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Guest Post: Never Taught in Class.

Post by Samuel Muthomi a.k.a Dj Somi.

When Kawiria asked me to be a guest writer, I was gobsmacked because I’m a big fan of Kawi’Snippets (Stupendous Tidbits).  Her blog has been an inspiration to me and many others. Sharing her life experiences made me realize that it is sharing ones weaknesses that helps other people in their need, not your strengths. I hope to share some of my life experiences that you will never be taught in any class.

Guest Post


Humility Makes you Grow.

Humility sets one on the path to success. Pride will keep one from growing, because one is not willing to learn. Let’s get one thing clear, no one has it all together! I have been successful on the academic front, not because I was the brightest student in class, but because I was willing to learn. If you humble yourself, you become teachable because you are willing to learn.


Remember Pleasant Memories. Forget the Rest.

We can never reverse the past. Sometimes with hindsight, there are things one wishes they had done differently in life. At one time or another in life, there is someone who has deeply hurt you. Learn to let go because regret and resentment doesn’t hurt anybody but you. Learn to forgive others even when they do not deserve it. Be grateful for the good in people and choose to remember the good things about people, the good times and the positive experiences. Pleasant memories are a choice; do not dwell on the negative memories.


Make a Difference. Give.

It is the smallest gesture or thoughtful assistance that makes the biggest impact. My folks have taught me to be generous even when you don’t have plenty to give. My folks came from humble begins and the little that God has given them, they have used to educate a lot of people and help others set up their own business. It feels one with so much joy when you assist someone and help them realize their potential and fulfill their purpose in life. When God gives you the vision, he gives you the provision for it. My vision this year was to start Kipaji Agency Limited and help nature talent. I hope I can make a difference in people’s lives.

Guest Post


Good Friendships Take Time.

To build a good relationship, one needs cultivation, work, and time to build a deep connection with someone. Every deep connection requires communication, commitment and companionship. You don’t need many friends to make it in this world, but a few good friends. Focus on having good (quality) friends not many (quantity) friends.


Serve Other People.

We are God’s stewards and God does not give us gifts, talents and abilities for our own benefit. Our gifts, talents and abilities should be used to serve other people. I’ve always had a passion for music and deejay’ing but I’ve learnt over the last one year, that God didn’t give me my artistic ability just so i can enjoy it. It took me a couple of months of soul searching for me to realize my vision and dream of music being an avenue of service others. Ubantu Festival was thus birthed as a celebration of the historical, cultural, artistic & philosophical legacies of Africans from past times to the present.


Integrity is the Key to Leadership.

The big things in life do not create a good leader. Living a life of integrity doesn’t mean perfection, we all stumble at times. Leadership is built on the small things of life. Our integrity will be tested in our homes, relationships, work place e.t.c. A politician who lies to his wife will lie to his constituents. That is where ones leadership is tested in life. Ones private integrity (behind the scenes) choices of life, makes one a great leader.

Guest Post


Short Term Thinking Robs your Future.

Short-term thinking is one of the great weaknesses of today’s culture. It reminds me of the trending socialites who rob their future to enjoy today’s fame. A person who focuses on short-term gain is doomed to fail. It reminds me of my school mate in Lenana who went into a life of crime after finishing high school and is now serving life imprisonment at Kamiti. Short term thinking sets one up for years of un-payable debt to future generations.


Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

This Is My Confession…

*Cue in Usher – Confessions* I unashamedly forgot my blogversary! 5 years down the lane. Told you I’m really bad with dates, so bad that I keep getting panic attacks that I’ve forgotten some important date, like someone’s birthday, an anniversary or even a deadline. Thank God for planners and reminders. Not that I effectively utilize them either, so another thank you to family & friends who have an amazing memory of all things relevant. The relief that I get when I confirm that I’m still within the time is inexplicable. But all in all, on time or not, it’s better late than never. I think that’s the life saver quote of all time “better late than never”, the moment you say that, no one’s got anything on you. So today, I celebrate my 5 years of blogging *cheers to that*.

Blogging for me, serves as an avenue to relay my thoughts – mostly based on my experiences and life lessons. Not that they are intense or anything, but they’re worth sharing anyway. I think everyone needs that, and most people do it in a way that best suits them, whether through writing, art, music, service, or just being you.

