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Education

‘My parents were afraid I’d fail exams,’ Nameless remembers his graduation day at UoN

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Singer David Mathenge aka Nameless is one of the most learned musicians around. The father of two started his singing career back in the day when he was still studying Architecture at the University of Nairobi.

Nameless was among the talents behind the architecture of The Hub shopping Mall in Karen.

Just like any other parents, Nameless’ didn’t support his career at first and he revealed that they thought he would fail his exams at the university.

But shock on them on his graduation, he had passed with flying colours.

‘FBF to my graduation day…My parents were Sooo tensed that I may fail my final year exams because of my music career taking off while still in campo, ndio maana mum ana smile from ear to ear in relief😅😅!! Hawakuwa wanajua Mimi ni mnoma kwa design😎🤨… Otherwise musijudge look yangu , I had to look innocent infront of my paroz bana 🤷🏾‍♂️… Na hiyo ni durag under the graduation hat 🧐😂… After this nilivua specs Nika vaa shades nikaenda Carnivore kufunga show,’ he posted accompanied by the photo below.

Nameless
Nameless and his parents

Nameless met his wife Wahu Kagwi, a fellow artiste while still in campus. They studied at the same university.

READ ALSO:   ‘You’re strong and an incredible woman,’ Victoria Rubadiri, Yvonne Okwara and Nameless praise Betty Kyallo

Check out comments on his post

wahukagwi After all the transnighting I did with you half this degree is mine

karwaay Are we going to talk about that tie ama nikanyagie?😂😂

bienaimesol Always a G

miss.muya You kinda look like Bien of Sauti sol

derekmwai Icon, thank you for motivation back in Highie🤓 ride kwa Surf ilikuwa something💪

davidmuriithi This is how I remember you aki.

kaydeelethal @namelesskenya waaaaaay before u are aromat

matrieyann Mungu nifundishe kunyamaza😂😂😂

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Education

Duo gives libraries vital facelift

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Public libraries are vital as storehouse of knowledge; they mould character of cities. Yet, most public libraries are in dilapidated conditions and require a facelift.

At the end of 2018, author Wanjiru Koinange and publisher Angela Wacuka, founders of Book Bunk, conducted a research and found out that contrary to popular opinion that Kenyan’s don’t read, 300 people were walking in and out of public libraries every single day to use them. For this reason, three years ago, they set up Book Bunk to give public libraries a new lease of life after decades of neglect.

“Our mission is to restore public libraries, to convert them not just from a physical perspective but also from a social and experiential perspective. In a sense, what are other people doing in their spaces, what

are they getting access to, what are they reading and what kind of services are in public that we can bring to the libraries,” starts Wanjiru.

They have three projects, with Macmillan Memorial Library as the flagship and others in Makadara and Kaloleni in Nairobi. Two years before the renovations, the duo spent time doing a lot of programming work, events and research, and when the funds came, they began physical restoration, starting with Kaloleni.

However, Covid-19 happened and with it came new rules and regulations on how construction work should continue. At that point, the two had already hired 28 people as casual labourers for the project. Luckily, by the time the new regulations were set, they had already done the bulk of renovation and all that was left was just painting and tiling, which could be done by fewer staff members.

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“It didn’t feel right for them to stop because they were relying on the cash to survive. We began looking at how they could space out work, even though it would take longer, but it meant that we could still keep them. They were able to do that and currently they have completed the renovation of first branch,” she says Though risky, they used local people to work on the project to make them feel part and parcel of it. Since land grabbing is prevalent in these areas, most locals look at those who walk in with projects suspiciously, thus educating them on the project’s significance was not a walk in the park.

“It wasn’t a one day or week event to convince people of our intention. We had to go there time and again trying to sell the idea to them that public spaces can be beautiful and functional whether they are in Runda or Kaloleni,” says Wanjiru.

The Kaloleni project is now complete and the community is vigilant in safeguarding it and ensuring that there is no vandalism.

Working with the government has been a challenge and a bonus for the pair. A challenge because bureaucracy in these institutions makes things drag than they would if handled by a private entity. Nevertheless, meeting kind people in offices made it easier for them navigate things that could have take a long time to deal with. The second challenge has been financing their project.

