Politics is an inevitable topic, particularly among the youth, who represent the majority of Kenya’s population. It raises critical questions about governance and democracy, yet it also presents the risk of falling victim to political gamesmanship, especially during elections.

In the previous 2022 elections, there was a notable increase in the number of youth vying for the member of county assembly positions compared to 2017. However, only 317 were elected, with a mere 14 being female. Many unsuccessful youth candidates credited their failure to the lack of funding and support from their peers.

Tatiana, a pseudonym, shared her disappointment in how fellow youth in her ward gave her false assurances of support. “Whenever I campaigned, my peers pledged their backing, but on election day, their support did not translate into votes, which was disheartening,” she lamented. Despite this setback, she remains resolute and committed to building herself and networking as she prepares for the 2027 elections.

In Kenya’s multiparty system, there is sufficient opportunity for young leaders to nurture their political aspirations by joining or even establishing their political parties. However, they face challenges, as most dominant parties are controlled by deep-rooted figures who suffocate the leadership potential of aspiring youths.

Kevin, an aspiring politician and youth leader, explained the hurdles faced by young contenders. “You may lack the financial resources to attract voters or even pay registration fees and print campaign materials,” he said. “Some established leaders may pressure you to step aside or support you conditionally, with strings attached.”

Despite resource limitations, youth bring innovative ideas to the political arena. They should seek guidance from seasoned politicians and adapt proven strategies. Experienced leaders must mentor young aspirants, particularly those in educational institutions, facilitating a seamless transition into national and international politics.

Empowered young leaders can leverage their influence to effect positive change. With access to technology and mentorship, they can promote peaceful and impactful politics, amplifying the voices of the youth and addressing societal needs effectively.

Politics surpasses individual interests; it shapes the country’s path and impacts citizens’ lives. Embracing peaceful and impactful politics is imperative for future generations. Let us heed the call to practice inclusive and visionary politics, ensuring a legacy of progress and success for Kenya.

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