Every time he stands to speak, Industrialist Dr Chris Kirubi seldom misses to touch on how the youth hold the future of Kenya.
Speaking on Thursday at Africa Summit and Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Nairobi, Dr Kirubi however maintains that young people will not make it if they don’t focus on job creation.
He laments that there is still too much focus on job hunting by young graduates who end up being frustrated and “start blaming everyone for their problems or end up engaging in criminal activities.”
“How can you spend almost half of your life in school and at the end come out with zero idea? Every one of you has some idea you can think of and start making money. I tell people; think hard, use the knowledge you have because your life is in your own hands,” he says to the young people in the summit who include university students and entrepreneurs from across the East African region.
Dr Kirubi who gave examples with his life experience says young people must be daring to take their ideas to the next level by taking the risky step of ‘starting’ followed by hard work and having the spirit of never giving up. “People don’t get rich overnight. Unless you go to a bank and grab everything by force.”
“I was once employed like many Kenyans, but it got to a point where I wanted to start making my own money. So I resigned and when I left, a lady from the company I was working for said she would also resign and become my secretary. So I opened my first ever and smallest office at Kencom, and life began. But I didn’t know the business I was to do. My belief was once I had an office, a phone and a secretary, I will succeed. For the first one week, all I would do was to read a newspaper from page 1 to 36 all day. Then later, my secretary came and asked me, ‘what exact business are we in?,” he recalls, “But later I met a man who was doing insurance business and he showed me how to do the job.”
Being a successful entrepreneur, Dr Kirubi knows too well that it is not for the faint hearted. He says young people must be ready to work hard as well as hold tight the virtue of patience.
But how has he managed to be a jack of all trades?
“I never do one thing for too long. What I do is get the best brains in town, best professionals, then I move on to the next business. You must have strategy. Please,” he says.
Dr Kirubi encourages the young group not to focus on political noise where they end up being used by politicians but focus on the opportunities in Kenya which never make headlines.