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The Defiant Chorus of Kenya’s Gen Z Protesters

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On June 19, 2024, the streets of Nairobi echoed with the chants of anti-Finance Bill protesters, mostly drawn from Kenya’s younger generation known as Gen Z. Crammed into the back of police vehicles, they defiantly sang, “Ruto must go!” The pungent Nairobi cells could not silence their chorus.

The sights and sounds of their protest quickly spread on social media, sparking suggestions that a revolution was brewing. Rights activist Boniface Mwangi declared, “They can unlawfully arrest, and hold us, but they cannot arrest all of us. This is a movement, and the younger generation is woke and cannot be shaken.”

In Parliament, Embakasi East MP Babu Owino equated the “Gen Z revolution” to past revolutions that transformed China, Russia, and France – all driven by an oppressed citizenry seeking profound change.

The defiant chants and unwavering resolve of these Gen Z protesters serve as a testament to the growing influence of Kenya’s youth in driving societal transformation. Their actions have ignited discussions about the potential for a generational shift in the country’s political landscape.

As Kenya grapples with complex challenges, the emergence of this Gen Z movement highlights the importance of empowering the younger generation to be active participants in shaping the nation’s future.

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