Saturday, 19 December 2009

Can't believe 2009 year is over: Merry Christmass and a Blessed 2010

Well I'm looking at the calendar and its two weeks to the end of 2009. God I can't believe it but I think the year is over.

CAMPUS AND ME: Kenyatta University



Kenyatta University has had a tumultuous year ... I guess I won't be the only one looking forwards to 2010. Professor Olive's Kenyatta is looking more beautiful by the day picturesque lawns and flowers. You really have to see it if you haven't been there for a couple of years.



The strike was a real dark patch we had but on the bright side I've finished my first year of undergrad so I guess going back to campus has been validated as a good decision - now I'm looking forward to finish the other three. Although stuff has got in the way such as the students strike which cost us six months at home and has resulted in the third and fourth years doing their exams over Christmas.


Students VS Police


I must admit it's a little funny being seen at the same place for many years. Some of the staff I knew first ask me if I'm back for my postgrad then I have to explain "... no I didn't not complete ... I deferred for many years ... then re-applied and hopefully this time I'll get round to completing".

The funniest incident was when I met my friend Weche at KU main. He was over to minister to some Christian Union students and I was there struggling with the entangled web of KU admin. So anyway he tells me over soda and lunch that he is leaving to go start his doctorate. I laugh and tell him I'm registering for the first sem, second year, undergrad and he can't believe it. He kidds to the students he is meeting that I must be some sort of government agent. You know the kind the government plants in Universities to root out dissidents or gather intelligence, they go to class, live in campus, year in year out and never matriculate.
I'm hoping I'll be ready for the exams which are starting next month for us second years.
Talking of exams - I'm writing a proposal for quality assurance procedures for university examinations. I'm hoping this will help us get rid of missing marks, unfair retakes and ensure students receive their marked scripts for CATs,Assignments and Final examinations.

WORK AND ME.

I'm currently at Namba Moja ... yeah the cat is out of the bag. That is why my last article had so much detail on how their system works - however I hope that does not deter anyone from using it. It is a really nice service.
My company Kenya Freelancers Outsourcing Ltd is still on hold - but still something I am working on in my free time which is really non existent.
I am also looking for better paying jobs to fund my schooling ...so yeah anyone looking to hire a multi-talented director of a not-in-operation company and pay good Kenyan shillings please call me.

CHURCH AND ME


Don Bosco Upper Hill: Church on the Hill

I think this year has seen many challenges for the youth at Upper Hill Don Bosco and the congregation at large. But eventually everything came out okay ... the Church hall is complete, the youth group is regrouping. Talking of which I really have to be more active now ... work or school always seems to get in the way.

I AND I
I think 2010 will be great ... I am really looking forward to it.

Hope you are too. Have a great Christmas and a blessed 2010.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

2525 SMS Directory Real info on the Go

My cousin Halima from Port Reitz in Mombasa once complained about "Nairobi Speed". I can't blame her it was Christmas and we were rushing through supermarkets, booking bus tickets ...so finally exasperated she asked why the rush if there was no end in sight ...a mission accomplished... after which one could slow down.

Nairobi is fast in every respect of the word people walk fast, work fast, mats drive fast, think fast and it is only in this very high speed capital city of Kenya that innovative and futuristic innovations can come from. It is one such innovation in mobile telephony and messaging services that I am on about today.




Namba Moja Information services is the company that owns the 2525 brand name. 2525 provides information via text message on demand and is an ideal service for the residents of this fast capital of Kenya and also a way to find contacts and connect to other institutions and services all other parts of country as well as a guide to visitors to the country.

With 2525 one can find contacts of companies, can get physical address (office address) of companies, find business by their category e.g. hotels, couriers etc. One can also find public transport or matatu to a certain destination and most recently one can find movies showing at a particular cinema house. The list is endless.

Of course one is sure that the details are accurate because the companies who have their details listed do it for free and only have to make sure they update any changes in numbers or location.

The users on the other hand pay five shillings per text they send. They do not pay for replies.

HOW IT WORKS

2525 is simple. All one does is type in the item in question on their phone and send the text message to the number 2525. Normally the reply comes in less than a minute. However typing in sentences e.g. "please send me ..." or wrong spelling or use of an unofficial company name may cause a delay or wrong result before the system finally figures out what you want.

So here is how to properly use the service

For directory or business contacts
Type in the company name e.g. Nairobi Stock Exchange
send the text to 2525

the reply received looks like this
Nbi Stock Exchange
0202831000;0724253783;0733222007 ; Nation Ctr, 1st Flr, Kimathi St;CBD;Nbi.
2525 info on the go

OR

for directory or business contacts in a specific category, sector or industry
Type CAT followed by the category of companies you are looking for e.g.
CAT Courier Company
send the text message to 2525

reply received would look like this
Reply with 1,2...
1. G4s Security Services K:HQ Ind Area 020532360
2. G4s Security Services K:Thika 06731057
Send M for more, W for WAP
2525 info on the go


To get the headquarters by typing 1 and send the reply (note just type the digit one)
To get more alternatives type M and send the reply (note just type the letter M)
To get the whole list on WAP type W and send the reply (note just type the letter W)



For Matatu (public transport service)

type MAT followed by the route number OR the destination

E.g. MAT Kiserian
or
Mat No 23
send the text message to 2525

reply received will look like this (for the first query)
ORIGIN: Railways
DESTN: Kiserian
ROUTE: 126
2525 info on the go

OR (for the second query)
ORIGIN: Muthurwa Bus Stn
DESTN: Outering Estate
ROUTE: 23

ORIGIN: Odeon Cinema
DESTN: Kangemi
ROUTE: 23
M for More
2525 info on the go


For Movies
Type Mov followed by the name of the movie or the name of movie theatre

E.g. Mov Nu Metro
send to 2525

The reply received looks like this
SILVERBIRD JUNCTION Fame:1345, 1600, 1820, 2040;
GI Joe:1250, 1515, 1745, 2015;
My Sisters Keepers:1415, 1630, 1840, 2055
M for More

or
Mov My Sisters Keepers
send to 2525

The reply received will look like this
SILVERBIRD JUNCTION My Sisters Keepers:1415, 1630, 1840, 2055
End Of Search

Namba Moja also runs community notice board services for free for any organisation.
For example if we have alcoholic anonymous meetings we book several prefixes with Namba Moja for our use for example prefix 900 to 910. We can decide to use

*901# for open meetings
*902# for closed meetings
*903# for big book readings
*904# for serenity
*905# for step discussion

Of course members of the organization are informed of the prefix to use. They pay 5shs for each SMS they send and receive replies from their notice boards on meeting venues and times and activities.
Already several churches, church groups and learning institutions and several social groups have taken up the community notice board service.

