NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 27- It was evident from their faces, that the thousands of youths who attended Pope Francis address at Kasarani Stadium wanted something fresh away from the norm.
In this case, the norm being the all year round active and hostile political environment, being reminded of their social status, tribe, perilous corruption that often deny them deserving opportunities and other ills of the society.
They were yearning for a new beginning, full of hope and energy towards a better future.
“I want to be inspired. I want to be told that yes, I can make it in Kenya despite all the stumbling blocks,” 23 years old John Achakary told Capital FM News.
In his hands, he held firmly a banner he hoped the Pope will see.
“Holy Father, save our country from corruption through prayers,” reads the writing on the yellow banner.
Another young person, this time from Taveta, hoped that the youth will get ways, “on how they can hide from evil. We want to leave our bitter past.”
Others wanted to know of how they can stay away from the problem of drug abuse.
“The Pope yesterday (on Thursday) said we are all sinners but we can try being good by living according to the will of God,” another said while seeking anonymity.
There were those who wanted to know how a young person can live with a family who doesn’t show affection to him or her.
In a country, where success is defined with a person education excellence, some wondered how a person can still become successful despite, “the entire education ceiling.”
National Youth Secretary of Kenya Faith Wambui in her presentation to the Pope emotionally wondered whether God, “has favourites?”
“Why should our tribe define us?” she asked.
She lamented about the dangerously increasing gap between the rich and the poor.
This time she received a round of applause from her counterparts, who ardently followed her statement to the Pope as if to make sure she does highlight all their issues.
Other queries ranging on how to use the social media to promote the word of God were also asked.
It was a full basket for the Pope as a successful three days visit to the country comes to an end.
He did not disappoint.
On corruption, the Pope urged the youths to desist from engaging in the vice warning that “Corruption is not a path to life, but a path to death.”
He cautioned that, yes corruption is sweet but those who engage in it become ‘diabetic’ and a corrupt nation end up becoming ‘diabetic’.
“Corrupt people don’t live in peace,” he cautioned.
On the young people who feel abandoned, lonely and not loved by their families, the Pope had this message for them; “Give to people what you did not get.”
“If you are lonely, be near to those who feel the same…” the Pope said amid cheers.
He also asked the youths in the country to wake up to the reality that they live on earth, “and there are opportunities and challenges.”
The Pope also addressed the challenge of radicalization, which remains a thorn in the flesh of the country and many other parts of Africa and the world.
Other than prayers for the radicalized, the Pope urged the Government to ensure the youths, who form over 70 percent of the country’s population are educated and are working.
The youths can also be engaged in other social activities, he proposed.
It was a powerful message which those who spoke to Capital FM News say if implemented by all those concerned, “our country will scale to greater heights.”
“I was desperate but I’m now hopeful that things will change. The presence of the President was also good since he now knows what to do,” Harrison Gikonyo, a resident of Muranga county said.
Similar sentiments were expressed by other young people who attended the forum.