Open letter to Mr. Simon Kaheru

Mr. Kaheru,

I have read with dismay, your recent unnecessary outburst both online and in one of the dailies seeking to create an impression that is, in no way, a reflection of the current bunch of educated but unemployed young Ugandans. As an unemployed young Ugandan, I thought it would be unfair to let it pass without response. My response may also help draw attention to your post which could be the first on your blog to be shared less than ten times on each of all the social media sites.

Mr. Kaheru, you have joined the ranks of those very insensitive Ugandans with the assertion which seems to suggest that the current bunch of Ugandan youth do not deserve anyone’s attention. You have gone ahead to say that the youth are incompetent and unserious and “no wonder most of them are unemployed”.

Well, there are some youth that suit your description but they are only existent in your mind. In mine, there is no one who is undeserving of attention. There is no life that is so useless that not even the leaders who derive legitimacy from it, must not accord it any attention. It is only you, the Kaheru’s of this world, who think yourselves “larger than life”, and whose ego has grown too big to be accommodative of humans that can harbor such thoughts.

You and many like you, are lucky that you have had a job, or have moved from one job to another for more than a decade. Not just that, you are competent and serious people. Why then, are you stuck at the jobs? Why do they continue to work and survive on a monthly pay, year after another? Can you actually survive beyond that monthly pay? Do your competencies and seriousness begin and end at the jobs you so dearly hold?

Before you were done with your outright exposure of insensitivity, you made a call for serious and competent youth to seek to be employed by you. You, Mr. Fat Ego, has time for young people and actually want them to help you achieve your dreams? These must probably not be Ugandan as there are no competent and serious Ugandan youth or even any worth attention.
But hold it there, wasn’t it you who was trolling Shell and Bolton for running a racist job advert in Uganda? So, what is the difference between you and Shell and Bolton? Having told us there are no serious and competent Ugandan youth, how do you call to employ serious and competent young people? These must not be Ugandan.

You also pointed out a typing error and presented it as though it was the worst sense of unseriousness. Of all people, a man who writes for a newspaper that had the worst cases of typing errors in 2014 should have resigned the moment any typo was made in the paper. How does an overly serious person, incapable of tolerating a typo on social media continue to work for a mainstream media outlet that printed and published papers with typos as many as The New Vision had last year?

That said, I wish to inform Mr Kaheru that the incompetence you want to label us with is not in our DNA, it is not a natural disorder that was spelt against us. Rather it is a condition that has been fashioned by the environment that you and your generation have, out of outright insensitivity, created.

You may advise “serious people” not to pay attention to young unemployed people but thankfully you found time to write about them. They are incompetent but you want to employ some of them. Look, you are part of the solution.
Imagine you dedicate more time to understand why they are educated but unserious rather than bashing them? Imagine you agreed to a meeting suggested by those youth, sat them down and oriented them into better people? This you can do.

Mwine Edgar
Twitter: @mwineedgar


20 thoughts on “Open letter to Mr. Simon Kaheru

  1. Thanks so much Edgar for pointing out people who pretend to know what they don’t know. Double standards not so?? Mr. Simon is just naive, why? Simply because he is living in elusion of the facts of life in Africa today. Empower the youth first before you judge them.

    1. It’s amazing how those who think themselves in the higher echelons of our backward society are in fact very insensitive to those they look down at. When elitism had not become a trend and a justification of who is superior in society, only the wise, philosophers, elders and kings were the ones who were at the helm of the societies they belonged too. Those days, elders were more interested in nurturing young people and orienting them to a better future, at least in their standards and practices. Today, one who has gone to school and has been rewarded, sometimes undeservingly, with a job, thinks he owes nothing to a generation that will come after him. When a village dog comes near your house to eat the bones you threw away after your meal and you chase it away, it will run away. Days later it will return as a wild stray dog and if it can’t find bones to eat, it will eat you instead. We who are undeserving of bones today shall come back for their flesh when we’re hungry and angry. Let one with ears listen

  2. Thanks for highlighting the plight of the youths and the conditions we go through to survive everyday.

    As Me, a statistics un employed graduate with a little research i have this to say.

