Category Archives: Me Thinks

A Lifetime Opportunity for High School Students

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“What would you like to become when you grow up?”

This is one question that every child in their Lower Primary school life is asked by almost every teacher. The answers are always amazing. These kids think of nothing but those supposed “big jobs” available. Their answers range from Doctor thruogh Engineer (never mind what type of Engineer) to Lawyer and recently Pastor.

However, in as much as the question remains unchanged, the answers given keep changing as the child advances in his or her academic life until when finally asked while in their final year of High School, there are those who would settle for any job. This is a journey traveled by every Kenyan child. After their final exam in Form Four, they have literally become Jack of all Trades but masters of none. In fact, if you asked them what they want to pursue in college, most would rather wait for the results to come out before they see what they can do! Pathetic, right?

img6 As a parent who would rather have a child who is in charge of their future, it’s during this time of uncertainty that you need to kick in and show direction. This would be hard if you, too, are a victim of this same system that robbed you the ability to think about ‘what you want’ and start thinking of ‘what your teachers want’ of you! Professionals come in handy to help at this.

My Career Identity is partnering with Tangaza University College, Karen to bring you a one-day opportunity like no other. On 28th November 2014, you can decide as a parent to either let your child wallow in uncertainty about their future or help them take charge of their true CAREER IDENTITY.

Now, this are this one of those one-in-a-lifetime opportunities that every parent must exploit for the benefit of their children. Registration is ongoing and only a few slots are remaining. It’s hard to imagine such an opportunity passing your son or daughter bearing in mind how hard these opportunities were to find during the days you were in high school. Allow your child get undivided one day attention from experts and come out already sure of what career path they want to follow.

What’s more on the offer? By the end of the workshop they will become My Career Identity members–a 6 months free membership opportunity. As a member there are several benefits which include opportunities for internships, one to one career counseling sessions, improvement in academic performance among other goodies. The team is dedicated to ensuring that students make sound decision when choosing their careers. Your child will be assisted in focusing on the best they can be.

At the end of the workshop, your child will definitely be oozing with confidence to pursue a career that they are suitable for. Do not hold your child in the house and deny them this golden chance to identify their True Career Path!! REGISTER HERE and book a Space for your child.

What do you Expect from a Tech-Savvy Unemployed Youths?

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According to an article on Kachwanya, that cited CCK, Internetworldstats.com, Facebook.com and Google Plus data as it’s source, there are 3.6 Million Kenyans on Facebook, and 1.5 Million Kenyans on Twitter. On the other hand, 80% of Kenyans are 35 years old and below. With close to40% of Kenyans being an employed, your guess is as good as mine that over half of the unemployed Kenyans are youths below 35 years of age.

With the increased number of Universities and middle level colleges, the number of Kenyans who have acquired tertiary education has increased. As a result, you will be correct to guess that most of Kenyans on Twitter who tweet like they will never tweet again are: one, youths – or at least below 35 years; two, educated – or t least in an institution of higher learning; and three, jobless.

With a government that has delivered close to zero jobs as opposed to the promised 1 Million jobs, one would expect a very idle workforce. Secondly, insecurity, infighting and incompetence is crippling our dear government from every corner. It’s like the West Gate siege opened a Pandora box of sorts. Kenyans are now fully aware that they are not only insecure in their homes, but also in their social media accounts… and God forbid, their bank accounts.

hackerAs the adage goes, “an idle mind is a devil’s workshop.’ It’s even worse if the mind is educated – half baked or not. You can’t imagine what a learned fellow would do. And here, I am not talking about Dennis Itumbi and his creation of Ishmael Omondi. How did the case go by the way? That was so lame of  ‘the Official Government Online Propagandist.’ He should have been smarter than that to create an Omondi and imagine him running an Al Shabaab Twitter Account.

Ooh! Where was I!