Of course needless to say I'm looking forward to other services Namba Moja is about to launch and being a Nairobian to the hilt you can see why I would want to have information while on the go.

However if you are a visitor to the city I am sure 2525 will also be of great help for directions and contacts to anywhere.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

The Terrific Twins: Karijo Twins


EDNA &EVALIN KARIJO


So finally I get to write about my sisters. I’m hoping that it will help me avoid questions that include: How is it growing up with twin sisters? Isn’t it interesting? Are Twins are weird? Do they think alike? So does that mean I’m also likely to have twins?
The last borns in our family of five children are the twins Edna and Evalin. In public circles they go by all sorts of other names. The most common is the terrific twins which was the name they used in KTNs Can you Dance Competition. It is still the name they use on their KU Fm Sunday Catholic programme. The twins are multitalented they act and have been members of the Kenyatta University Travelling Theater, they dance under various stage names including Karijo Twins. They read news on the Universities radio station KU fm. They play piano in Kenyatta University Catholic Chaplaincy and the list goes on and on and on.
Of course I should be proud as big brother but also that comes with the name tag “brother wa twins” or “the twins brother”.
So disadvantages of growing up with twins include you will never win an argument because you will always be outnumbered. I learned that early and always chose the path of diplomacy and compromise my younger brother took a bit more time and when we were kids the twins were specialists in driving him up the wall.
Advantages include when you need family to run to when in trouble you get it in double dose which is good. It was especially useful for me when I decided to resume my studies back at the University. The twins handled everything I needed from administration including registration, fees statements etc. If it wasn’t for them I would be lost in the new look Kenyatta University which is very much unlike the one I left five years ago and even different from the KU I oriented the twins into. It is more beautiful and larger than life…well it is Professor Olive’s Kenyatta.
Other questions about the twins are more easily answered by the science of twins rather than by looking at my younger siblings.
Finally if you ask me being a brother to the two is great and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
THE SCIENCE OF TWINS
Monozygotic twins, frequently referred to as identical twins. Genetically speaking, the children of MZ twins are half-siblings rather than cousins that means if or when my twin sisters do get kids those children will be more like brothers and sisters than cousins.
It is estimated that there are around 10 million monozygotic twins and triplets in the world which means that twins are 0.16% of the world populations.
The likelihood of a single fertilisation resulting in MZ twins appears to be a random event, not a hereditary trait, and is uniformly distributed in all populations around the world although people such as the Yoruba of Nigeria have shown to have high affinity for it.
Hopefully that last point should put to rest anyone who wants to be with me as a potential twin making machine … you can pick any other specimen among men it is a random event.
The number of epigenetic differences between MZ twins increases with age. Fifty-year-old twins had over three times the epigenetic difference of three-year-old twins. Twins who had spent their lives apart (such as those adopted by two different sets of parents at birth) had the greatest difference.
That should answer questions like can I tell them apart? Yeah of course I’ve known them for 20 + years so I should be able to tell them apart. However sometimes I pick up their pictures and I have to look at it twice before telling who is who. The twins also have different reactions to situations but somehow their different responses seem to strengthen them emotionally, psychologically as a pair. I however have to warn you if you have something confidential to say to them make sure you are speaking to the right twin whether it is on phone or face to face they have been a nightmare to many teachers and …unlucky boys.
However, certain characteristics become more alike as twins age, such as IQ and personality. This phenomenon illustrates the influence of genetics in many aspects of human characteristics and behaviour. The twins recently attended the World Youth Day in Sidney Australia as part of a group called MAGis which brings together people from all over the world in Cultural and social experiment meant to lead them towards growth, discovery and more openness to the world.
One of the experiments had the participants draw pictures. The twins sitted on opposite ends of the table and with no restrictions on theme or color painted almost identical pictures using the same colors and with a similar theme. (I promise to upload these pictures as soon as I have the permission)
But the explanation above on IQ and personality can explain this phenomenon. My kid sisters have grown up in the same schools and all their exposures have been the same so more of similar events like the above are bound to occur. However it is interesting to note that for them it did not seem weird or strange that they painted the same picture.
Do they do things differently? Yeah, always … they are two people even in their choice of study and career Edna is a B.Com student majoring in Marketing while Evalin is a Environmental Health student they are both in their third year of study. While Edna stayed in Nairobi for her attachment with one of the government agencies on export Evalin was out in Makueni with AMREF in their water projects.
I could write ten pages about them but for today I hope that reduces everybody’s curiosity on the terrific twins.

http://www.facebook.com/people/Evalin-Karijo/1313727801

http://www.facebook.com/people/Edna-Karijo/1347662776

http://www.ktnkenya.tv/dance/?page_id=29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin#Dizygotic_twins

Kenyan Queens of the Track: 12th IAAF Berlin Championships

FANTASTIC KENYAN QUEENS OF THE TRACK

Vivian Cheruiyot, Sylvia Jebiwott Kibet and Iness Chepkesis Chenonge


After watching the photo finish of the women's 5000 meters where Vivian Cheruiyot and Sylvia Kibet floored Meseret Defar it is clear to my mind that the beautiful Kenyan girls now rule the long distance track events. It all began on the second day of the championships when Linet Maasai ended the Kenyan 10 year drought to win gold in the 10,000 meters final.

After a slow tactical race Cheruiyot the 2007 silver medallist outkicked Sylvia Kibet and Defar to claim gold in 14:57:97 Kibet went past dejected Defar to take silver in 14:58:33.
Kibet and Cheruiyot incidentally attended the same high school Sing’ore Girls’ Secondary School - a school that has produced among others world 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei .

SCHOOL MATES NOW CHAMPIONS


Sylvia Kibet has come a long way inspired by older sister Hilda Kibet and fantastic road running cousin Lorna Kiplagat she started an international career at age 15 winning Africa youth 3000m gold medal while still in primary school. She has overcome many challenges staying away from races to complete her O-levels, get married to Erastus and to be a mother to Britney Jepkosgei , and to juggle a career with the Kenya police.
While many people have missed the brilliant athlete in the distance mistakenly classing her in the events that started her career the 1500 and 3000m races in which she holds the national best times. She should have been someone to watch when she finished fourth behind Melkamu, Defar and Vivian and again in the Beijing Olympics behind the Ethiopian champions. But in 2009 everyone will surely stand up and take notice of the wonderful 25 year old.

