Tuesday, 26 May 2015


As a first year who has just been admitted to college you get to experience so many things. For me, the most striking experience was my encounter with those who had been admitted to pursue the so called ‘prestigious courses’.  The definition of prestigious courses was varied with some considering technical aspects of the course while others paying attention to the salary scales of the said profession. Many claimed to be doing ‘technical’ courses just because the curriculum had some complex mathematics here and there.

Anyway, those claiming to be pursuing these ‘prestigious courses’ had a ‘better than you’ attitude towards us those who took humanity based courses. According to them, they thought we were not brilliant enough to pursue those courses oblivious of the fact that some had surpassed the cut off points but they were maintaining their cool. Maybe they were right. But, it could be that we were not looking to stress ourselves with finding values of x and y for 5 years.

Surprisingly, those who took Business Management and Economics also considered themselves superior. Someone shoot me. I have always wondered what was so special about the course that granted some of the candidates their bragging rights. In fact, with the increasing exam cheating in the KCSE, it’s difficult to judge the cognitive competence of students basing on the KCSE grades. To unmask them, give them aptitude tests.  Real bright students will stand out. It’s only after pursuing the prestigious courses and ending up jobless after graduation just like the rest of us did they realize their nothing prestigious in their courses- anyway. 

But I digress.

Of those who took the ‘prestigious courses’ there was no group that had a lot of arrogance than those who took Engineering. When conversing with some of them, they would from time to time remind the gathering mostly taking ‘lesser courses’ that they were engineers in the making. Little did they know that they would join us in our humanity faculties after being discontinued for scoring cumulative fails in their first year of study. I always told them in Engineering, there is no trying; it’s either you know or you don’t know unlike in humanity were we are allowed to argue our case. There is no definite answer to problems.

Personally, I hold Engineers in high esteem because I believe they are brilliant and they are our key to a prosperous nation. Engineering has been advocated as the key driver of an industrial economy that can lead a country such as Kenya to a middle income status. Sadly, here in Kenya we are not faring well as we should.

Today, I asked a friend of mine, a Computer Engineer, what he has invented or innovated since completing college approximately 2 years ago. He gave me a blank look. I probed him further perhaps if he is working on some kind of a project but still nada. That right there is our problem. We have people enrolling to engineering for the sake of the tag ‘Eng’ and the huge salaries associated with the course. Consequently, we have a bunch of engineering graduates who lack vision as they are not passionate about Engineering.  All engineering contracts are going to the Chinese and Japanese yet we have engineers graduating from our institutions. Those who are awarded contracts do substandard jobs.

While those in Electrical and Electronic Engineering are doing comparatively well, those in Civil, Mechanical, and Structural Engineering are simply deadbeat. If MPESA was invented in here Kenya, I believe we have great potential and as a way to mitigate the perennial problem of unemployment, we need the engineers to jam start the industrial revolution in Kenya. I would like to challenge all Kenyan engineers to leverage on their brilliance and knowledge to lead Kenya to an industrial economy.  As an Engineer, what have you invented or innovated? Food for thought.