The kids of today are tomorrow’s adult citizens. The future growth of our country is reflected through the quality of our present education system. Schools should stimulate curiosity in the young impressionable minds and equip them with tools to become better human beings.

The learning process is essential in moulding one’s personality and the way he/she handles situations in life. There has been plenty of changes in schools, brought by the shift from bookish knowledge to knowledge of life. People have accepted the idea of education being the key to well-rounded development. Education is no longer seen as a means to acquire certifications and monetary success in life. Education should ease the cultivation of a healthy thought process and develop our cognitive abilities. In today’s modern world, education is a basic human need after food, shelter and clothing.

School education should focus on the following aspects:

Cognitive Aspect

Children are first exposed to the pool of knowledge at schools. Schools provide an opportunity for children to acquire knowledge on various subjects such as literature, maths, politics, history and many more subjects. All these fields contribute to the development of the thought process. Education, therefore, expands the world and existence of children coming from various cultural backgrounds.

Physical Aspect

After conception, a child goes through various physical changes and development. In school, a child can channel his energy into more sociable avenues, unlike at home. Studies have shown that while in a familiar environment, a child is equipped to deal with sudden bursts of energy, then learns to be at his/her best behaviour when exposed to peers. Schools expose children to sports, that help them channel their energy into something productive.

Social Aspect

Children also learn to socialize at school. Until children join a school, parents and immediate family members are the only people that interact with them. Familiarity is a breeding ground of stagnancy. Schools expose children to new ideas and their peers. Children get exposed to social practices such as friendship, participation, empathy and assistance, which are important in their adult life.

Overall Development

Schools have always be considered as places to learn historical events, solve mathematical problems or recite poems; however, in the modern-day children learn to go beyond the traditional way of learning. Schools teach children to develop their minds through the flexible curriculum, and curiosity is encouraged. Imagination is allowed to take its course, and the child is freed from the shackles of mental blocks. Playing and all-round curriculum leads to a well-developed mental system.

Life is about learning. While we can learn certain things from our parents, schools expose children to various pools of knowledge, important for their growth. Schools are necessary for children to teach the workings of life.

Education is the foundation of any society. It is responsible for the social, political and economic growth of the society. Growth of society depends on the quality of education that is being imparted. Schools play a critical role in the development of a nation’s future by facilitating the overall development of future citizens.

