Uproar As NYS Officer Cleans Ababu Namwamba’s Shoes

    A video showing a National Youth Service (NYS) officer cleaning the shoes of Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports, and the Arts Ababu Namwamba elicited mixed reactions across the country.

    On Monday, November 7, an NYS officer was captured squatting and cleaning Ababu’s shoes with a piece of cloth in an incident that was recorded.

    The CS, who was accompanied by former Youth CS, Margaret Kobia, was also heard asking NYS Director General Matilda Sakwa if he could tip the officer for his kindness.

    “And I hope Madam Director General allows a tip,” Namwamba posed amidst laughter from other top officials who had accompanied him.

    “No! No! We do not allow a tip. It is part of their discipline,” NYS DG Sakwa responded to Ababu.

    Ababu went on to thank the NYS officer after cleaning his shoes.

    However, some Kenyans online chastised the CS, claiming that the move undermined the status of NYS officers.

    “This is more than undermining neocolonialism,” Jabal Kitui wrote on Twitter.

    “Bottom-up. The less fortunate are now polishing the shoes of the cabinet millionaires in public,” another social media user wrote.

    Others chastised President Willliam Ruto’s administration for breaking campaign promises.

    Some Kenyans, however, argued that the NYS officer had only demonstrated his skills.

    “The young man is showing his skills nothing wrong,” Hill Lagat, a Human Resource Consultant, stated.

    During the event, Ababu Namwamba pledged to increase the number of young people enlisted in NYS on an annual basis. He also promised to streamline the industry.

    “I endeavour to support the Service to attain the targeted youth intake of 20,000 annually, to upscale national service functions with particular emphasis on climate-smart agriculture and value addition for increased food production, propagation of tree seedlings and tree planting,” Ababu stated.