Home » Kenyatta University Student Graduates with Degree in Telecommunications After Years of Deferment, Set to Promote Patriotism in the Country

Kenyatta University Student Graduates with Degree in Telecommunications After Years of Deferment, Set to Promote Patriotism in the Country

by Paul Nyongesa
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BY: Collins Odhiambo Ochieng

My head was high and I had hopes that were unmeasurable. Every time I sat on my desk, starting to achieve my great dream, I would read an inspirational story of the great Eng. Philip Okundi.

That was in 2012 when I started my degree in Telecommunications at Kenyatta University. I wanted to be a great engineer; also admired Prof. Akeyo, a highly pitched speaker who gave us talks at Ober Primary during the Zonal Education Day.

I never knew I would meet a stumbling block on the way until I received a strange call from school. I was all tears when I received my discontinuation letter from the University senate.

It was a dark day, with light weight, my heart held on my hands. Where could I run!! I thought of commiting suicide! I don’t even remember how I reached home. This was 2016, just a year to my graduation 🎓.

I stayed home. Facing the disappointed face of my parents.

Mum: Nyathina ang’o manotimore? Dad: In niber to idonje oyuma (What happened?)
Dani: Nyakwara aketi e lamo.
I was broken everytime a discussion on education was being done. In the family meetings, I have been the center of some discussions. Fingers pointing at my lack of seriousness with education. I really felt the stigma, really wishing to die. All this time, I just kept my parents at bay and never disclosed anything to them, even at gun point.

To my friends and people around, I had to adjust and ensure that they don’t focus on my predicaments. Some, I would tell that I’m on my masters degree. Some knew I’m done with my education. Some called me engineer. Deep down, I broke into silent teers, wearing a fake smile on my face🤤. My way was blocked and the stigma was itching like a conc acid. I have been belittled; desparaged; trivialized; rediculed; maligned; vilified; dismissed; depressed coz I hadn’t achieved my education dreams; a top student, right from primary. Who are you? Where do you work? These questions breaks lots of youths. I am sad for you.

1st June, 2021, after long moments of depression, I got a real inspiration. Uhuru Kenyatta was holding Madaraka Celebrations in Kisumu. Amidst the hate that Luos had built against the Jubilee Government, I saw love. Osito Kale killed the moment by the “Ouru inie Rais” phrase. I was in tears again. The feeling of loving a country.

I didn’t know that the day would be a turning point in my life. I thought of the need for patriotism. Can everyone love his or her country?? I said that this is the moment to be patriotic and formed an organization, Paint Kenya Patriots. My main aim was creation of patriotism through paint. I would focus on making our Kenyan Flag brighter.

My first design was the KU gate. I wrote a letter to the VC (Prof. Wainaina) and he accepted my proposal (see photo). That’s when I met Mr. Machua, PR director of the school. I shared my story and he saw a bright future in me. I then wrote a letter to request for my resumption. I doubted coz I had lost hope in my education. But, I made a trial. Months later, I was again in class to complete my degree, obsessed with Patriotism.

I am sad. No, I am happy. No no no….I am a sad man as I approach my graduation 🎓 tomorrow. I am not sad because I have taken long in school, not even because I haven’t achieved much in life. I’m still young and optimistic. Today, I mourn the comrades who have lost lives in such struggles. Some have taken their lives due to disappointments. Sad!. Look at this, life has no spare part. I mourn with the parents who have lost their kids coz they didn’t have time to give them hope again. Frank and Kevin, the least I know since highschool, RIP comrades. I wish I celebrated today. I couldn’t see this day if I did let stigma and depression weigh me down. I sob dearly🥲. I’m sad. People face a lot in silence.

Thanks to everyone who kept the fire burning in me. Special dedication to my parents, wife, kids, siblings, and friends. I have a reason to achieve my best. Along, I have built survival mechanisms. A times undertaking academic writing for pay; a times being odd. I have developed the confidence and belief that life is for the brave and bold. I want to press it on.

I want to dedicate my life in nation building. Patriotism would be my major focus. I thank Uraia Trust Civic Education Manager, Abubakar Said, for having commended my project. I also laud NCIC for their great efforts in the development of an integrated and just society. On this, I quit lots of my engagements to dedicate my time in building UKENYA. Everyone I wronged on the way, I say POLE SANA. We start a new chapter. I have gone through the Nyayo Philosophy, the Loyalty Pledge, National Anthem, The Flag, The Presidency, all symbols of national unity and I believe in the beauty of building PEACE, LOVE and UNITY. I will give a date of painting KU gate, which will be the start of THE PATRIOTIC JOURNEY, where EQUITY and ONENESS would be the hymns.

I am a KENYAN.

I invite you all.

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