Joburg is a city of many contradictions. Its skyline is dotted with beautiful skyscrapers and its streets full of soul…the art and music ‘feel’ throughout the city is something to marvel at. The sound of jazz and soul, the scents and tastes from all over the world are easy to find here. But if you listen keenly enough you’ll also hear and almost taste the pain of so many jobless and desperate men and women, those that have to sleep out on the streets and those abused by the heartless, brutal and violent history of this Nation. (Someone felt and seen all over the continent) But I love the city. It is ‘Love at first sight’. I love it because it’s a truly cosmopolitan city. Its development cannot be rivaled by any other Sub-Saharan Africa Nation. (But is the Nation really unified?) Which brings me to this question, can Africans govern themselves? Or are the trappings of power too tantalizing for us as a people. Many African nations demanded and fought for their independence. They pushed for self rule, but I find myself questioning the logic behind that agitation. Were we ready? Or did we just see the lifestyle of our colonizers and desire it without having a proper model of leadership from our own traditional and cultural backgrounds? The African was ruled by fist and the Chief/King acquired and grabbed whatever he wanted. Could our national forefathers have seen an opportunity to gain and amass wealth from our liberation as a people? Were they ready to ‘LEAD’? What is Leadership? At its very core it’s the ability to ‘Influence’, and how can you lead without first leading yourself or having a vision for where you want to take those that follow you? Our leaders only influence on negative, decisive and harmful ways. I find that many African nations inherited a system of governance and a vision/plan that they never stopped to ask if it was viable for their people and whether it would ensure success for their people. A failure from our fore fathers has meant that we are still playing catch up with the rest of the world on a playing field that wasn’t ours to begin with. Could it be we are still being driven by aspirations that were thought of with the European citizenry in mind? Joburg is the city that made me realize just how unequal the continent really is, we have a highly developed city and country but also an inhumanly poor citizenry especially of the common South African. A nation with only about 8% of its land owned by the ‘African’ South African; a cosmopolitan city and nation of unequal’s beyond measure. For us to truly claim that we are capable of leading ourselves we’d have to begin by drawing up our own future, by determining the future we want for ourselves with our own terms and goals. Free from western influence or ideology. We have been driven by a passion to be at par with the rest of the developed nations yet we fail to satisfy the simplest of needs, ‘education, health, ease of doing business, allowing organic growth of businesses and ideas’ etc. If development means selling our land and buying into the aspirations and dreams of others then the African will never truly enjoy the liberties his fore fathers fought for, he’ll never fully enjoy the rights of self determination and the freedom to dream, try and fail in his own personal endeavors. He’ll spend his entire life trying to live and attain the ideals of others. I strongly believe we can rule ourselves and attain the highest standards and ideals unique to us, we are different for a reason, our products and nations should model that uniqueness. And I strongly believe that ideological transformation must begin at our schools, at the lowest level. Because though we have many highly educated professionals in our respective nations we also have many who have bought into the ideology of claiming we are a global village and thus should conduct ourselves as such, to me that is just another level of colonization, the mental colonization of the African continent. Allow me to clarify; I have nothing against the world, or the ‘white’ man. I have many such friends, I love them. They are amazing people, unique in their own special ways. And I respect that. I want my children to grow in a society that respects their unique difference from others, a society that will allow my daughter to choose her future. A place where she’ll compete with others on a level playing field and she won’t feel the need to sacrifice her ‘African uniqueness’ on the crucible of global competitiveness and uniformity. She can well remain a child of Africa ready to solve African problems with organic African solutions without necessarily looking to the west for answers for her life and future. Can you imagine such a continent with me?

I had the unfortunate experience of questioning a police officer the other day that saw me spend a few hours in a police cell. I was angry, humiliated and distraught at the reality I was facing. But that was nothing compared to what I saw and witnessed within those squeezed walls. There are many things that are wrong with this Nation, a lot having to do with the fact that our leaders are inept and greedy; concerned with amassing wealth for themselves and using positions of power as platforms for their own selfish gain. I was shocked to see that rights and freedoms (words) enshrined in the constitution are nothing more than that, just words. Your rights and freedoms are ‘privileges’ you enjoy by permission of those who can take them away at a moment’s notice. We are living in a completely fragmented society. I realized that my freedoms are not really freedoms, they are ideals we dream about, ideals we aspire to but they are totally nonexistent in our society today. The level of squalor and dehumanizing conditions those who find themselves behind bars go through is heart wrenching. I was only there for a few hours but was completely traumatized by the experience. When we speak of a free, just and fair society I doubt we understand just how far we are from that dream. When people like Boniface Mwangi go out to fight for those rights at the risk of spending a few days behind bars at the mercy of an already discouraged, broken police force that will empty out all their frustrations on him and deny him any right that is fitting for a human being then we owe him our support and allegiance, he knows what isn’t working and has paid the price for demanding for it. I have a new found respect for him and all those others willing to go to such extents for our freedoms. Our Nation is broken, we live in a utopian world, where our materials lie to us that we are okay and everything is fine. No, everything’s not fine… we are staring at the very depths of hell. The fabric that holds us together is old, tired and worn out. It will give in at any moment. You have no rights, you either have power or not. That’s the only currency that is understood in this beautiful land; POWER. And it breaks my heart to think that of all the 340+ ‘leaders’ elected to political office not counting the governors have done almost nothing in regards to ensuring the well being of all citizens. That we spend more time engaging on political debates rather than asking ourselves the kind of Nation we want our children to grow up in. How is it that systems don’t seem to work here? And don’t give me that argument for at least a few things are working. I thank God for that which works! But that doesn’t mean everything else must remain in the dark ages!!! Why are we still completely held up on the old, foolish way of doing things? We need to reengineer the minds of our children, I understand why the ‘brain drain continues’ to occur, if a nation cannot guarantee the very basic needs and rights of its citizens those who can, will be first to leave for greener pastures. Why do we have people still living in abject poverty? Why can’t the majority of Kenyans enjoy universal healthcare? Why would a young man resort to crime and gang activity? It’s really simple, we have our priorities all mixed up. We would rather employ leaders who are out to enrich themselves rather than create systems that work and get the necessary goods and services to the local Mwananchi. What’s the use of having an MCA, MP, Senator and Governor in your county when all they manage to do is increase their wages? Why are we so represented when we are unable to afford a loaf of bread, a packet of maize meal? What’s the use???? We need a total shift in the space of leadership, we need men and women keen on service. People more concerned with bringing us home, a place of abundance and good. I pray and hope Boni doesn’t change and become one of ‘them’ when he’s elected. I pray and hope we have more Boni’s in this country. We need to pull our Nation back… we have to! We are still colonized, only that the slave masters color and language changed. He’s a black man today, with A GUN/POWER.

