In my 7 year Journey of Mentoring and Learning from Hundreds of Disenfranchised Youth

In my 7year journey of mentoring and learning from hundreds of disenfranchised youth, one young lady, whom I shall call Nyambu, for the sake of this piece, gave me real cause for social action.

I met Nyambu at a bar belt that I have been frequenting for several years now in the course of gathering inspiration for my new book. The experience with her completely changed my perspective towards our youth and how to best engage, enlighten and empower them in a way that is sustainable beyond the moment.

Nyambu is a beautiful young Tanzanian lady of Sukuma origin who runs a bar along the belt and regularly keeps girls on call for her clients. It is common place to see her flirting with random patrons dressed in skanky attire and loud make up. At face value, I was convinced that she was simply just another happy-go-lucky prostitute devoid of real values and shame over her lurid conduct in such a public setting...

That is, until one day, early in the morning, when on what had by the time become a routine visit to the same bar belt, I observed Nyambu in a completely different light. Nyambu was now dressed in work gear with sweat running down her face as she busily cut into small pieces, large planks of wood that she would use to make stools for her ever expanding bar. This was a sight quite unlike any that I had seen from the ever flirtatious Nyambu. At first she was so taken by the task at hand; a task that I must say, she performed like a skilled carpenter; that she did not even notice my presence.

In that moment, it hit me hard that Nyambu wasn’t just a ‘prostitute’ but rather she was a survivor and now I strongly believe that there is a difference...

The evolution of humanity has come at the cost of denying us the ability to be true to our nature as human beings even when it is warranted by circumstance.

Let me explain...

For the sake of my argument, I will divide the evolution of our humanity and the world, at large, into two distinct phases:

Phase 1 being the age of darkness, where the world was literally dark compelling us (human beings) to invest in understanding our environment and investing in the conviction required to keep moving even where there was no motivation to do so.

Phase 2 being the age of light, where the world is literally illuminated with light and understanding of our environment based on our varying experiences over the ages. Such experiences now serve as the benchmarks that motivate us to keep moving.

In as much as the age of light, aided by advances in technology, has made information more readily available, it has compromised our ability to foster a shared understanding or discern, in a unifying way, the overwhelming number of messages that are now readily at our disposal.

Most affected are societies without a clear narrative on the WHO in ‘who we are’ for its people to reference or stand by ahead of the influx of fragmented messages that project so much light that we actually are no longer able to see yet again.

Leave Comments / Reviews