Just the other day, I was thinking of how competitive we humans are. So competitive that we forget the essence of who we are, what we do or why we’re doing it in the first place. We get misguided as we try to figure out or pursue our purpose because we base our abilities on what the people around us are doing or worse yet, have. So it becomes, “but first … let me see what my neighbor/friend is doing, then see how I can do it better.” Rather than, “this is my thing, let me see how best I can do it.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying competition is wrong. I’m just saying if competition is the basis of how good you are or how good you can be at what you do, then that’s the problem right there. I won’t lie, that I’ve not been a victim of comparison from a competitive level. Sometimes I look at my blog here and I’m like, “so and so is pretty good at it”, “so and so’s blog is doing pretty well from the looks of it.” And somehow, a special kind of pressure checks in and I feel the need to do the same or try do the same in a better way, but that’s not my way. So I talk some sense to self and so far I haven’t yet succumbed and that’s what kept me going all the years, just in case you were wondering. No hiatus. I know where I want to get with it, can’t say baby steps anymore, I mean, 5 years down the lane?

Current Situation: Hanging out with a bunch of clowns who totally make my days when I’m with them. Leave days do rock! Oh, I also celebrated my 1 year anniversary too (on 16th Dec) at Chase Bank. I kid, not celebrated per se, but that’s a tiny victory considering I never envisioned myself in banking 1 year go. And this channel (blog), that I shamelessly undervalue most times, heavily contributed towards leading me – smack in – right there.

Friends

(Clowns from extreme front to extreme back) Dion, Flo, Kawi, Lon Jon. Hubby and Homies!

 

Signing Off ~~~*Kawi*

 

#TBT: Leftover Snippets.

Looking Back, TBT, Throw Back

I realized that sometimes when I write a post, I actually have some wise counsel *cough*. So as a #TBT, I revisited some of the posts that I thought sounded somewhat wise – or better yet, inspirational. I tend to forget about things I’ve written in the past, so it served as a good reminder to myself as well. You know how we do with left overs, we mix a bit of everything to make a delish meal. Here goes the leftover snippets, it reads…

“It’s all about you. What you want. In your situations. Just when. You bring value.”


IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU.

You wish that the people got to know you first before judging you by what you say about yourself. Because truth be told, most of us don’t do justice to ourselves. Maybe that’s why we lose out on good jobs, great opportunities and so on. Unfortunately, the world ain’t patient or that kind to you, so one has to figure how to get these “unwelcome questions” right. I think the trick to answering them is loving YOUrself, loving what YOU do (it doesn’t have to be what you are at work, it could even be what you enjoy doing or what you’re really good at). For instance just because you are a sales man and you don’t like what you do, that doesn’t define you. You define yourself. You could be a sales man who writes really well or who loves public speaking. How do you go about saying who you are when you have varied statuses? Go for what fulfills your heart and own it. You get better at it with time. It leads you to knowing what you want and then you chase it. When you get it, you will be able to even say who you are and what you do much better.

At the end of the day, it’s about doing some really good work with what you’ve got. Ain’t it? And sometimes, all you’ve got is YOU! So how about YOU love what YOU are involved in because the world rotates around YOU!

PostUnwelcome Questions


WHAT YOU WANT.

Don’t be belittled by things you don’t have, if you really want something, you will get it, not necessarily now, but you will eventually. That’s because you will work towards getting it. So don’t lose hope, it’s somewhere around the corner.

Sometimes life operates like a road with traffic lights. It’s not every-time you’re on the go, sometimes you’ve got to wait and other times you need to stop and give others way or even help them get to where they’re going.

“You will get all you want in life if you will just help other people get what they want.”~ Zig Ziglar

Post: Friday Fives


IN YOUR SITUATIONS.

“It’s funny how situations make us feel like the grass is greener elsewhere, whilst the grass that we’re not watering is what we had earnestly asked for because it used to be the greener grass that we’d eyed ages ago when we didn’t water the grass that we’re now seeing as greener!”