    The Simon’s of this Uganda are to blame for what is happening to Ugandan youth today, we are just the effect of the incompetent causes in their youths when they used to have all the resources and wasted them, but they are busy blaming us.
    When Simon and probably the others who think and blame us for our incompetence, should know that, Uganda was never like this, why didn’t they sustain the momentum Uganda had in 70s and 80s? aren’t they the parents who natured and parented us into incompetent youths as they seem to portray? meaning- they too are incompetent parents.

    For the mistakes they made, they want us to solve them? they are the root causes of these problems that are inter twined in Ugandan youths today.
    All corporatives and great companies failed under their able years watch, when they were youths, what did they do? nothing and they are blaming us who are inheriting a problematic Uganda.

    As the kaherus and others who think lowly of us are busy criticizing and labeling us with all the negative tags, with all the problems that stem from their generations and shifting the blame on us, we are busy forging a way forward to survive in the best way possible.
    Uganda is slowing on the right track back because of the pressure we are inserting on indirectly and directly, they have woken up and starting to work because they have seen their own mistakes not our mistakes.
    The causes of the problems are the kaherus and their generation and we are the effect of it. Solve the root problem and its causes and u will get good resulted effects.

    Thank you

  3. the time of today’s order where people like Kaheru live a cool life at the expense of the society is going to come to an end…. those fools have taken over capital needed for creating projects that can employ us and have used it to live happily while we live without any productive to do…. I have worked on a practical way that will bring their game to an end

  4. Edgar, if you can write like this, and also have a running blog for yourself, in all honestly I wonder why you are still unemployed. You just have to think about the skills you have and do something, and be more aggressive. I read Simon Kaheru’s post and in all fairness even the people he asked to send him their cvs or job applications didnt do so. You dont have to start big (one acre of land for but think obectively about what Simon was trying to say. Stop whining and start thinking.

    1. are you saying that I’m not thinking? reality is different. I managed my father’s10 acre tea garden for 6 months immediately after campus. i would not imagine going back to the same. one with 10 acres earns less than 100,000 shs a month and you advise me to start with less than an acre? do you research, come back and we discuss

    2. Great advise. Progress starts with personal responsibility. You can’t continue to blame people only because they appear to have made it. Social media and continuous whining have made an existing problem worse. Simon’s article must be read objectively.

  5. i see Uganda in ruins in the future. Here is my assessment of events. The Kaherus in their youth somehow had a problem getting jobs because of the civil wars at that time. They’ve just began acquiring wealth in the recent years. They therefore want to enjoy more of that wealth by staying in their current political and social arenas.
    Here is where the problem arises. Uganda’s population is mostly youthful. The same youth who aren’t employed because the elders are still enjoying wealth via positions that can be occupied by the youth.
    Fast forward to when the elders RIP and the youth who will then be aged too take up these positions and the cycle continues. where and when does this cycle end??

  6. “closed” letter to mr. kaheru.
    dear kaheru, i have for long been following you and some events around you for some time. considering the similarity in the pronounciation of both our names, i must confess that i looked up to you! i was however disapointed by your unfortunate display of lack of empathy when you ignorantly lashed at us the unemployed youth! as i write this, my heart is still bleeding from the dents punctured by your rather incosiderate weather beaten scalp. tragic whatever type of oxygen your red bloodcells were carrying through your body. ! i lack the medical authority to question the state of your mind at the time you authored that disgrace but i believe you carry enough to brains to understand a word you like most-objectivity.
    next time try understanding why somethng is happening and if the victms are taking any correctv measures before you type the first letter.
    let me first drink my supper, get back to you later.