20 YEAR OLD INSPIRES OTHER ATHLETES TO WIN
Linet Chepkwemoi Masai of Kenya celebrates winning the gold medal in the women's 10,000 Metres Final during day one of the 12th IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium on August 15, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
12th IAAF World Athletics Championships - Day One

Vivian Cheruiyot credits Linet Masai with the inspiration that led her to the most dramatic 50 metres of a long distance event in these championships. The perennial threat to the Ethiopian crew Vivian finally floored them as she puts it “We prayed for this gold medal and God gave it to us. On my last 100m I was pushing so hard, pushing, pushing”. Masai and Vivian share an agent.

Her inspiration Linet Chepkwemoi Masai is only 20 and the second part of the Masai trilogy of athletes. Her brother Moses Ndiema has also bagged bronze in these championships and he also credits his sister for the inspiration.
Masai who started out as junior world cross country champion in Mombasa 2007 struggled to change over to track. After missing out on the medal brackets to the Ethiopians in many meets she finally made it to become world champion and inspiration for other champions as she says "I can't believe it. I'm so grateful for the win. I didn't give up."

Track and Field: 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics

LINET ENDS THE FANTASTIC ETHIOPIANS 10 YEAR RULE
Track and Field: 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics


ELEGANT LEGS LINET TAKES IT AWAY
12th IAAF World Athletics Championships - Day One

Another wonderful lady from the Mount Elgon region of Kenya is Milka Chemos Chweiya who won bronze in the womens steeplechase.

12th IAAF World Athletics Championships - Day Three

Aug 17 2009

BERLIN - AUGUST 17: (L-R) Yuliya Zarudneva of Russia receives the silver medal, Marta Dominguez of Spain the gold medal and Milcah Chemos Cheywa of Kenya the bronze medal during the medal ceremony for the women's 3000 Metres Steeplechase Final during day three of the 12th IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium on August 17, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Content © 2009 Getty Images . All rights reserved.


These ladies embody what Sylvia Kibet says of Kenyan champions of how they have to overcome trials to become champions "You come from the bush, or you come from the forest. Then you train, and you become a champion."

Meanwhile this year saw Kenyas fantastic duo of Pamela Jelimo Olympic champion and Janeth Jepkosgei world champion over the distance faced with new challenges the two ladies have won all 800 metres titles on offer for the last three years but in Berlin the 20 year old golden girl Pamela Jelimo after winning her heats pulled out of the semi final after too much strain on her injuries. Jepkosgei who first urged Jelimo to join the 800 meters competition was left on her own to take on Africa’s Champion South African Caster Semenya. Caster had tripped Janeth in the heats but beat her fair and square in the final.

12th IAAF World Athletics Championships - Day Six THE CHAMPIONS

However the poor south African teenager still has to be subjected to a gender test. One wonders if Usain Bolt or any other male champion would be subjected to gender test had they looked a bit female. Let Caster keep her six pack. However in Kenya Jelimo-mania is being put to test but many of her fans still adore the 20 year old runner.
Anyway many Kenyans are looking for the return of the sensational Kapsabet Express “Jelimo” and to watch her and the more mature, dependable and experienced eldoret express “Jepkosgei” take on new kid on the block Caster.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - SEPTEMBER 05: Pamela Jelimo of Kenya celebrates after winning the Golden League $1 Million Jackpot in the Women's 800m during the IAAF Golden League meeting at the Memorial Van Damme Stadium on September 5, 2008 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
IAAF Golden League - Brussels
JELIMO STILL ROCKS

The Kenyan men have also been doing their bit. They finished 1-2 in the marathon earlier in the day Abel Kirui and Emmanuel Kipchirchir taking the honors and Mwafrika Robert Cheruiyot falling out of the medal brackets. The double 1-2 finish gave Kenya four golds and 10 overall. Ezekiel Kemboi won his first steeplechase gold followed by Richard Matelong after great team effort with Kipsiele Koech who set the pace and Brimin Kipruto. They however have an uphill task as Joshua Kivuva and Alfred Kirwa Yego take on ex-Kenyan Yusuf Saad Kamel.



http://www.life.com/image/90010168
http://www.picapp.com/search.aspx?term=janeth+jepkosgei&frompage=canvas
http://www.iaaf.org/news/athletes/newsid=45785.html
http://www.letsrun.com/2009/womens5kfinal0822.php
http://berlin.iaaf.org/news/kind=112/newsid=53940.html

Monday, 10 August 2009

Work at Home - the best website ever

I'm planning to use my start up business Kenya Freelancers outsourcing to build the largest network of work at home professionals in Kenya. In the quest for this I have been online so many times to look for helpful tips and I always found them at Work at home the spac

So today I'm too lazy to write anything for you except I'd like to recommend anyone to go to their website above to look for jobs, to lounge and chat or to read helpful articles like the one below that I copied in it's entirety.

10 Suggestions To Kill Work At Home Distractions
Written by: S McIntyre

Working at home and being there for your children is a luxury. Who wouldn't want to be in my shoes? The downside, there are many challenges and distractions.

As a business owner, I can be more flexible than your telecommuter who has a virtual boss hundreds of miles away, but sometimes that flexibility is more of a disadvantage than an advantage.

Here are 10 suggestions to put an end to these work at home distractions.

1. Phone
Let your voice mail pick up your phone calls. If you're not expecting an important call, turn down the volume so you can't hear who's leaving a message.

2. Television and Radio
Television and radio are the worse offenders of background noise. Some music can influence your mood and put you in a non-working frame of mind.

3. Email, Instant Messaging, Social Network Sites
Don't keep your email programs, instant messaging, or social network sites minimized or opened. Enough said.

4. Children
They are one of the many reasons we choose to work at home, but they are pure distraction. Babysitters, daycares, play dates are all good options, but they may not be viable options all the time. Scheduling is very important. Set aside block times for work and for your children. Work doesn't have to be 8 hour days.

5. Food
Stock your pantry and fridge with fruits and veggies for quick and easy healthy lunches and snacks. Avoid drinking alcohol. Always have water at your desk as dehydration causes fatigue, headaches, irritability and more.

6. Procrastination
We avoid it because it difficult to do or we don't enjoy doing it. You have two choices:

A. Perform the task at your peak performance time when you're really alert and work focused or

B. Completely scrap the task if it's not important. Don't hang on to the task or save it for another day.

7. Weather
I find it harder to work when it's sunny and warm. I know I'm not alone. Know when to stop and don't overwork. Distraction is not always a negative thing.

