Madiba is gone. The world appreciates his contribution towards a colour-free South Africa. SA has not really got there but there has been tremendous achievement towards this. And as Obama puts it, Mandela is the last of the 20th century liberators. In Oslo on Friday 13th at the Domkirke, there will be a memorial service to commemorate his life and to pray for his soul. The service has been organized by the Lutheran and Methodist Churches. Miss only if you must.
photo courtesy of Daily News
This is your life to live; your story to tell; your journey to walk and your song to sing. I know sometimes it looks like it’s downright heartbreaking and ugly and painful and nerve wrecking and maybe too much to handle. But here is the truth; every one of the bad, ugly, nasty painful, breaking moments always leaves you at a place of grace and mercy. That will always make a difference. The promise was we would be held and we are never forsaken. Don’t run from it for there is purpose in every moment. Don’t ask why me, ask why not me? Don’t run with someone else’s life, and don’t judge yourself. It’s your life, your journey, your story and your song. Embrace it. Accept it. Live it. Love it.
…..Alice Wangui Muthua
KESAN is a voluntary and non-political association that brings together students and seeks means and ways of strengthening the relationship of students from Kenya, promote unity, understanding and organized life, enhance cultural and educational development of the students. The association also seeks to provide vital information that would help members adjust with ease to a new life and environment here in Norway. Further, the association is supposed to act as a link between the students and all Kenyan -related projects and coordinate activities that promote the welfare of Kenyans. We are greatly indebted to all of you for your solidarity and the support that you have continued to accord the board in running the association. As a board, we wish to assure you that no effort will ever go unnoticed and unappreciated.
Ladies and gentlemen, it has not been easy to achieve the aforementioned goals due to numerous challenges such as lack of capacity, inadequate resources, and constraints in time due to the busy life here in Norway amongst other challenges. As a board, we are aware that we are faced with countless challenges living in a foreign land. We are also aware that living away from people you know and in a country that language is a barrier can be very challenging and discouraging. In these prevailing factors ladies and gentlemen we all need someone to lend us a hand and show us around. We need someone we can call and talk to in times of joy and in times of sorrow. This association seeks to provide that platform!
In responding to these challenges and in an effort to become what we envisage of becoming, on this day and on this occasion; ladies and gentlemen we launch a blog and different committees that we believe will be instrumental in helping face these challenges and serve our members more efficiently and effectively. The blog being launched today will be a one- stop shop for all information you need and that may help in many aspects. We encourage you ladies and gentlemen to visit the blog as often as you can and to always give your opinion on daily happenings. We also wish to encourage you to show solidarity to the association through participation and contributions as and when required. We further request you to invite all Kenyan students that might not be aware of this great association. I believe that we are headed somewhere and indeed today the journey has begun! Thank you and welcome aboard!
Dr. Alfred Mutua’s dream is simply awe-inspiring. All eyes are on the New Machakos City as sceptics are quick to point out that similar projects have sprung up in the not-so-distant past but are yet to come to fruition. Tatu City was a brilliant idea and everyone hailed it as the answer to decongesting Nairobi whose social amenities have been stretched too thin owing to rapid population expansion. Then came a grander idea of building Konza City which was quickly christened “Africa’s Silicon Savannah.” In my books (not yet written and therefore not yet published) , I had already started a sing-song phrase, “Americans have Silicon Valley, Indians have Bangalore and we in Kenya have the Silicon Savannah,” it’s too early, I presume, to decide that that too has already gone to the annals of forgotten history. Then the good doctor shows up and his dream is as mind-boggling as any can be. This time round the flicker of light in the tunnel doesn’t seem to be an on-coming train. It is something else. Legend has it that there is already a lot of work on the ground and the project is gathering momentum. I hope it heralds the birth of the Kenyan dream.
Kenya is deemed to be a country of spectacular beauty (for those who care to find out). Unfortunately, not much is said of our incomparable fauna and flora. The hospitality of the Kenyan people is only second to none. The pristine white sand beaches at the coast are a rarity few countries can boast of. But seems like good news does not have much space in the mainstream media (both local and global), a stark contrast with bad news which enjoys immense airtime. If I’m to render my country a service that would surpass all, it would be to re-brand the country by making all and sundry see the Kenya that is not much talked about. Here is a link to what have been dubbed Kenya’s top 10 attractions.
Alumni Spotlight: Loreen Maseno-Ouma
In this month’s spotlight, we feature Dr. Loreen Maseno-Ouma who is currently working at Maseno University in Kenya. While in Norway, she was an active member of KESAN and continued to be active long after she had left Norway. Loreen would attend KESAN’s meetings and other social gatherings whenever she would come to Norway on official visits. In an earlier interview, she shared her experience as a student in Norway and as a scholar and researcher in Kenya. Please spare some time to read through her short interview here.
Alice Wangui Muthua aka Qui has lived worked and studied in Norway since 2007. As an industrious student at Kenyatta University, she was awarded a Quota Scholarship to study in Volda University College where she did Social Norm at undergraduate level. She is currently a second year master’s student at Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
Why did you choose to study in Norway?
Studying in Norway was more than a choice for me. I would call it a chance, for lack of a better description. And it is one of those things that can be described aptly as “one in a million.” I got a scholarship while studying at Kenyatta University and subsequently moved to Norway in 2007.
What has been the highlight of your educational journey in Norway for you?
My educational experience in Norway has been quite an eye-opener. I think the most important thing is that I have learnt to be critical. I found that Norwegian Universities encourage students to be inquisitive and to be critical thinkers. We are allowed to criticize the professors and we can even disagree with them, something that is not a norm in Kenyan universities, at least in my experience.
What challenges have you experienced during the academic journey?
The main challenge was getting to learn the Norwegian language and culture. As you know, Norwegians are quite reserved and shy, and coming from a culture where we are so open to each other, it got me surprised.
What are your future aspirations after completing the master’s programme?
Currently am studying International Development at master’s level and my plan is to move back home and get into the arena of development. I am passionate about changing lives and helping people become better, and I think Kenya needs a lot of growth and development so that people can live a prosperous life.
What do you enjoy about living/studying in Norway?
What I enjoy about Norway is the opportunities to study. Tuition is free and there is so much one can learn in the different study programs.