Yeah, an idle educated Kenyan youth. One who is able to access about 5MBs of Internet Data Bundles to use (or maybe waste away) every day. One who has access to an internet enabled phone or laptop – thanks to Safaricom, and maybe KU’s Soma na Tab. I am talking about that Kenyan who has enough time to ‘break’ news that mainstream media would think twice before letting them out ‘as they happened’. The Kenyans who will tweet a Sabasaba Rally Live as it unfolds while mainstream media is busy censoring it in fear.

What happens when suddenly there’s nothing to tweet? Curiosity sets in. The Kenyan youth want’s to answer all the ‘what if’ online questions they have. What if I tried hacking people’s accounts? Yeah, Just What If?

And so, they set off. “Anonymous” might not be the real “Anonymous” that once hacked Israeli Accounts. This might be a Kenya who needed a name to ride high.

Me thinks it’s either the Kenyan Educated and unemployed youth trying to teach the Government some lessons on the Importance of Cyber Security or Insecurity is so real that Kenyans are not safe anywhere.

Starting with the former, Jubilee rode on the ‘digital’ high horse to power. However, from the cash cow that was the Nakuru County WiFi that did not even function for a day to the dull presidential website, it’s digital dream seem to have ended with the appointment of one Itumbi. As usual, Kenyans can be cruel – especially when they sign in to their Twitter accounts. Botswana, Namibia, Nigeria and Uganda can attest to that… Are the same Kenyans trying to teach the Government a lesson on Social Media? Well…

Turning to the latter, It was the West Gate that was turned into a Waste Gate. Then came landmines and random bullets in the Northern Kenya. As if not enough, buses became unsafe in Nairobi with explosion after explosion. Shortly thereafter, there were explosions in Mombasa, followed by several, well planned and executed attacks on parts of Lamu County. However, because the rich – and the managers of this country – cannot be found in such places, the attacks have now gone online. Is Kenya becoming this insecure? Well..

What can we expect from an idle youth? Provide opportunities and jobs. Let them get busy. Have an easy time running the country.

Where’s the Dignity in Higher Education?

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In the 90’s University Students were the creme of the society.  They were regarded as the most respectable and most learned members of the community. Securing a position in the highest institutions of learning on the land was the height of achievement. Everybody would struggle with no success. The community would carry out a fund raiser to support whoever qualified to join a University. The Government would dish out what was commonly referred to as ‘boom’ to anybody who qualified to join a University. These individuals would do everything to behave their status; to display their prowess in the education sector.

where's the dignitySave for village fund raisers and boom, everything has changed. It doesn’t matter whether you passed or failed in your KCSE. With Universities turning into money-making institutions, your grades are secondary requirements for joining a University of your choice. It doesn’t matter whether you are the creme of the society or not. What matters is the size of your parent or guardian’s pocket. What matters is your relationship with a certain administrator or manager at a University. What matters today is the position your parent holds in the country.

As a result, College students have continually lost their respect in the society. It’s no longer prestigious to join campus. In fact, you have no guarantee that you will get employed after your studies. Not unless it’s in your parents’ company. University students have continually proved to the nation and everybody else that campus is just another place to pass time. Ignorance has taken over the mediocre mind of university students. With every Tom, Dick and Harry joining institutions of higher learning irrespective of their KCSE Grades, Universities have been turned into institutions of mediocrity.

Overcrowding is a common sight in Universities leaving the mentally malnourished students with no choice but struggle for the few facilities available. In fact, some colleges upgrade faster into universities before preparing themselves infrastructure-wise to handle the responsibilities that come with the upgrading. As a result, half-baked graduates are produced with some being denied accreditation by the various professional bodies – which are headed by the old guard who went to school when school was school.

With the mentality that they will find a job and the lack of enough exploratory space, the students have no room for innovations. In fact, those who try to innovate are either met by bureaucratic university management consequences or ridiculed by their colleagues who are in fact supposed to be supporting them. The students are left with nothing but a sleep-lecture hall-library-eat-sleep-exam-go home cycle.

Consequently, a would-be footballer ends up in an office dealing with insurance. His boss is complaining of his incompetence. A would-be professional actor ends up in a hospital dealing with the sick. Many people are dying in his hands. A would-be driver ends up in a class room somewhere as a teacher. Students are finding it hard to understand any concept he tries to explain to them. A would be professional boxer ends up in an Engineering firm. Breakages are doubling up.