8. Work Attire
Many people have admitted to wearing their pajamas while working at home. Is it productive? I don't think so. Get up, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast and start your day. These things get you moving and your blood circulating and it puts your mind in a work focused mode.

9. Work Schedule
I know when I oversleep I'm more tired and unmotivated throughout the day. Getting up early for me is the best. We're all different in what works well. Find the time when you're the most energetic and do your difficult tasks at that time.

10. Housework
There's nothing wrong with a messy house; a dirty one is a different story. If you keep your house clean and neat then clean up is a snap. Laundry, dishwashing and other chores can be done in between your breaks. It's all about utilizing your time in the most efficient way.

Working at home really requires a lot of self-discipline, careful planning and knowing what works for you. If you can do all that, then work at home distractions can be kept to a minimum or at the very least, none at all.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

S McIntyre is the founder of WorkAtHomeSpace.com a free work at home resource focusing on work at home companies, daily telecommuting job leads, articles, business resources, networking forum and other work at home related topics.

She also co-owns WorkAtHomeBusinessOptions.com, a comprehensive direct selling and telecommuting work at home business resource that includes business tips, exclusive business articles, direct sales and telecommute company listings, home living and much more.

Source: Work At Home Space Articles

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Can we ever Heal? Kenya after post election violence




I think none of us really know the gravity of the post election violence until we meet someone who really suffered directly from the violence that rocked the country after the elections of 2007.

Unless we hear someone talk of watching a loved one get shot with an arrow through the heart, watch them die and not have a chance to bury them.

Unless we hear of people who after having built their dream home have to watch it burn and run away from their homes back to a life of renting rooms and struggling to pay rent not temporarily but for almost two years now and as things are now probably indefinitely.

Unless we hear of dedicated farmers who saw their cattle stolen or killed and watched their grain burn.

Unless we hear of primary school children who saw their classmates armed with bows and arrows destroy them and their families in the very homesteads they once played together. Small children brainwashed that to kill another is to become a man in twisted rituals of passage and circumscision.

It is painful to begin seeing your friends of many years who you never bothered before to find out which tribe they were from through tribal eyes and all over sudden realise they are Kalenjin, Kikuyu, Kisii, Luo, Maasai or whatever tribe. It is painful for those of us like myself whose roots are so intertwined with so many tribes Meru, Kalenjin, Maasai etcetera to be forced to pick which one defines you.

It is painful to see a country that had so gotten past the tribal barriers and only used tribes when making stereotype jokes, a country whose people had come to see each other as Kenyans taken back to this dark age of more than a century ago.

It is sad when politicians make a circus of a Commission CIPEV that was supposed to bring to justice the people who led us through such pain. It is sad to hear them trash the Waki List and poke fun at the possibility of being prosecuted at the Hague the International Criminal Court.

It is obvious they have never cared for Kenyans, people who care for you don't laugh at your pain. Our politicians are callous they don't care about the victims of this violence who still live in camps, others suffer untold suffering in silence and live in fear with memories they can't erase.

Our politicians still have the nerve to pull the tribal card saying that members of their community are being persecuted when the accusing finger points to them as individuals.

Let us not kid ourselves that these politicians will ever deliver anything to Kenyans. These people don't want justice whether in the Hague or in a local tribunal.

These politicians have no community or tribe. I am sure they don't even have a country if there was a willing buyer they would sell us all at any price.

Let us not lie to ourselves. The August house has nothing August about it. We only have a lost generation of people who do not know what they want of themselves let alone what they want for the country.

What we have in parliament today are self seekers not servants of the people, greedy human beings who have no morality or law to control their lust for power and wealth. They are not leaders who are capable of making laws or a constitution or bringing wealth to a nation.

Let us not expect Law or morality or justice from them they do not know what it means to be just, to be moral or to have a conscience.

If they had a conscience they would not sleep at night while their constituents are scattered in tents in the Rift valley and in Central province awaiting speeding buses to run over cattle so that they can get a meal.

If they had a conscience they would not enjoy their salaries running to a million shillings per month while approving 30,000 shillings to be paid to each family in the IDP camps to rebuild their lives, houses, farms, businesses and bury their dead. Even a financial magician could not do all that with 30,000 shillings. Not 30,000 shillings per month like some of us salaried people no...not even that 30,000 shillings lump sum, and - Kappish rebuild your life.

If they had a conscience they would not mock the justice process, they would not mock the dead, the would confess their guilt and step down from their positions.

But they do not have a conscience To them the dead people, the people those who lost their livelihoods, their lives efforts and wealth. To them these were only just a small price for them, part of the cost, collateral damage to pay for the benefits to come benefits of power sharing, squabbling over cabinet posts, salary raises, refusal to pay taxes.

They do not have a conscience because instead of sharing the pain of their constituents they have large extravagant homecoming parties flying in with helicopters to avoid the bad roads and spending huge amounts of money.

But my question is not for the politicians. Their fate in my mind is sealed they must cease to lead this country whether by the ballot, the bullet or petition by all means.

My question remains Can we ever Heal. Can we ever look at each other again as Kenyan families not Luo-Kisii-Kikuyu-Kalenjin couples and mixed children. Can we make tribal stereotype jokes without taking offence as we did before this chaos. Can we do business with each other. Can the children who were brainwashed to execute their neighbours lead normal lives with the trauma they suffered.

Can we look at each other as one people under one flag, with one prayer for a national anthem





Ee
Mungu nguvu yetu

Ilete baraka kwetu

Haki iwe ngao na mlinzi


Natukae na undugu

Amani na uhuru

Raha tupate na ustawi.



Amkeni
ndugu zetu

Tufanye sote bidii


Nasi tujitoe kwa nguvu

Nchi yetu ya Kenya

Tunayoipenda

Tuwe tayari kuilinda.



Natujenge
taifa letu


Ee, ndio wajibu wetu

Kenya istahili heshima

Tuungane mikono

Pamoja kazini

Kila siku tuwe na shukrani.




O
God of all creation

Bless this our land and nation

Justice be our shield and defender

May we dwell in unity

Peace and liberty

Plenty be found within our borders.





Let one and all arise

With hearts both strong and true

Service be our earnest endeavour

And our homeland of Kenya

Heritage of splendour


Firm may we stand to defend.



Let
all with one accord

In common bond united

Build this our nation together

And the glory of Kenya


The fruit of our labour

Fill every heart with thanksgiving.