How we don’t put an effort into making better what we have. Then we look at other people and think wow, they have things going for them. Nothing comes easy, even when from the outside it looks like someone is having it easy, they’re are going through their own struggles to get there, they’re putting in effort to have things going for them. So in as much as the grass always looks greener on the other side, know that there’s someone watering it and maintaining it. Such that if you got that green grass you admire, you also still need to maintain it. Working at it and for it *whatever it is that makes you feel like you got it* never stops.

Post: Friday Fives


JUST WHEN.

You know those things that come easy for you – yeah you know them – I would compare it to a meal you love cooking, you have it on your fingertips, you can even cook with your eyes close and still get it right.

On the other hand, you’re faced by things that make you feel like you’re totally doing it wrong. Leave along getting it wrong, because you don’t even get it in the first place, this can be frustrating. This could be like cooking a new or unfamiliar meal. One that you even had no idea existed, so you have to skirmish your way through learning how to do it. Chances are that you’ll be hard on yourself with the outcome. You’ll feel like it’s not good enough, it’s not that sweet enough, it doesn’t look so appealing, maybe others won’t enjoy it. And so is with many things in life. Especially those that don’t come to you easy.

Just when you think you’re getting it wrong, you’re probably getting it right. Just that you’re intimidated by that wrong feeling that you miss out on what’s going right. We really cock-block ourselves sometimes, it’s a matter of believing in yourself, hard as it is.

PostThee Local Shepherd’s Pie and Snippets


YOU BRING VALUE.

Do you ever think of what value you add to the person(s) you meet or the people you spend your days with? Because what’s friendship if you don’t add some value to someone? If you don’t feed off each other? Yes, friendship is a symbiotic relationship. I usually say that if I meet someone and we hit it off, at least let us have a conversation that will somehow build each in one way or another, even if for humors sake. Like leave someone laughing their guts out or happy about themselves or what they do.

What makes someone irreplaceable is not who they are or seem to be as individuals, but the value they bring to your life, even if for the moment you interact with them.

There are people you meet and you feel like they’re sucking the life out of you, like you’re offering too much of yourself yet you’re getting nothing in return. While there are others you meet that speak life into you and the moment you part ways, you feel re-energized, and given a chance, you’d not want to let them go. What are those things you value in your friendships?

PostIrreplaceable Values in Friendships


And that’s it folks. Have a super Thursday.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Guest Post: Understanding Celebrity and Success.

Post by Pete Njenga.

A week ago, fellow scribe Kawiria proposed that I do a guest post in the ‘What’s Your Story’ section of this site. Well, who am I to deny such an affable, lovely lass some words we can hopefully learn from? What gives me that right?

“Mama mama nataka kuwa rapper,
Mtoto wee umenishinda,
Nataka kuwa famous kama Kalamashaka.
Je ukishindwa?
Please nitakupa kile unachotaka,
Nataka tu kuwakilisha hip-hop culture.
Acha kuwa mjinga, 
Ni sawa tu.
Next utaiba,
Si hata hiyo, ni sawa tu?”
- Nazizi, Ni Sawa Tu.

So began the song that introduced Nazizi to the Kenyan music scene. She would later be christened the First Lady of Kenyan Hip-Hop. With Wyre and Bamzigi (who later left), Necessary Noize topped charts in East Africa and brought us household anthems such as Bless ma Room, Shujaa, Kenyan Boy Kenyan Girl and several other hits. This is just one example of someone who sought celebrity from the start, and thankfully got it.

Thing is, almost everyone wants to be famous. In fact, the ‘Zuqka’ pullout in Daily Nation has “Be Famous” as its tagline.

We are so attracted to fame and fortune, that we spend hours watching other people making money from TV shows that supposed reveal their “ordinary” lives. We then wonder how these same people are successful while we are not, forgetting that we made them rich as we bummed on the couch through TV ratings, and buying their merchandise. For the uninformed, reality shows such as Keeping up with the Kardashians, Nicolle Richie & Paris Hilton’s The Simple Life, even The Bachelor or The Bachelorette – these are all scripted.

Here then, is my story when it comes to fame, fortune, popularity, success and the celebrity lifestyle.