  7. First, you have to check the facts in this article. Simon Kaheru is no longer an employee of New Vision, in fact, i think for a decade or more he hasnt been an employee of that company. Does he earn a monthly salary? No, he owns his own company, he can draw a “salary” whenever he wishes or earn from whatever consultancy he does. The Shell and Bolton article he wrote was about a deceptive company that was masquarading as the real Shell/Bolton.Has he blocked your chances of getting employed? No, infact he asked those “competent” youth to send CVs to his email so as he can get them any jobs he can find and he received none.
    Can one start a serious farm with less than 1 acre? Yes, i had a poultry business running from a garage and that was in my S4 vac so i know it can be done. Also, zero-grazing doesnt require an acre. Failing to make more than 100k per month from a 10 acre farm makes you an incompetent farm manager.
    One should learn how to take criticism in a positive way. The Kaherus of this world are not out there to put you down or block your access to good jobs (or well-managed farms!)
    if you can afford a smartphone, can write a good article, can afford regular data bundles, have graduated with a good degree, then surely you have the brains to be successful enough not to be called an incompetent youth.
    Be creative, dont settle for less! If no one can employ you, start your own thing.
    If someone calls us the youth incompetent, we should check ourselves, evaluate ourselves, change and stop whining. We shouldnt blame the world, Uganda govt, NRM, the 80s, etc, for our failures to get jobs/money, so many have managed well under these same conditions.
    Also, the truth hurts…

    1. I don’t know who you are Mr. Apuuli, but your words are wise. The youth should work towards disapproving those who think they are incompetent. We youth have a problem actually problems, the few people like Edgar have turned into people fighting people instead of fighting a greater cause. It’s the Edgar’s that get us labelled and viewed as incompetent. There are jobs, but you just ain’t looking in the right places, so stop whining and get to work.

    2. I think Apuuli has nailed this. I was reluctant to comment because the article though trying to respond to Kaheeru’s apparent outburst at the unemployed youth, actually exposes the weaknesses that we as the youth have. We are instead looking to formal employment as a way out of poverty.
      Lets for a moment leave out the facts that obviously expose the author’s reluctance to get facts; lets ask ourselves the fundamental questions…
      Are the Kaheeru’s of this world, as you have called them the real reason we cannot innovate? The answer is obvious.
      Can an acre give you more than 100k a month? Of course….(stop thinking about your dad’s tea plantation for once)
      The time you spent penning/typing this ‘Open Letter’ to Kaheeru could have been used putting together a good business proposal.
      I rest my case…

    3. Thank you Apuuli for that input, very much needed. His apparent “outburst” did not require another “outburst” from the youth as well. The man has made his money. The best thing we could do as youth is to pick the little lesson in his message and see how to make use of it. An outcry definitely will not solve the problems we are experiencing and it is a waste of time to dwell on the negativity spawned on us. It is wiser to listen and learn at our age and definitely more efficient to achieving our gals and solving our problems. Let us learn to take a little criticism irrespective of what form it is.

  8. Thanks Mr Edgar the great work and concern for in employed youth graduate
    This, is should be part and partial responsibility of the country that designed education system which don’t fit the jobs created by the country on that not
    Therefore, the government of Uganda must start thinking out of the box otherwise the situation is worsening because year after year more fresh graduates increase on the streets of country’s cities and urban places. Because everything has been politicised instead of focusing on the needs of citizens, compare, Israel is a desert country but produces a lot of agricultural products because the state of Israel subsidise everything but Uganda the best in corruption with coupled of poor government policies

  9. I really see quite a lot of sense in Apuuli’s response. Majority of the youth who can afford internet daily bundles to complain about unemployment do so bse of fair family backgrounds where one regardless of being unemployed can still access some money from family. The youth (unemployed graduates) tend to love staying around urban areas yet there are job opportunities upcountry that await their good brains and innovation. Plus the overly ambitious expectations that instigate youth to want to very comfortable and posh lives of people who have worked over 20yrs. Not every unemployed graduate has these weaknesses but someone who’s unemployed, ridiculing any working opportunity however small shouldn’t be unheard of.

  10. Unemployment is a World Problem and unseriousness is a Uganda Youth problem. I have graduate friends with no proper CVs and friends who you send ‘Job links’ but never apply.

  11. I like that you saw a problem and suggested solutions. Youth don’t need to be continually kept down with insults and reminders how insignificant their lives are by those with jobs. I know the man has used insulting words against youth and I can’t stand that!
    If I do have one criticism of your piece, it is that you fell into that name calling about his weight. Yet that said, I liked what you did here.
    Ugandan youth are innovative and exciting. Keep proving it and don’t let the bastards keep you down

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