Every five years our Nation tears right in the middle, the only time we didn’t experience that was the ‘Kibaki Tosha’ euphoric election. We have allowed politics to be our bread and water, our all in all. We periodically become enemies every five years, angry and hateful. But why? Why are our tribal inclinations so strong? Why are we okay with the death and subjugation of those we consider our ‘enemies’, those ones from the other side? What is it our business that we want to see others completely destroyed? As a Nation we assume that the only way to prosper is if our person is in power, a primitive and backward ideology. If we still believe that the only way to prosper and develop as a people is if our ‘tribal’ leader is in power then maybe we should all go back to our villages and live within our tribal cocoons! We have to put a stop to the nonsense of continually seeking to subvert and subjugate some or any community. Kenya today has some of the most educated and intelligent individuals but we are still all caught up with a system of thinking that has been proved to kill and destroy. There has to be a better way! What about standing for Truth and Justice! The only way we’ll be able to come out on the other side of this dark tunnel is if we all begin to espouse values and principles as our guiding philosophies, not what my clan’s man/woman says but what I hold to be true and pure. That will be the only way to overcome and win. Africa, need its sons and daughters to start driving that kind of change. Many of us are beginning to feel the shame and embracement of the last few weeks now that the toxic euphoric embers fanned by our ethnic leaders are beginning to die down. Use that shame to push you to do something positive and transformative about yourself first then your community. The problem isn’t the society, the problem is YOU “One of the most difficult things is not to change society – but to change yourself” – Nelson Mandela

Malcom Gladwell’s book ‘tipping point’ made us aware of that unique group, time and gifting that has set the worlds agenda moving over time. That there is always a tipping point in everyone’s life where they choose the path they will take in life. Many of the African state attained independence some 50 – 70 years ago. The leaders then were young energetic men and women, ready to take the reins of leadership and lead their Nations to a glorious future; they failed. Why? A failure to understand the needs of the population, greed, selfishness and a desire to become (gods) like their colonial masters They were either overly ambitious with no clear plans, greedy or outright foolish. Many amassed immense wealth for themselves, their cronies and families at the expense of their brothers who fought and shed their blood for independence. That generation could have been a tipping point generation; they were already at a ‘tipping point’ moment in history, a time when African Nations attained Independence from their colonial masters. They had everything going on for them. They were educated, eloquent, carried a lot of favor and had their countrymen behind them. But they failed to deliver us to the promised land, may be by fate but those that took after this first generation undid most if not all the great strides that had been taken until that moment. In the recently concluded national elections in Kenya, the key players were the two key patriarchs of Kenyan politics, from the only two families that have shaped our political discourse over the last 50 years. Since independence, two families have decided the path this Nation has taken in almost every sphere of our social life, from education, to business, to governance and rule of law. It almost feels as if our hands are tied and our lives pre-determined by a select few. We were handed to a new set of slave owners. This story cuts across the entire continent, where a few individuals have taken on the face and likeness of the colonialist and are doing everything in their power to control state wealth and power all to a selfish end. The most coveted positions in the continent are political seats, not for their love of the people but for their love of wealth and power. This has to change. We need a new dawn in the continent and the next generation will lead us there.