Saturday, 18 July 2009

Beauty Queen of Them All Cecilia Mwangi Rocks





In my life I have met only two people who could claim to be beauty queens validly so. There was Maria Cherop Koskei, that's my aunt who was Miss Kenya in 1981. To be honest I have only a vague remembrance of her holding a spanner and kidding she could fix my dad's car ... I was only a kid back then.

Then there is Carol Maina who was runners up Central Province Miss Tourism Kenya and several times over Miss KU. She is the most impressive, down to earth beauty queen you ever met and she even designed her own clothes for the competition.

I guess I am a lucky Kenyan not many of us have met people who have the title beauty queens, we only see them in magazines in crowns and looking good on endorsement deals etc.

This is why I think Cecilia Mwangi whom I've never met totally rocks. The 2005 Miss Kenya picked of all tasks she could apply herself to - she picked to fighting jiggers and fought them she has. Thanks to her and Ahadi Kenya we now know that there are many Kenyans afflicted by this pest in the mostly rural areas.

My sister a nurse tells me that these little animals are so bad in these areas they just don't attack the human feet they fix themselves wherever on the human body and once they are through with you one has blood poisoning and many victims die of Septicaemia.

So the latest effort of the beauty queen and Ahadi Kenya is raising money for the noble initiative by selling raffle tickets in which there are several motorcycles to be won.

Some of my colleagues from Kenyatta University are actually sales girls and salesmen for the raffle and they tell me that once in a while Cecilia comes in to do the sales with them.

So if you haven't met one on one with a beauty queen here is your chance. Go down buy your raffle ticket now at Aga Khan walk outside Uchumi Supermarket and just maybe it will be Cecilia Mwangi you buy it from.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Rest in Peace Michael Jackson



Well for those of us who grew up in the 80s and the 90s. MJ was just the ultimate the best a musician a performer could ever get. I remember in the when in the eighth grade (class eight primary school). My friends Michi, Marvin, Richard, Njugi and everyone else had the craze to learn the slide. We watched countless MJ videos. Yeah he was just the man.

VIDEO WILL YOU BE THERE

[ www.azlyrics.com ]


Even as decades come and go we still idolise the man as the King of pop and his music still sings to us forever though he is gone.

So here goes my tribute to the king to the best of them ever

RIP Michael Jackson.



here are lyrics for some of his songs that I really loved.


"Will You Be There"

Hold Me
Like The River Jordan
And I Will Then Say To Thee
You Are My Friend

Carry Me
Like You Are My Brother
Love Me Like A Mother
Will You Be There?

Weary
Tell Me Will You Hold Me
When Wrong, Will You Scold Me
When Lost Will You Find Me?

But They Told Me
A Man Should Be Faithful
And Walk When Not Able
And Fight Till The End
But I'm Only Human

Everyone's Taking Control Of Me
Seems That The World's
Got A Role For Me
I'm So Confused
Will You Show To Me
You'll Be There For Me
And Care Enough To Bear Me

(Hold Me)
(Lay Your Head Lowly)
(Softly Then Boldly)
(Carry Me There)

(Lead Me)
(Love Me And Feed Me)
(Kiss Me And Free Me)
(I Will Feel Blessed)

(Carry)
(Carry Me Boldly)
(Lift Me Up Slowly)
(Carry Me There)

(Save Me)
(Heal Me And Bathe Me)
(Softly You Say To Me)
(I Will Be There)

(Lift Me)
(Lift Me Up Slowly)
(Carry Me Boldly)
(Show Me You Care)

(Hold Me)
(Lay Your Head Lowly)
(Softly Then Boldly)
(Carry Me There)

(Need Me)
(Love Me And Feed Me)
(Kiss Me And Free Me)
(I Will Feel Blessed)

[Spoken]
In Our Darkest Hour
In My Deepest Despair
Will You Still Care?
Will You Be There?
In My Trials
And My Tribulations
Through Our Doubts
And Frustrations
In My Violence
In My Turbulence
Through My Fear
And My Confessions
In My Anguish And My Pain
Through My Joy And My Sorrow
In The Promise Of Another Tomorrow
I'll Never Let You Part
For You're Always In My Heart.


[ www.azlyrics.com ]

"Earth Song"

What about sunrise
What about rain
What about all the things
That you said we were to gain...
What about killing fields
Is there a time
What about all the things
That you said was yours and mine...
Did you ever stop to notice
All the blood we've shed before
Did you ever stop to notice
The crying Earth the weeping shores?

Aaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaah
Aaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaah

What have we done to the world
Look what we've done
What about all the peace
That you pledge your only son...
What about flowering fields
Is there a time
What about all the dreams
That you said was yours and mine...
Did you ever stop to notice
All the children dead from war
Did you ever stop to notice
The crying Earth the weeping shores

Aaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaah
Aaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaah

I used to dream
I used to glance beyond the stars
Now I don't know where we are
Although I know we've drifted far

Aaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaah
Aaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaah
Aaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaah
Aaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaah

Hey, what about yesterday
(What about us)
What about the seas
(What about us)
The heavens are falling down
(What about us)
I can't even breathe
(What about us)
What about apathy
(What about us)
I need you
(What about us)
What about nature's worth
(ooo, ooo)
It's our planet's womb
(What about us)
What about animals
(What about it)
We've turned kingdoms to dust
(What about us)
What about elephants
(What about us)
Have we lost their trust
(What about us)
What about crying whales
(What about us)
We're ravaging the seas
(What about us)
What about forest trails
(ooo, ooo)
Burnt despite our pleas
(What about us)
What about the holy land
(What about it)
Torn apart by creed
(What about us)
What about the common man
(What about us)
Can't we set him free
(What about us)
What about children dying
(What about us)
Can't you hear them cry
(What about us)
Where did we go wrong
(ooo, ooo)
Someone tell me why
(What about us)
What about babies
(What about it)
What about the days
(What about us)
What about all their joy
(What about us)
What about the man
(What about us)
What about the crying man
(What about us)
What about Abraham
(What was us)
What about death again
(ooo, ooo)
Do we give a damn

Aaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaah


[Thanks to Mykei.n@gmail.com for correcting these lyrics





"Heal The World"

There's A Place In
Your Heart
And I Know That It Is Love
And This Place Could
Be Much
Brighter Than Tomorrow
And If You Really Try
You'll Find There's No Need
To Cry
In This Place You'll Feel
There's No Hurt Or Sorrow

There Are Ways
To Get There
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Little Space
Make A Better Place...

