Time for Kenya to fly high


Life begins at 40 as the adage says. Nothing demonstrates this observation more than the eagle, which is well known as a highly strategic bird.  At 40 years, the eagle is already weary and weak. It settles in the cliffs and starts a process of transformation, so that it can survive the next 30 years that are expected of its lifespan.

Henceforth, the eagle undergoes a painful change process. It sheds off all its feathers. It also cracks its beaks against the rocks. Then, it awaits the growth of new feathers and renewed beaks too. These new growths signify the transformation of the eagle into a renewed bird with renewed vitality and new habits, geared towards conquering the skies once more.

Similarly, our nation has experienced renewed transformation in its 40s. Like the eagle, it has now achieved renewed vigour through the promulgation of the new Constitution in 2010. Is it really ready to fly? This and many other questions have been lingering in peoples’ minds.  More specifically, are we really going to experience substantial change in the not-too-distant future? Is the change likely to be real and will it last? These additional questions are pertinent and have been raised by many Kenyans in social places, offices and even homes. Actually, will the change we want really happen to this great nation?

The answer is yes and no at the same time. This is so because it all depends on how we perceive change. A yes scenario will apply to all those who are seeing new opportunities and gearing towards exploiting them one way or the other. With devolution for example, everything will be decentralised.

Numerous jobs will be created. New markets and market chains for goods and services will emerge. Desired change will therefore happen to them who are visionary, just like the eagle. Notably, this bird targets and catches its prey from far off distances, even to the extent of 5km. Positive change will naturally be experienced by those who will continually focus into the future opportunities, not only as individuals but also business and corporate entities.

Obviously, there may be no change for those who will wait for things to happen. There may be no positive change for those who will retain all the old habits. Inevitably therefore, we may all need to embrace new paradigm shifts. Like the eagle, we may need to shed old habits, which may not align with the new order that is driven by the new constitution.

The strategy for achieving what we want may lead to quick implementation of Chapter 2 Article 10 of our new constitution, which dwells on national values. Indeed, these values could be good guides towards renewed ways on how we associate with each other, not only as individuals, but also organizations and the state as well. In that light, it may be clearer to refer to that section of the constitution verbatim. Thus

10 (2) The national values and principles of governance include
a) Patriotism, national unity, sharing and devolution of power, the rule of law, democracy and participation of the people;
(b) Human dignity, equity, social justice, inclusiveness, equality, human rights, non-discrimination and protection of the marginalised;
(c) Good governance, integrity, transparency and accountability; and
(d) Sustainable development.

Whereas the provisions appear to refer to public service officers, the same may be expected to transcend to all nationals of this nation. Why say this? The public service exists to serve the national population in its entirety. Besides, the same section refers to involvement of the people. Is it not advisable then for the entire population to be guided by the same principles? Consequently, it may be necessary for the school system to give meaning and guidance on the application of these values as intended by the constitution.

On the other hand, Brand Kenya and the press could help the rest of the population (those outside the school system) towards getting socialised to these national values as listed.  In fact, we all need to become strong national brands for us to reap the full benefits of the new constitutional order. Seemingly, it is only then that we shall manage to consistently fly high like the eagle, in rewarding careers and vocations in a renewed nation.

(Mwangi Wanjumbi is a Management/Leadership Training Consultant and CEO of Newtimes Business Solutions.  http://www.newtimesconsultants.com/)

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