If you have seen Moi university adverts on TV or pictures on newspapers or even my Instagram feed and think you’re coming to a very decent, very organised, very good organisation all I can say is pole. Pole sana.
Karibu Moi University, the big billboard sized sign reads next to the gate manned by not less than 8 security guards. They salute at you as you enter and make you feel you’re joining a very big establishment. The trees on the opposite sides of the well tarmacked road give you a feeling of supremacy and the zephyr as you come out makes you feel matchless.
The view to the administration block is amazing. That building makes you happy somehow, somewhere deep inside you. You don’t want to look at the stage. That must not be part of Moi University you tell yourself. You are headed to the students’ centre. The meadows and the highways… the trees and the billows… the well-dressed students naïve like you are… the library oh the library… the end. There you are now. This is the students’ centre? You kid me not? The number of people gathered there queueing gives you a scare. It is war I tell you.
So the day is over and after being cross with the process you now finally have a room and are ready to start campus. You have bade farewell to all the ones who brought you, if there were, and are now there so full of life ready to start campus. Well, this is where my post starts. I was just reminiscing on my experience. Though mine must have been completely different from yours. See, make a point of visiting the school of information sciences and you’ll know why.
You have a room now. Probably you have a roomie already or he/she will be joining you in a few days’ time. If you are in hostel H/J/K/L or M don’t even nit-pick about anything. By the way ladies in Hostel L side B (or whatever name you want to call it) that was a boys’ section just a semester ago. If you are in the other hostels, boys, with 3 other roommates be happy. You undoubtedly have a friend who’ll be cranky about being thrown in to a hall, the common room. But that is university for you. I know maybe you were imagining the kind of universities you see in big screens. But this is what happens when a country focuses so much on politics rather than on development. I’m sure the officials must have confused your face for that of a Kale and whispered some Kikale to you. Get used to it. Every office around here has Kales speaking Kikale almost full time. Let me give you a free lesson. Kale for thank you is ‘Kongoi’ and the response is something like ‘Mising’. Say ‘Kongoi’ to any bodaboda man and the charges will drop from 50 to 20.
What will you have for supper on your first night in campus? I’m so sure you haven’t heard of the coil. Yes, there is something known as a coil. It is like a hotplate. You don’t have it yet because the rules said: No cooking in the Hostels. Haha. Plus you are almost certainly asking yourself why there are no sockets in your room. You can’t even charge your phone or laptop if you have one. Better buy yourself a socket and fix it yourself. The janitors have been trained to lie to you. “Usijali bwana. Tutaweka hizo sockets next week”. Next week will come and go and in no time you’ll find yourself accused for vandalising the school property. “Hii jamaa..” And they won’t give you a smile like the old guy probably did today. Now, you have no food with you or if you do, you have no means to cook. So you decide to buy supper. You’ll be buying supper for some time, well until the cash sort of disappears. It will.
For your fist meal, if you don’t have friends I’m sorry you’ll have to sit in a cafeteria alone. There are many ‘hapo stage’. You probably don’t know which one to enter. I can tell you this though: first make sure you peruse the whole area. And also learn to accept that the muddy slums you see around there are Moi University’s shopping centre at their best. It is usually worse. They’ve even made the road for you. It is usually muddy all over.
If you have friends, you’ll together go somewhere thinking you’re the freest people on earth and start discussing either your frustrations of the state in Moi, your high school experiences or the Man Utd match that ended 5-3 after tables turned. It is then when you’ll realise that you’re truly in a village and that watching a simple football match is like visiting the chang’aa dens that kill people. If you are the stupid type who wants to taste alcohol and live a free life, you’ll be picked up the next morning in a trench somewhere. And you’ll lock yourself in such a life forever.
After supper you’ll wade through mud back to the hostels and be annoyed by the state of the health hazards in the name of toilets and bathrooms. You’ll sleep either very angry or very optimistic of the next day (that’s if you’re a focused person or if you were in Maseno School). Something about Maseno school guys is that we were trained to expect anything. I challenge you to identify any Maseno school first year. They’ll be very happy and contented. They’ll appear like people who’ve been in campus for a longer time than you. And they’ll know the whole campus before you do. They will even have Wi-Fi passwords. So heads up, these are the guys to be friends with.
You should also see the first years from Alliance Girls. I doubt you’ll find boys from Alliance. The boys are there but they’ll never say it out. They don’t have the pride of Maseno school guys. Maseno guys are always proud, and we don’t apologise for that. The girls from Alliance will be focused. You can meet them four years down the line and they’ll still have the same zeal as in 1st year. They are determined. These too are the friends you should keep. Not forgetting the girls from BOMA. You know, Kenya High. These girls write. I’m sure you’ll meet them. They’re like everywhere online. They, together with the Alliance Girls’ and whomever else interested will join the 3rd Eye and The Communicator and they will have blogs and will be part of big clubs. They’ll be in AISEC and Kenya wildlife and all that. You will want to associate with such. I can’t mention all schools lakini ata wewe.
The second morning. You will be happy there is no bell to wake you up, which of course you already know. But the feeling you’ll get when you realise that hell yeah there is real freedom on when you can wake up… I don’t know where you’ll get tea. For one, I have never visited any “mess” myself. There are various student cafeterias. The ‘Messes’ are all messy and I was persuaded that the food there sucks. By the way, in 2012 I didn’t have breakfast for 2 weeks. I had no coil, no sufuria, no ideas on where to have breakfast. I’m not a fat guy but heck I really lost weight. You’ll have to find your way around. Get a diary on when to wake up, how to have breakfast etc. It is like walking in the dark. Nothing is sure. Today this is the case, tomorrow everything is different. But buy yourself a coil. And a sufuria. And a woofer. Especially a woofer since you don’t want the neighbour next door to be your full time Dj. Or earphones like I did since I couldn’t afford woofers.
From the second day, learn about your course. There may be meetings in your school. Attend them for your own benefit. Plan your life and get in to the rhythm of life. Don’t be a class rep. LOL. No. Don’t waste your time being belligerent about Moi University. You’re not the first and won’t be the last here. The administration is to blame for the dilapidated hostels and the bad classrooms (except for those in the school of IS). You see all schools look up to the school of Information science. See, we even have a lift in school. And a basement. And a radio station. The frequency is 103.9 MU FM. I’m not jesting. You’re not part of the administration so play your part.
Don’t sit talking of how KU have better facilities. How UoN is better organised. How JKUAT, though lacking girls, have better lecturers. You are a here for half a time. It’ll be so short you’ll be shocked. You’re here for a purpose. This is a worldwide platform for you to show your mettle. I know worldwide sounds funny since you are in Kesses, but believe me here in this Village University you’re out to compete and prove your worth to the whole world. Don’t spend your time contending your fellow ‘village students’. Don’t let your successes go to your head. Everything you do has been done better before. And whilst you waste your time whining and saying something cannot be done, you’ll be interrupted by someone who’s already doing it. Don’t settle for less. Aim for the best. Be the very best. It is not about you studying very hard and passing exams here. It is about you creating connections, making your name and building a future so bright for yourself. The world is moving faster than you can imagine. Welcome to Moi University.