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

If You Want To Know Why
There's A Love That
Cannot Lie
Love Is Strong
It Only Cares For
Joyful Giving
If We Try
We Shall See
In This Bliss
We Cannot Feel
Fear Or Dread
We Stop Existing And
Start Living

Then It Feels That Always
Love's Enough For
Us Growing
So Make A Better World
Make A Better World...

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

And The Dream We Were
Conceived In
Will Reveal A Joyful Face
And The World We
Once Believed In
Will Shine Again In Grace
Then Why Do We Keep
Strangling Life
Wound This Earth
Crucify Its Soul
Though It's Plain To See
This World Is Heavenly
Be God's Glow

We Could Fly So High
Let Our Spirits Never Die
In My Heart
I Feel You Are All
My Brothers
Create A World With
No Fear
Together We'll Cry
Happy Tears
See The Nations Turn
Their Swords
Into Plowshares

We Could Really Get There
If You Cared Enough
For The Living
Make A Little Space
To Make A Better Place...

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

You And For Me
You And For Me
You And For Me
You And For Me
You And For Me
You And For Me
You And For Me
You And For Me
You And For Me
You And For Me
You And For Me




We are the world


There comes a time
When we hear a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it's time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can't go on
Pretending day by day
That someone, somewhere will soon make a change
We are all a part of
God's great big family
And the truth, you know love is all we need

[Chorus]
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

Send them your heart
So they'll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stone to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand

[Chorus]
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

When you're down and out
There seems no hope at all
But if you just believe
There's no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well, let us realize
That a change will only come
When we stand together as one

[Chorus]
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me




The Man in the Mirror

I'm Gonna Make A Change
For Once In My Life
It's Gonna Feel Real Good
Gonna Make A Difference
Gonna Make It Right...

As I, Turn Up The Collar On
My Favorite Winter Coat
This Wind Is Blowin' My Mind
I See The Kids In The Street
With Not Enough To Eat
Who Am I, To Be Blind?
Pretending Not To See Their Needs
A Summer's Disregard
A Broken Bottle Top
And A One Man's Soul
They Follow Each Other On
The Wind Ya' Know
'Cause They Got Nowhere To Go
That's Why I Want You To Know

I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways
And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
(If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place)
Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change
(Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change)
(Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Na Na, Na Nah)

I've Been A Victim Of
A Selfish Kind Of Love
It's Time That I Realize
That There Are Some With No Home
Not A Nickel To Loan
Could It Be Really Me
Pretending That They're Not Alone?

A Willow Deeply Scarred
Somebody's Broken Heart
And A Washed-Out Dream
(Washed-Out Dream)
They Follow The Pattern Of
The Wind, Ya' See
Cause They Got No Place To Be
That's Why I'm Starting With Me
(Starting With Me!)

I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror
(Ooh!)
I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways
(Ooh!)
And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
(If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place)
Take A Look At Yourself And Then Make A Change
(Take A Look At Yourself And Then Make A Change)

I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror
(Ooh!)v I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways
(Change His Ways-Ooh!)
And No Message Could've Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
(If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place)
Take A Look At Yourself And Then Make That...
(Take A Look At Yourself And Then Make That...)
Change!

I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror
(Man In The Mirror-Oh Yeah!)
I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways
(Better Change!)
No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
(If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place)
(Take A Look At Yourself And Then Make The Change)
(You Gotta Get It Right, While You Got The Time)
('Cause When You Close Your Heart)
You Can't Close Your...Your Mind!
(Then You Close Your...Mind!)
That Man, That Man, That Man, That Man
With That Man In The Mirror
(Man In The Mirror, Oh Yeah!)
That Man, That Man, That Man
I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways
(Better Change!)
You Know...That Man
No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
(If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place)
Take A Look At Yourself And Then Make A Change
(Take A Look At Yourself And Then Make A Change)
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!
Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Na Na, Na Nah
(Oh Yeah!)
Gonna Feel Real Good Now!
Yeah Yeah! Yeah Yeah! Yeah Yeah!
Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Na Na, Na Nah
(Ooooh...)
Oh No, No No....
I'm Gonna Make A Change
It's Gonna Feel Real Good!
Come On!
(Change ...)
Just Lift Yourself
You Know
You've Got To Stop It.
Yourself!
(Yeah!-Make That Change!)
I've Got To Make That Change, Today!
Hoo!
(Man In The Mirror)
You Got To
You Got To Not Let Yourself...Brother...
Hoo!
(Yeah!-Make That Change!)
You Know-I've Got To Get That Man, That Man...
(Man In The Mirror)
You've Got To
You've Got To Move! Come On! Come On!
You Got To...
Stand Up! Stand Up! Stand Up!
(Yeah-Make That Change)
Stand Up And Lift Yourself, Now!
(Man In The Mirror)
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!
Aaow!
(Yeah-Make That Change)
Gonna Make That Change...
Come On! (Man In The Mirror)
You Know It!
You Know It!
You Know It!
You Know...
(Change...)
Make That Change



"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"

[1st Verse]
Lovely Is The Feelin' Now
Fever, Temperatures Risin' Now
Power (Ah Power) Is The Force The Vow
That Makes It Happen It Asks No Questions Why (Ooh)
So Get Closer (Closer Now)
To My Body Now Just Love Me
'Til You Don't Know How (Ooh)
[Chorus]
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough

[2nd Verse]
Touch Me And I Feel On Fire
Ain't Nothin' Like A Love Desire (Ooh)
I'm Melting (I'm Melting)
Like Hot Candle Wax Sensation (Ah Sensation)
Lovely Where We're At (Ooh)
So Let Love Take Us Through The Hours
I Won't Be Complanin'
'Cause This Is Love Power (Ooh)
[Chorus]
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
(Ooh)

[3rd Verse]
Heartbreak Enemy Despise
Eternal (Ah Eternal)
Love Shines In My Eyes (Ooh)
So Let Love Take Us Through The Hours
I Won't Be Complanin' (No No)
'Cause Your Love Is Alright, Alright

[Chorus]
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
[Refrain]
Lovely Is The Feeling Now I Won't Be Complanin' (Ooh Ooh)
The Force Is Love Power
[Chorus]
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
[Ad-Lib To Fade]

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Janet Mbugua leaves KTN





Just to let you know I'm not stuck on any TV presenter but some of them do create a lasting image in the lives of their viewers take the late Anne Wafula, maybe Catherine Kasavuli, Kanze Dena, Louis Otieno, Laura Okal.

But KTNs pair of Esther Arunga and Janet Mbugua have lately been stealing all the accolades and the thunder from others.

