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My Life as the Most Hated Kenyan

Mark Maish

February 13th, 2008, a stocky man walks into the room full of bleary students for evening classes in a high school located on the slopes of Taita Hills. The man goes by the name Samuel, the most revered boarding master and business teacher in the entire province.  It’s claimed that he knew all the business principles by heart that the only reason he carried the voluminous books to class was to confirm whether indeed the authors got them right.

Samuel loved his short-sleeved shirts, baggy trousers, and shoes with huge soles perhaps to appear taller. He set down books on the table and looked into the crowd particularly at one young boy with huge ears seating right at the center of the room.

THE KENYAN QUARTER LIFE CRISIS

In Nation FM studios
In Nation FM studios

How many here are working in a field they didn’t pursue in college? Hands up please! One, two, three…there is clearly a huge number. I am no different. It’s been three months since I graduated yet I haven’t picked my certificate or transcripts from my alma mater.

My father is disappointed, my mother is sad, my relatives are worried, while my engineering mentors and supervisors are confused by my decision. “Why did you waste 5 years in college only to switch careers?” “ Why would you move away from a safe career in engineering to the media industry , which is unpredictable? The last concern is genuine, I might be out of my job by the time you are reading this, that’s how unpredictable my chosen career path is, and strange enough that doesn’t scare me.

WHY I’M PROUD TO BE KENYAN

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“Our march to freedom has been long and difficult. There have been times of despair when only the burning conviction of the rightness of our cause has sustained us. Today the tragedies and misunderstandings of the past are behind us. Today, we start on the great adventure of building the Kenyan nation.” This is part of the speech the first president of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta gave on 12th December 1963 midnight marking the end of the colonial rule and beginning of my beloved country Kenya. The following are 5 reasons to why I’m proud to be Kenyan!