What’s the place of a man in the 21st century? Societies in Africa are faced with turmoil, pain, poverty, high crime rates and unprecedented looting from our leaders. They truly are the scum of the earth. But our male species especially here in the continent have failed so far and so low we’d have to scrap them off the floor to find any masculinity in them. Our unwillingness to stand up and to fight for what is right has condemned our children and nation to complete and total poverty all in the name of not getting involved. Here is who didn’t get involved; When black South Africans were being abused by the apartheid system, many collaborators were found to help the white minority rule to destroy their Nation, they were weak, pathetic, cowardly men. When Martin Luther was busy fighting and agitating for the black man’s freedom, there were many sitting and in hushed tones saying how futile his work was, how it was a waste of time and why they wouldn’t get involved, their grandchildren are now murdered in the streets’ of America. They are prisoners in their own countries. When Patrice Lumumba sought to free his fellow countrymen from the tyranny of colonialism, a few of his compatriots sought ways to silence him and shame him for a few ‘silver’. Their children and grandchildren are suffering hand in hand with their poor countrymen at the worsening conditions in the Nation. When Frelimo sought to free Mozambique from the parasitic western influence their enemies shamelessly destroyed the country in the hope of benefiting personally. These hasn’t changed much since then. We have many who still seek to enrich themselves at the expense of their fellow men. The most shameful and regretful reality is that many if not all of those who actively destroyed their nation were men, but even more devastating was that other men stood by and did nothing. A thriving society has men fully involved and concerned about their country. Men who aren’t afraid to ask questions, elders who are strong and unafraid of standing for truth, but with the