It is for the reason that I totally agreed with the Teenez choice of "kuchagua" Esther Arunga in their "chaguo la teenez" of best presenters on TV. She really is a great presenter and if I was doing any voting it would just be a coin toss to decide between the two.
Anyway I'm way beyond "chaguo la teenez" like ten years way beyond.

Anyway my article isn't about Esther Arunga. I just saw on the news last night that Janet Mbugua is leaving KTN and I'm sure that it came a bit of a shocker for all viewers who she has regaled, impressed, captivated etcetera with her presence on telly on Out and About, on Sunrise and on the very successful appeal for the Mercy train as well as the campaign for Kenya's tourist sector which saw her on a week long trip to the eighth world wonder - the Wildebeest migration

Needless to say we are all going to miss her very, very much but I guess that's life ... real life cest la vie ... you know like good things don't last and jewel presenters move on to bigger challenges like CNN or United Nations or whatever.

Anyway this piece is a tribute to the best of the best and wishing her the best in her endeavors.

 SAFARICOM CLASSICAL FUSION

Who would have thought classical music would be that fun - I spent the whole afternoon watching it on KTN television and was absolutely envious of the crowd that made it to Impala Grounds because they definitely looked like they were having a great time.

Of course I am not the classical music connoisseur I know the common names like Bach, Mozart, Handel ... and might be familiar with a few pieces - they helped me sometime back in overcoming insomnia and restlessness (of course I threw in instrumentals and Jazz - Kenny G and Dave Koz) but on the overall I could mistake one piece for another but nevertheless classical music is great and the Safaricom classical fusion was awesome.

I enjoyed the perfomances by Rhoda Ondeng, the Njoroge Couple (Elizabeth and Njoroge - I am not sure if they are a couple or they just share names but they were great) and I really liked the 11 year old by the name of Vimal who was heavenly on the violin. The Soweto string quartet on the whole did not disappoint and I am sure the high school students who were dancing their feet away to "diamonds on the soles of shoes"would admit to have thoroughly enjoyed the performance by  the brothers and their friend.

For me there was also the extra bonus of seeing Janet Mbugua and Michael Oyier presenting together again on Kenyan TV ... what better treat for a Sunday afternoon.
Michael Oyier and Janet Mbugua: Hosts at the Safaricom Classical fusion


Safaricom outgoing CEO MJ also had a good time although some Zain umbrellas nearly pooped the party for Michael Joseph - Lol  I am sure his nightmares come in Zain colours.

Monday, 4 May 2009

conflict resolution in Kenyan universities: The Kenyatta University lessons to learn

One month has never seemed such a long time. A semester that was just about to end without much ado degenerated into unbelievable sordid mess in just two weeks and having spent a whole month at home I have effectively forgotten books. Two student strikes in quick succession, burnt down university facilities, a tainted reputation for an hitherto acclaimed Vice Chancellor and bruised egos both for the VC and the student leaders.

There was a unique thing, really a firsts about this strike. University students in Kenya have always used strikes to settle thorny issues either with the government or their university administration but never before have they ever, ever destroyed University property.

But for me I'm continually disillusioned and disappointing. Don't jump to conclusions I'm not saying I regret going back to finish my degree studies. No, far from it I'm still enthusiastic as I was in my last post. What disillusions me is the absence of systems at our governmental and institutional levels in our country. Everything seems to be based on people, personalities rather than a system of working and structures within the institutions and also the government that will enable solving of problems or disputes, performance of functions and facilitation of growth.

This void is so obvious to me that I am disappointed that all our learned professors, all our esteemed politicians are blind to this fact as being the root cause underlying all our problems.

Well just to make easier reading I'll just start with the university using the recent strike and it's aftermath as an example of how an established system would help our cause.

The problem begun just two weeks to final examinations for this semester. Some students according to the students body 2000 in number, according to the Dean of Students 200 in number had paid their fees later than a set deadline of February 7th. These students did everything else that was required of them this semester including CATs, assignments etcetera But realized that they could not do the final examination without regularizing their online status which had not been updated to show that they were eligible to sit exams in recognition of their completion of this semesters fees. So these student's through the newly elected students union set out a request for registration to be reopened to allow them to update their status.

This is when the problem begun. Some say the newly elected KUSA rubbed the VC the wrong way and took an HAKI yetu approach (the approach used by politicians after the 2007 flawed elections). Others say the VC was fixated about fees deadlines and was unyielding to an otherwise reasonable request.

Here we find our first instance of absence of systems or structures. KUSA is the elected body of students but it has no agreement set on what matters to approach the VC on and neither is it empowered to solve any problem on its own. So every little thing the student leaders have to approach the VC. Secondly, there are no set rules such as

1. In the event of an student emergency KUSA can request for a meeting with the Vc and other top officers in the University without a prior pre-arrangement. I have no example of such an emergency...(maybe a security breach such as a student found to be a criminal shot in the hostels by security forces) grim example but that's what I can think of.

2. In the event of a problem affecting many students KUSA can submit a written petition to the VC with the names of those directly and indirectly affected and the suggested solution and the resources which the University would need to employ to solve the problem. The VC can approve this without even meeting the students officials or can meet with them if he/she proposes an alternative solution. A good example would be the problem which caused the latest strike

...so in my created system KUSA would present a long list of 2000 students affected by the registration deadline, make a request for registration to be reopened for half a day and staff deployed to carry it out (registration for the whole university body of 24,000 students takes four days - 8 working hours, so presumably for 2000 students resource needed would be less than half a working day)

3. In the event of some problems KUSA would solve them by themselves without involving the administration or only seeking clarifications from the administration.

Unfortunately the third may just be a pipe dream like I said before the body is not empowered. It has no allocation in the university budget/(vote allocation) and all the subscription they collect 100 Kshs. per student per semester or is it year is not explained to what use it will be put to. In addition to this the old draconian rule that existed when students unions used to be anti-government voices still exists and is enforced to date (That no student - read leader- is allowed to make statements in the press or public domain without consulting the University in matters concerning the University. In the event any student breaches this rule they face discontinuation from the University). So basically it's no wonder the Kenyan public only get to know of problems in the University when rampaging students stream on to the highways on strike. No one is allowed to "let the outside world know" if there's an issue. This may also be a very good reason as to why the students leaders instead of seeking a one on one appointment to talk to the VC take an "Haki yetu" approach where they are shielded by the multitudes ...a bit cowardly don't you think. But then nobody likes to court discontinuation from their studies..

