
Where is the real problem here?
I wouldn’t want to be judgmental on any of the victims because I have no evidence of the reasons behind the happenings.
However, I feel this happenings should be a call for personal reflection, it is important we ask ourselves WHY we are with some man or woman in what is commonly referred to as RELATIONSHIPS.
What is the basis of my relationship? Why am i here? What risks am I exposed to by being in this affair?
how much do I know of the person i am dating?
It is also prudent that we realize the power of emotional investment. Nothing can repay emotional investment, (in my opinion).
These people we brand murderers after they have killed someone out of Love triangle must have experienced unbearable frustrations, based on how much thy invested in the other person; emotionally!

Could there be something we overlook when we label the killers murderers?
What are we teaching our children and youth in regard to managing healthy relationships?
Could such death of an innocent girl on campus have been prevented if some level of education, sensitization or information had been offered to the male student involved?
With such cases getting rampant, It is time we ask ourselves, could there be pro-active preventive measures we can put in place to prevent such tragic ends to relationships? Most especially amongst the youth?
Just maybe one of us has to stand up and take up the noble task of helping our youth realize the risks of poor anger management, unhealthy relationships, wrong value systems and probably drug abuse.
There is always something hidden behind the reality that we see with our eyes, there is always a root cause!

THE WAR ON ILLICIT BREW: Is alcohol in the bottle the problem?.

The Kenyan president recently announced a countrywide ‘war’ on illicit brew.

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Following this announcement, the country has experienced numerous incidents of attacks on pubs, businesses and factories suspected to be involved in the illicit drinks distribution.
Close to ten people have lost their lives within two day operations across the counties.

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This however, isn’t my point here!
They say desperate times call for desperate measures. I feel like the Kenyan president was compelled to take this desperate measure by flexing his muscle to ensure the illicit brewing and drinking menace is handled once and for all!
One thing the fist isn’t addressing here is what i call the ROOT CAUSE for increased rate of drunkenness, most especially in specific regions of the country.
The ‘why’ for this situation isn’t being handled by the physical attacks on alcohol businesses. Are we simply saying the alcohol is the problem here?
looking at the living standards of the majority of young men drinking their lungs out, it is evident that 90% of them have no stable employment.
Most of them actually drink not because it their choice but due to frustrations in life as a result of joblessness, poverty, unattained dreams, poor parenting, lack of role models and mentorship, peer pressure among others.
Is the approach of torching down local alcohol dens and licensed drink manufacturers providing solutions to these situations?
What is the government doing to handle the real problems of it’s citizens living below the poverty level?
It is without doubt that this whole excitement over the war on illicit brew will be over in a matter of days if not weeks, based on the social set up of Kenya and ‘precedents’ set in previous cases.
The main concern here is, when all is said and done, what value will be added to the local men and women who drink out of life frustrations and socioeconomic challenges, apart from women getting pregnant as a welcome call to their long lost husbands?

What will happen to the men and women who may not have been drunkards but invested their time in the manufacturing factories so as to get daily bread for their families?

I fully support the president’s decision to fish out this menace , however, i feel like we need these questions answered too:
Is there a long term plan to provide a sustainable and lasting solution to this situation?
I alcohol in the bottle the main problem here?
Have we educated our youth enough to enable them make responsible informed choices, whether alcohol is involved or not?

magerodeo@gmail.com

The ICC pull out

Following the efforts being put by the Kenyan government and entire African congress of head of states in pushing for a pullout from the ICC, i am tempted to ask what could be the motive.

when growing up i was taught that when you meet a police man on the street you shouldn’t panic but rather walk straight past him towards your destination.

That however can only happen if you are sure of the fact that you are not guilty of anything.

if at all one is guilty they would never think of coming in contact with the police, lest they get caught.

am just wondering why on earth we could be pushing for withdrawal from an international Court in we claim to be clean.

What is it we are trying to hide under the carpet that we are so afraid the ICC may unearth?

if at all we are innocent as we claim then why don’t we just let the court carry out its mandate with no fears?

It is suspicious that we are now attempting to withdraw from a court that less than three years ago we actually supported by shooting down the idea of a local tribunal.

i am just concerned about the poor African children who in the near future will lack a credible justice system to stand up for them when these men in power decide to oppress them in absence of the ICC.

I fail to understand why we think its the right time to pull out and what the motive of this is………….,

if this motion goes through then i foresee a continent under oppression from the few rulers who only mind their own selves.