Other than the reality of living separately as parents and raising children, the social stratus of society checks in and also begins to play a key and vital role of influence. Raising children is hard, it takes commitment and constant presence, and due to our busy schedules, we at times find ourselves stuck at keeping a balance as apparent but also as a friend and strong pillar in the children(s) life. Sons are the most challenging to bring up, they challenge and just about question everything. Having them honour both mother and father while ensuring they grow emotionally, psychologically and spiritually is of utmost importance. Maintaining a mutual relationship with your spouse in the journey of bringing up children should be a priority for both parents, while differences may arise between the two parents some things should be known to remain true. And ensuring that the children know this and understand it is key. Below are two keys areas on how to ensure you are doing your best in bringing up responsible, disciplined young adults. DISCIPLINE While the idea of how to discipline varies from family to family and parent to parent there must be some non-negotiables between the two parents. It should be clear to the children that there are areas where it doesn’t matter whether mom and dad are talking or not, this will not fly. As the parents agree on what that is; what are the areas we agree on in regards to the upbringing of our children. What are the non-negotiables? If you are too honest with yourself, you’ll agree that your children are the most manipulative beings you know. They know the buttons to push, what to ask for, how, when and where. In the area of young men, ensure they understand that respect and honour to both parents are non-negotiable. If you invite the children into your battleground, you guarantee devastating failure, pain and baggage for yourself and them for generations to come. Though at the point of winning them over to your side is sweet, the fruits it bears will be painful and long. Simply, DO NOT INVOLVE THEM Character development isn’t an overnight exercise. It takes time and commitment. What you do today will either negatively affect them or positively build them up. Agree on the non-negotiable areas; speech, character, responsibilities etc and try as much as possible to not excuse them from holding up their end. RELATIONSHIPS/SEXUALITY Chances are that your son knows more about sexual engagements than you do. Now that that is out of the way, LET’S BEGIN. Walk-in like a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew you NEVER KNEW. When engaging with him especially as a father, be open and honest. Do not try to be overbearing, or a know-it-all because he will know you know nothing. Take a let’s talk approach. Lead with questions, teenagers at that age hate it when their parents try to tell them stuff. So be humble, ask questions. Let him open up at his own time, but he won’t do so if he realizes that you are only trying to get info out of him. This is especially a tricky period, he may probably open up to one parent and not the other, though it is key to keep his confidence, ensure you are not withholding pertinent information from the other party. I advocate that you keep confidence within reason, understand the areas to withhold but ensure that you share on the matters that are important. Knowing that your child is sexually active without informing the other aren’t will only widen the valley between you two. I advise parents to ensure that they keep each other abreast on matters regarding the children, winning your child’s approval and confidence does not give you one over the other parent and children should not be used as glory badges or strategic positions over your partner. And this is a very sensitive area, and unless you are both riding on the same values, same beliefs it is easy for the child to know that they can manipulate the situation to their advantage. Let them know that you are a team in this specific area. That mom’s position is the same as dads. They need to not only know that they need to believe it, and that can only happen when you show a united front in such. I advise having the father have the initial sex discussion if he is present and willing for both the daughter and son. However uncomfortable there is a need to ensure the initial discussion is done within the confines of a family unit. The best age to have the initial discussion is when the children are 9 years, by this time you have discussed with them about the Bees and B of protecting oneself, so this is different. This is about them exploring or being pressured into kissing, touching or having sex with anyone. At this point they have heard or seen some sexually explicit materials (PORN), so don’t lie or talk about pencils, pens and books. They know. And that is why in this specific area it is paramount that both parents read and speak the same language. Work together as one. Be one on this. To win in this area you’ll need to also watch out for the company they keep especially beginning ages 12 onwards. Watch out for what they spend most of their time doing, watching, listening to and reading. COMPANY THEY KEEP Every parent is concerned with the company their kids keep, especially boys. The male species is always attracted to the wild, carefree side of life. Be careful to look out for your son.

What’s the number one challenge in Africa today? LEADERSHIP We have had turmoil, war and famines all over the continent since inception (gaining independence); there are definitely a lot of positive things that are happening and continue to happen, but more needs to be done. In every conflict, the key perpetrators are young men, boys without a proper positive influence in their lives. They are influenced alright, but with negative, hateful and spiteful men. They are indoctrinated into crime, violence and drugs every day by men keen on seeing not only the continent but the world imploding on itself. Carpe Diem Consultancy seeks to seek out and mentor the boy child, empower him as an individual and prepare him for the role he’ll play as a man in our time. We need MEN to stand up and be counted, MEN ready to fight for what is good and pure. To do this we have to not only work twice as hard as the imposters destroying the lives of young men but go further to seek, mentor and empower the boy child. In the last 50 years, all 58 African Nations have experienced some form of conflict within their borders, some catastrophic event that captured the world’s attention; violence meted out in unbelievable proportions, but the ones that have gone unnoticed are the ones we ought to be worried about. And here is the clincher; all violence, small or great, catastrophic or managed was and is DRIVEN BY MEN, mostly boys taken on as child soldiers, trained, brainwashed, intimidated and pushed to do and become ‘things’ no human should ever become. The silent war being waged today is for the souls for the young men in Africa; radicalization is a reality we live with, crime, drugs and militarization of the boy child occurs with every passing minute. Why? Because the boy child forms the foundations and pillars upon which society grows. “Wherever the Man goes, society follows”. We have a sworn duty to raise Responsible, Strong and Entrepreneurial Leaders for the coming generation; we do this through experiential activities, project based learning, camps and school programs.