A couple of days ago, I left my office to go grab some lunch in the busy Central Business District, (CBD) of Nairobi city. As I made my way to my favorite restaurant, I couldn’t help but observe the behavior of Nairobians at that moment. I watched as people stumbled upon each other without remorse as most were glued to their mobile phones or were in a rush to get somewhere. I wasn’t baffled by this behavior, as a matter of fact, it was a depiction of what a typical day is like in the city.
I purposely made my way towards the table by the window on the sixth floor of the restaurant with a mission to carefully take note of the everyday life of people in this day and age of technology and industrialization. It was quite disheartening to discover that most people were living in isolation. As if that was not enough, no one paid attention to their surrounding environment as most were consumed in a world only understood by them.
They say too much of something is poisonous and in my opinion people have let modernization take control of their lives. Society has drastically transformed from a once communal place to a more individualistic environment which in my opinion has resulted in people being sad and lonely.
Gone are the days of Ujamaa systems upheld by freedom fighters such as Mwalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanzania in which people were required to naturally take care of each other as one big happy family. The approach nowadays is more individualistic whereby people are more concerned with self rather than the greater good of the society.
The original communality of society has been corrupted and as a result, there are more suicide and depression cases amongst the youth. Unlike the Western World, where it has been accepted that people are battling emotional issues that can be fatal and preventive measures in controlling such have been put in place, we are still in denial in Africa.
In my opinion, the governor of Imo state should be given a chance with this new department for two reasons. First and foremost, he seems to be the only one in African politics who understands that social issues are rapidly changing. Young people, on the whole, experience discomforting irritations and perplexities, and adjustment problems as a result of the rapid social change. We are the generation that has lived through more broken homes, emotional abuse and isolation that we feel the need to constantly prove ourselves to people who don’t matter.
Following this, we end up succumbing to societal expectations and putting up false impressions. As a result, there is an increase in drug and alcohol use among youths leading to vandalism and disrespect toward their elders and authority. There also are teenage pregnancies and school dropouts. Urbanization has also accentuated various kinds of evils and crimes. With these, we need to address emotional instabilities that are traumatizing to us and with various institutions laid out to address these maybe things can get better.
I know we as Africans might not understand this at the moment but in due time everything will come together. We need to accept the sad reality that there are various unforeseen incidences caused by our environment and also emotional situations that affect us. No man is an island and we all need each other to make it through life. Establishing such departments should be carefully put into consideration, for they tackle sensitive issues of the human race. Before we get too quick to look at all the reasons as to why this department shouldn’t be created, let’s try and find out how we can make such positions work.
They say happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy unless you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you, it can only come from you.