University education loses meaning in the society. No body wants to point at a graduate as an example to the children because there’s no difference between that graduate in the village who went to campus via the famous back-door and came back a drunkerd. Children would rather look up to that footballer who is playing at the world cup but never went to campus than aspire to be like so and so’s son who went to campus but has lost three jobs in 6 months.

With the rate at which colleges and training institutes are being given charters, things will grow from what they are now to something worse. The dignity campus students possessed will be wiped out completely. Only time will tell…

The Social Media Menace

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I created my first account online back in 2009. Could be recent or ancient – depending on when you were born or got exposed to the internet. It was a Facebook account with four friends – my family members who were on Facebook. Since then, I’ve moved on to create many others – even forgetting some. From Twitter through LinkedIn to this blog. Currently, I have over 10 accounts online.

Back in 2009, I knew nothing to do with Social Media, but today I literally feed on Social Media. Over time, I’ve learnt that there’s a lot that can happen with the click of a button. With one tweet, you can either lose or get a job. At the click of a button to update a Facebook status, you can be sued for incitement or be used as a witness in a PEV case.  Social Media has become a force to reckon with in Kenya.

Social MediaShow me a company or Corporate Entity without a twitter handle and I’ll show you one that is on the verge of collapse.  Were it not for its power, the president could not have deleted a photo he posted officiating the swearing-in of the new NYS boss! If the social media was powerless, the Namibian and Botswana governments could not have ‘apologized’ for their statements on Kenya! I can go on and on and on to show how powerful Social Media is in the Kenyan context.

However, there are some instances when the Kenyan Social Media players – well, are they? – have exhibited their sense of reckless use of power. Synonymous with the African leaders who abuse power at the slightest opportunity – and this is not a cliché – Kenyan Social Media users have abused the power they have over cheap Internet enabled phones and hustled internet bundles to start twitter wars alias ‘tweefs’, fuel hatred , promote tribalism and incite each other.

The Saturday Nation of 21st June 2014 carried an incisive opinion article by one Peter Mwaura on the topic of ‘whether or not images of death should get published in the dailies.’ In his opening paragraph, Mr Mwaura quips”would you like a picture of your  death published on the front  page of the Nation for all to see?” Most likely, everybody will answer this with an emphatic ‘No!’ However, the same person will be the first to share photos of Mpeketoni victims on his Facebook profile. It beats logic.

Social Media Etiquette is one thing that Kenyans are missing out on. In the wake of Mpeketoni attacks, many Kenyans online could not help but air their view on the attacks.  As usual, many became analysts analyzing the situation and giving their view on ‘who might be behind the attack’. In the end, bloody photos of the victims were doing rounds online with ‘my people’ tags. The cosmetic analysts online were flaring with opinions, suggestions and insinuations.

I posted a Facebook Update that many might not decipher its meaning unless they are reading this article.

In a prayer against satan, I’d expect one to mention God more than satan.  Mentioning satan more than God means you are more concerned with what satan can do than what God is capable of doing. In the end, satan feels more important.  In a prayer of 3 minutes, how many minutes do you use to condemn satan? Who is important? How many minutes do you spend on what is important? #Tafakari”

In that status, I was alluding to those preaching against hate speech and tribalism – while lasing their words with the same undertones. In short, what I meant is that you do not attain peace by constantly talking about war.

Social Media is a necessary evil in the Kenyan context. Just like my primary head teacher used to tell use on every assembly day that everybody is mad, but the degree of madness differ, Social Media users are equally mad but differ in their degree of madness as portrayed daily in their tweets, Facebook updates, flicker updates, Whatssap Messages, Queeps and Instagram pictures.

However, for Kenya to progress, responsible use of social media should be adhered to by all social media users. Before you tweet, think of the impact of your tweet to your followers. You do not need to tell me to kill somebody for that to qualify as incitement…all you need to do is try to portray me or insinuate that I am either ‘being targeted’ or ‘inferior’.