Saturday, 7 October 2017

Strike 1, Strike 2, Strike 3...

You're out! That's what I would  really like to tell my university.

Strike one. It had something to do with SONU during April of last year. We were literally days from our final exams of the semester. Literal days. I could smell the four month holiday, feel it even. I could also sense how unprepared I was for my exams but that is beside the point. 4 weeks, 31 days off schedule threw us off big time . For one this was my second year of university, and my holiday wouldn't be the norm of 4 months all to myself, no way, this time I had judicial attachment  which you can read about the first half here. That schedule was thrown out the window. There were God knows how many groups doing attachment at different shifts. Some people were lucky enough to go for the program for 8 weeks in a row, others like myself, went four weeks had a four week break then went back for  another four weeks and others went for 8 weeks alright. The last 8 weeks of our holiday. They were put to work up until the last Friday before we opened for the new school year. They still had the judicial attachment assignment they had to get to. On top of dealing with the third year of university they had that assignment lurking in the background.

Strike 2. This was the whole first quarter of this year, 2017. Yes, a whole first quarter, 4 months. This time it was UASU, something about better pay. When you're in a small campus like myself your lecturers don't exactly down their tools and sing the tone deaf, 'Solidarity forever'. For a hot minute my lecturers were going out on a limb for us, teaching despite the notice put out by the union. Word got to UASU officials what was happening in our neck of the woods and it wasn't long before they rolled up. They made it clear that they weren't monkeying around when they told their members to down their tools. And that was the end of our lectures as we knew them, for a while at least.

Strike 3. UASU yet again. Better pay. Again. This one lasted only for two weeks, thankfully. Get this though, we went back to our usual programming only to break for elections for a record four weeks. So, a month of learning went down the drain just like that.

If I was say in my first year of uni and I would have gone through all of that, I would have dipped ages ago. I have already heard of a couple who have opted for that route already,I am here to affirm to you grasshopper, if ever you had a doubt whether you are doing the right thing take it from a fourth year who is on a whole other level of fed up,you are doing the right thing.

I would have really loved to stop at Strike 3 but University of Nairobi just had to outdo itself. On Tuesday it was closed indefinitely. There is a whole story around the circumstances that led to this situation. The long and short of it, a former student leader now turned Member of Parliament  was arrested and promptly re-arrested which caused his die hard followers to protest. Apparently the protests were getting out of hand so police descended on campus to 'deal' with the situation. The images of their response to the protest surfaced on social media, wouldn't you know it? And let's just say people were outraged.

Life would have moved on swiftly in my opinion if it wasn't for the Inspector General's interview on a local TV station. Excuse me while I rant about the importance of public relations especially in the public sector. It's no secret that some things the government does are kept away from the public eye, in this respect, I think it is important to remember that this tends to be for our safety. In as much as I disagree with this view, these are facts. Obviously, people will still ask questions. My opinion, the answers are there. It is quite the task keeping these under wraps which is why I think it would be paramount if government officials were coached on answers to give when such questions come up in such interviews or have a list of questions allowed or disallowed when it comes to media interviews or both. I want transparency as much as the next guy but when it costs people lives, health and education imma pass on that one.

You know what they say, all that is in darkness must come to light. Sure enough the Inspector General was exposing the people who ratted on the protesters, the reveal set the ball rolling into the mess that it is  now.

Folks,I am tired, I just want to graduate. The plan now is to just get ahead of all  the work I have been drowning in. I am already waking up at 7 a.m everyday the next step would be to actually do something with all these valuable time I have in my hands like my proposal and four units worth of group assignments.

Wish me luck!

Have a good one! 


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