Operational funding “Operational funding is our greatest challenge. It’s shocking to me that in this day and age, people still expect to have their

names on the building when they support a project without even catering for salaries of people who do the work. Wacuka and I struggle to find cash to pay our people’s salaries, to give the people committed to the project good life and not have to worry about anything. It breaks my heart all the time because we don’t struggle to find money for events or research, yer for salaries, it is a struggle,” she explains.

READ ALSO:   Wahu Kagwi tearfully narrates horrifying sexual assault ordeal

The pandemic has made the two think of future libraries, which is leaning towards being more technological.

“We are currently creating a framework on what digital adoption will look like. The Makadara Library is full of university students and teenagers, which will force us go digital because young people in that age bracket are using technology. This means we must have plans for high speed internet, tablets and we must also have a place where people can experiment with coding; that’s the future of libraries. I think libraries as public spaces needs to evolve into more of community centres instead of rooms full of books. This evolution cannot ignore tech or it’s bound to fail,” she adds.

With Macmillan, they are trying to Africanise the library.

Library and culture “When the Macmillan Library was opened in 1931, black people weren’t allowed in. Presently, if you look at the collection, you’ll realise the content was not meant for Kenyans. On the other hand, the library in Kaloleni is such a significant one in our history, but no one talks about. The building became the unofficial parliament before it was even set up,” she says.

The pair has been trying to reconnect libraries with cultures and to have African literature and art represented.

Understanding the youths are idle during this pandemic and that going to libraries has been prohibited due to health risks at the moment, the organisation has also been trying to take the library to the local’s homes.

READ ALSO:   Wahu reveals what she does to irk Nameless

“We hired people to find out how many children live in every single estate and in Kaloleni, we found out that they were about 190 children. We appealed to our partners and friends for colouring books, toys and novels and walked around giving the kids in their homes,” she recalls So far, Kaloleni was just a pilot project in as far as the book donation drive was concerned. They plan to do this in Makadara as well.

“The future is more libraries and we want to create a template, which can be replicated in as many libraries as possible. We want to create a team in whatever spaces that we can who can carry out the work and have more libraries than bars,” she says in conclusion.

FACTS
• Wanjiru is a writer and has recently released a book, Havoc of Choice.

• Angela Wacuka was the director of Kwani Trust for around eight years and that’s when she met Wanjiru and the two became friends. Wanjiru started assisting Wacuka manage her events and that’s how their work relationship was borne.

• While Wanjiru is good at management and administration, Wacuka is an incredible networker and communicator.

• They have sessions where they ask each other how they are doing. They have also a small staff who check on them and give their expertise instead of doing it all on their own.

BY PD.CO.KE

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Education

Dr Ocharo: It took hard work to get to the top

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Tell us a bit about your upbringing.

I was born in Maralal – a small hillside market in Northern Kenya, within Samburu County. The market was pioneered by Somali settlers in the 1920s. When I was just two years old, my parents moved to Bungoma and a few years later, they separated. My mother started a small business of knitting sweaters and selling second-hand clothes. Life was not easy at all; it was full of struggles. However, my mother managed to see my siblings and me through school, the challenges and struggles notwithstanding.

You have a doctorate in physics, a master’s degree in physics and a bachelor’s degree in education. How did you manage that?

When I was in Form Two at Butere Girls, I realised that some subjects were not my cup of tea and I had no other option but to drop them. I was a physics major. I scored As in both atomic physics, solid-state physics and electronics. I realised that there was something special in me that resonated very well with physics and especially quantum physics. That’s how the desire to pursue physics got conceived with a strong conviction that I would pursue it to the highest level.

Was it easy to attain this?

The road was bumpy, especially striking a balance between being a mother and a student while discharging my obligations. However, this did not deter me in any manner.

READ ALSO:   Nameless opens up on marriage struggles with Wahu

What inspired you to undertake a male-dominated course?

I have never belonged to the school of thought that some things are the preserve of men. I always believe that what a man can do, a woman can do just as well. I have always wanted to be unique.  I fancy challenging the status quo. I am a critical thinker, very analytical and therefore always tend to consider issues in a very structured way. This has inclined me towards the field.

Who inspired you in your journey?

