NAIROBI: “ Young People are Tribeless and Partyless,” Affirms Archbishop Anyolo, Emphasizing their Call for Accountability, Responsibility, and Reform

By Wesley Omondi

NAIROBI, JULY 9, 2024 (CISA) “We applaud that the young people are tribeless and partyless. They are reminding us that we are united by the common struggle for the common good, our common humanity and our common identity as Kenyans. All they care about is that we all hold Kenya as more important than our tribal affiliations and personal agendas. They’re asking us to be selfless, to think of the other as much as we think of self, asking that we go beyond those many boundaries and titles that separate us,” stated Most Rev Philip Anyolo, archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi in calling for the youth to be heard while emphasizing unity and decisive action amidst Kenya’s ongoing challenges.

In an address to young people themed “Listening to each other,” delivered on Saba Saba Day on July 7, at Holy Family Basilica, the archbishop recognized the voices of the young people, acknowledging their impactful presence in recent protests and across social media platforms.

“We gather together under the theme: “Listening to each other” and indeed the young people have spoken. Their voice is loud and clear; their presence here, on the streets and social media, some of their blood like Abel’s cries from the ground!! We pray that God hears the prayers we have offered here this afternoon and that he may send us help from his Holy Place. We urge that the leadership of our nation will hear all the voices of the young people and of the many other Kenyans clamouring to be heard,” said Archbishop Anyolo.

The afternoon Mass and listening session, which was organized by the Archdiocese of Nairobi Youth Office was not only to pray for the nation and its leadership but also to foster constructive dialogue among youth and in honour of the 41 people killed in the Anti-Finance Bill protests.

Archbishop Anyolo highlighted the significance of providing a platform for Generation Zs (Youth Serving Christ -YSC) and Millennials (Young Catholic Adults- YCA),  to express their concerns and aspirations for Kenya.

“The young people want to hear us take responsibility for everything that has gotten us to this point. But even more than that they’re asking that we be very intentional about what to do and what changes to make so that we never come back here. They’re saying that the status quo or empty promises will not silence them!! They’re saying that they are not willing to be intimidated or silenced by handouts, they’re refusing to be intimidated into silence,” stated Anyolo.

Acknowledging the tragic events that marred recent demonstrations, the archbishop condemned acts of violence and stressed the importance of peaceful dissent and respect for life and property.

“One of the ways they began to make their voices heard are the protests, to which they and every Kenyan have a right. We wish to condemn those who have taken over/hijacked the peaceful protest to cause loss of lives, loss of property and various other damages and losses. As a country as a people, as a democracy, we have to grow to the point where protests don’t have to cause damages to make an impact. Based on the sentiments and witnesses of many who joined them on the streets these young people can actually achieve a peaceful protest,” counselled the local ordinary of Nairobi.

Directly addressing the nation’s leaders, Archbishop Anyolo appealed for responsiveness and reform, highlighting the nation’s potential for greatness if leaders fulfil their constitutional mandates.

“The cries of our youth demand urgent attention and action,” he implored, urging a balanced approach to governance that prioritizes service delivery and equitable development.