We also realize at this very initial point that the university lacks systems which even small commercial colleges have in place. In some colleges if you pay fees late one just has to pay a fine of 1000 Kshs. a similar rule is in place for those who find it easier to pay fees in installments. There are others who do not charge any fines but insist on everyone making full payment before exams regardless of whether it's a day or two before exams...one is still eligible to sit the exam.

Well for Kenyatta University nothing of the sort exists. To aggravate matters the VC stuck by her initial insistence that students who had paid fees late take the semester off. This would mean that all the CATs and assignments and a whole two and a half months work would go to waste as they would have to redo the whole of it in the next semester. It would also mean that the University forfeit money that these students would have paid in the coming semester since their late payment would have to be carried over as unutilized fees.

Ask any accountant or financial advisor and they will tell you that you do not forfeit a cashflow unless you are generating interest or a return from the alternative that is equivalent or greater than the forfeited cashflow. In this case the Universities' alternative is "holding the unutilized funds" and I don't know of any investment even in the black market that would give an equivalent return. Average fees per semester for a self sponsored student (one who doesn't receive government subsidy) is 70,000 Kenya shillings a semester. So if the University forfeits this amount from 2000 students next semester this amounts to 140,000,000. If it is 200 students (as per the deans estimate) that's about 14,000,000 Kenya shillings.

So from my personal analysis nothing in terms of time efficiency or financial prudence or basis supported the VCs action to insist on students taking the semester off. It was most probably an ego decision.

This belief is further reinforced by the events that followed. The initial strike wasn't serious some of the disgruntled students broke down the University banner above the gate and attacked the Coca Cola cold freeze box at the gate and of course drank the contents. The VC and the university council took a drastic action and closed the University. This was absolutely unnecessary students in far flung campuses such as Parklands and maybe Ruiru just received a circular stating the University had been closed...they were in the most part oblivious as were most students in the Main campus on Thika road to what was going on. This was really a show of muscle again.

Then to ask students to report back (not all of them just those whose fees was paid before the deadline) and then pay 1,000 shillings each was just going beyond all justice and fairness. Firstly because the students who were to pay this amount were not really involved or directly affected by the first issue. So the penalty was unjust.

This penalty was also dubious in that students who had overpayments in their fee accounts were still forced to pay this amount in cash no transfers were allowed from fees overpayments.
To compound this exams were slated for the next day after reporting back...(remember regardless of the fact that before the strike there were three whole weeks to exams). To cap it all the KUSA students representatives were suspended from the University.

All these decisions have all the markings of mismanagement and an absence of systems. So the aftermath everyone knows about it. Students rioted, burnt some buildings, one of them got killed by police, others were badly beaten by police, several were hospitalized and some were arrested and charged with arson.

There is a bit of a glimmer of hope. Last week the senate met and there is a probability that the University will reopen in August. The little basis of hope I have is that the suspended students leaders were involved in this last meeting and dialogue is a good thing.

The other thing I am hopeful about is that the VC will focus her energy in building something other than buildings. She is by far the most development minded Vice Chancellor the University has had and has made tremendous achievements in building labs, beautification and expansion of the university as well as linkages with other institutions and governments. I'm hoping she will focus her energy in building a system and structure where students can make grievances known in very simple, formal and effective methods such as meetings, petitions and the like through their student body. It will also be in the best interest of everyone to review laws that exist in the University that violate fundamental human rights such as the freedom of expression.

Nationally I really won't go into much detail the absence of systems at our university is just a small splinter compared to the monstrosity of a problem Kenya faces. We all know we do not have a constitution that is functional. We have an unregulated legislature that is only effective in giving themselves hefty allowances; an inflated cabinet of 90 plus ministers and a disconnect between how its members of parliament are supposed to actually help their constituents lead better lives and access opportunities to empower and sustain themselves. Our leaders are so ignorant that some of them do not know they are part of a central government "thus making statements that they (MPs) should not be taxed because they don't trust the central government. They plunged the country in post election chaos because none of them could trust the judiciary to work out an election petition. They rubbished the electoral commission before and after the elections. So you can see how much we need to have leaders who believe in systems in laid down rules for government appointments, strengthened structures and restructuring of existing bodies in order to get things done through offices not through individuals and personalities.

Actually if our leaders were selfless it would not hurt so much because they would be governed by personal discipline and morality but as it is they are the greediest individuals ever.

In fact if I was to make an appeal to Kenyans it would be to vote the whole lot out at the earliest next available opportunity. I would also appeal to them not to attend the political rallies of these leaders who do not have their interest at heart.

I must say something though the Hon. Martha Karua is the one single leader I have heard insist on strengthening systems and structures as the way forward for the country over and over again as opposed to others who propose themselves and their personal abilities as the antidote for our ills. I think she has identified the Achilles heel of our nation.

However I'm not taking back what I said earlier. Vote out the whole lot. We all know what needs to be done and God knows we've given the same lot too many chances to get it right it's time they shipped out.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

I can't believe its March - touching base

A quarter of the year is gone and I can't believe it. I'm looking at my last post and I see it was during the Olympic Games that took place in Beijing. I also realize that it was about the last time that I was engaged in active employment.

So anyway I'm sorry I haven't been posting...my life seems to have taken a huge change of routine since then.

So a bit of touching base.

One I started my own company Kenya Freelancers Outsourcing i.e. it's supposed to be a Business Process Outsourcing firm where we do all types of transcription, web research, data entry, call handling, captioning and everything else imaginable. But right now we are having all sort of start up hitches...so a bit down but not quite out. Though the stats for business start ups are scary 90% of start up businesses die within the six month period. So I'm working to get myself into the 10% that get past this pre-start up stage.

Two, I'm back to school. I have to complete my Undergraduate degree. So after 5years away...guess whose back? Anyway this time round I'm at Parklands campus not at the main campus Kenyatta University Thika road. That way I get time to attend class and work on my start up.

Three I'm no longer in Upper hill youth group. Our parish priest and the council changed our constitution to limit membership to age 25 and I'm way beyond that in addition they disbanded the youth choir so mass is "boring" ...I mean it's pretty not much what it used to be. So anyway my Saturdays and Sundays just got a whole lot freer.

What else?...mmhh let's see...oh! I did go home for Christmas last December...that's an achievement...something I haven't done for the last five or so years. I hope I can do the same this year.

So what's in new in 2009. Not much just joining the ranks of hopeful and disillusioned Kenyans in trying to make a better life for myself and maybe a better country for all of us.

What's new in yours?

About Me

My photo

Loving life and living it. “Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.” (Mary Anne Radmacher)
Give yourself completely in everything for that is love and only when we love can we find God.