My mother played a major role as my anchor, mentor and strength. She constantly reminded me that society judges single and poor mothers harshly, holding that they cannot see their children through to university education and that the narrative had to change. I was propelled and destined to succeed. Besides that, my husband has been my greatest support. He paid the entire fees for the programme and pushed me gently but firmly to start and complete the programme. At the time of admission, I was already a mother of one son and was expecting my second child.

Prior to your appointment to the Kisii Cabinet in 2013, you worked as a lecturer. Why did you change?

I am a firm believer in precise and effective discharge of obligations wherever I am placed. While lecturing was enjoyable, God will always grant you what you pray for. And so with the encouragement of my greatest supporter – my husband – I applied for the job and got it.

READ ALSO:   Wahu Kagwi tearfully narrates horrifying sexual assault ordeal

Do you sometimes miss teaching?

Teaching is in my blood and I am always ready to share my knowledge. I am sometimes involved in developing curricular for higher learning institutions. It is part of giving back to the community.

Do you consider yourself to be overambitious?

I have always been deliberate, calculative and conscious in making decisions.  The people close to me see a lot of potential in me and constantly remind me that my time in a station should not exceed the time I am useful there.

What is your greatest fear?

As the late Tupac Shakur would put it, “Life is a test, mistakes are lessons, but the gift of life is knowing that you made a difference. My greatest fear is not making a difference.

What are some of the lessons you have learned so far?

That hard work does not kill. It is a precursor for excellence. It has been a path dotted with many failures, but I believe that failure leads to success.

Interview Source:The Standardmedia.co.ke

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Diaspora

HOPE: 36 year old man who scored D+ in Kenya now has 5 degrees from US universities!

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

They say when one door is shut somewhere, a window – or even another door – is open someplace else. The story of US-based Mwangi Mukami reads like fiction.

In his own words, the Kenya education system wrote him off when he got a D+ in his high school exams (KCSE). However, upon landing in the US (where, by and large, people are judged by the content of their character without laying too much emphasis on past failures or mistakes), he embarked on a journey to fulfil his educational dreams.

He went back to school and, as we speak, he has just received his fifth degree at the age of 36. Many Kenyans in US can can relate to Mukami’s story. It resonates because many of them – or their friends and family members – had lost hope in Kenya but the United States offered them a second chance. Now they have their well earned degrees which they would otherwise have only dreamt of. We must add a rider here that although there is no doubt that  opportunities abound in the US, you still have to work very hard to earn those degrees.

Here is Mr Mwangi Mukami  in his own words:

BY MWANGI MUKAMI
I have just received my graduate diploma from UC Berkeley. 20+ years ago, Kenya’s education system wrote me off as a failure because I had a D+.
I remember vividly saying to my peers that I wanted to be a policymaker or an attorney. Their response was a burst of collective laughter and sneer. But here I am—five degrees at 36. I hope God grants me a long life, success, and wealth to open doors of opportunities for more D+ students.
For the misfits, the rejected, and the oppressed. Congratulations to my mom. The degree is a reflection of her tenacity. I am grateful and honored to have wonderful brothers and sisters who support and trust my ability to achieve: Elizabeth Mwariri Keyym Peters, Lissa Irvenne Kayte Khulgal Jeph Collins.
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I couldn’t have done it without the encouragement of Kay Ventura, Carol McCrary, and Betty Mc Crary Alarms, And I can’t forget Elizabeth Woods for the many nights she drove to take me to school.

Jim Foti for the countless recommendation letters Joe Beasley for initial grant to attend a community college.

I am because of all these people and I couldn’t be so grateful and honored to have them in my life. For Nick, the next step is a JD.

Image may contain: ‎text that says '‎THE REGENTS OF THE University of Calitornia ON THE NOMINATION OF THE FACULTY OF THE RICHARD AND RHODA GOLDMAN GRADUATE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY HAVE CONFERRED UPON MOSES MWANGI MUKAMI THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS WITH ALL THE RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES THERETO PERTAINING GIVEN AT BERKELEY THIS FIFTEENTH DAY OF MAY IN THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND AND TWENTY OVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA AND PRESIDENT THE REGENTS yat n,ב ESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY CurolT. Chrish CHANCELLOR AT BERKELEY ag...baly מAפם THE &. braly SCHOOL‎'‎

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