n the beautiful and diverse nation of Kenya, the unfortunate specter of tribalism has cast a long shadow over communities, threatening harmony and progress. This deep-rooted issue has left scars on the nation’s collective conscience, most notably during the tragic events of the 2007 post-election violence. However, amidst the sorrowful echoes of the past, a ray of hope emerges as the vibrant youth of Nakuru County, one of the regions profoundly affected, band together to combat this divisive force, a prejudice based on ethnic background, has been a destructive force, tearing at the very fabric of Kenyan society. Its impact is palpable, as families, friends, and entire communities find themselves divided along tribal lines. Yet, within Nakuru County, the youth refuse to succumb to this debilitating trend, realizing that unity is their strongest weapon against the hackles of tribalism.

One such example is Janet Muthoni, a resilient young woman from Naivasha constituency, who experienced firsthand the devastating consequences of tribalism. Her family was displaced during the 2007 post-election violence, uprooted from their home and left with nothing but shattered dreams. Janet’s unwavering spirit, however, propelled her towards positive action.

Janet, now a prominent advocate for peace and reconciliation, firmly believes that change begins with education and awareness. She founded the Nakuru Youth Peace Initiative, a grassroots movement that aims to bridge tribal divides and foster unity among young people. “We cannot change the past, but we can build a better future by embracing our diversity and working together,” she passionately declares.

The challenges posed by tribalism are numerous and complex. The fear of “the other” and deep-seated prejudices hinder progress and breed mistrust. Nevertheless, Nakuru’s youth are committed to finding solutions. By actively engaging in inter-ethnic dialogue, organizing cultural exchange programs, and promoting inclusivity, they strive to dismantle the walls of division.

Leaders at various levels recognize the pressing need to address tribalism head-on. One such leader is Governor Lee Kinyanjui, who has been a vocal proponent of unity and inclusivity in Nakuru County. In a recent statement, he affirmed, “Our diversity should be our greatest strength, not a source of division. We must stand together, irrespective of tribe, for the betterment of our county and our nation.”

Through concerted efforts, Nakuru’s youth have initiated transformative projects, such as mentorship programs, sports tournaments, and community service initiatives, which transcend tribal boundaries. These activities foster empathy, understanding, and friendship among diverse groups, weaving a tapestry of unity across the county.

While the journey to eradicate tribalism is an arduous one, Nakuru’s youth refuse to be disheartened. They firmly believe that by promoting inclusive governance, demanding accountability from leaders, and advocating for equitable resource distribution, they can bring about lasting change.

The battle against tribalism may be far from over, but the resilience and determination of Nakuru’s youth offer a glimmer of hope for a brighter future. They stand as beacons of unity in a divided society, demonstrating that by embracing diversity and rejecting tribal prejudices, a harmonious Kenya can be realized.

As the sun sets over the picturesque landscapes of Nakuru County, let us join hands with the youth, echoing their resolute call for unity and reconciliation. Together, we can dismantle the barriers of tribalism, paving the way for a more inclusive, compassionate, and prosperous Kenya, where our differences are celebrated, not weaponized.

Willy Kamau