Back in the Day

Growing up in the 80s and 90s, I was a victim of Tall Poppy Syndrome both at school and in my neighborhood. Unpleasant as it was, I do believe this is the single most important thing to have happened in my life.

For this reason, I did not succumb to peer influence, never got the chance to hang out a lot with neighbors and friends and ultimately, learned to restrict my support group to my immediate family and others whose well scrutinized objectives and intentions I could trust. I was taught early on in life to define my success, and to never let the noise of other people’s opinions drown out my inner voice.

In high school and at University, the situation was somewhat remedied by the fact that I was amongst equals – at least academically. Here, merit is what determined one’s progress and our backgrounds rarely interfered with how we related to one another.

Fame, Popularity and Celebrity

The reason I am telling you about my background is to illustrate how I have escaped being hopelessly beholden to fleeting and material possessions that the few use to elevate themselves and look down on the majority who opt not to think on their own.

Thankfully, I remain impervious to the sway that politicians, musicians, TV and Radio personalities, the filthy rich, actors and others wrongly considered celebrities, do have on the masses. Their lifestyle, shenanigans, and whatever else they are up to does not stop me from “kuria na kunyua” (eating and drinking) as we often say in my mother tongue.

Many of us have lost our sense of purpose and abandoned self-esteem, unduly influenced by those we look up to as role models and blindly emulate. People whose lives are not worth celebrating are now what our youth hope to become when they grow up. The rich who amassed wealth by running down public companies and embezzling funds pretend to now guide the youth on how to become billionaires and business moguls. Politicians continue to flaunt their ill-gotten riches while Kenyans do not even pause and wonder how these guys got up there. What kind of sheeple have we become that do not even pause to think?

Precious Illusions

Looking at the current leadership we voted into office in 2013, it pains me to realize that very few of them are in office for the right reasons. At the workplace, few go to work every morning for any reason besides making money at end-month. Many Kenyans have hopelessly subscribed to a misleading quest for money at all costs, thanks to common stereotypes about making it and success. It is for this reason that many have turned to crime, other continually fall for get-rich-schemes and our youth are now at the mercy of sensational and transient fads whose main thrust is making money and spending it as fast as possible, sans any thinking about securing the future. We are continually comparing ourselves to others and will do anything, including crime to outdo them.

We have so far forgotten that it makes more sense to be a person of value and not of success. As Albert Einstein prompted many years ago, we need to examine ourselves yet again and re-order our priorities, asking ourselves? “What is really important?”

In May 2013, I wrote a post that detailed what I hope would be my legacy. This should be in no way any one else’s legacy and I do not mean to impose my will on another person who also has the presence of mind to make their own decision.

What I continue to urge you is that we should take another keen look at what we place priorities on and aspire to be. Is it famous people of questionable character or is it deeds and initiatives that make the world much better? Are we willing to do anything, including criminal acts, to gain riches or can we instead take time to improve social conditions?

What does it mean to have succeeded? Here is something from Bessie Stanley, but often attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson:

To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.

What drives you?

I end this post with some words by the man who wrote The Prince. Take time and give the following some thought:

“The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities, and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are.” ~ Niccolo Machiavelli.

Thereafter, do the needful.

* * *
All said and done, do you still crave fame, popularity and celebrity status?

Is this allure influenced by your peers, role models or the very substance of what such a life entails? What does success mean to?

We believe that there are different strokes for different folk … ni sawa tu.

The Traditional Ceremony

I came back from my leave. It seemed long at first, until the days flew by and the next thing I knew, Sunday was here and I was putting my work things together – the handbag I mean. When I get off work, I always throw it in some corner in the house and forget about it – it sort of symbolizes the work – home switch. It sure did feel like opening day when I was resuming on Monday morning. Your brain has to adjust to the environment. However, I totally enjoyed having both a mental and physical break. Sometimes your body and mind need some R&R to restore your mojo for everything.

We also had our Ruracio. You know, the traditional ceremony. Just a sneak peak of what it’s all about. The man’s family first visits the lady’s family, for a formal introduction. In Meru, during this formal introduction, miraa (khat, whether in its physical form or cash) symbolizes the booking of the lady. After this, no other man can come to the lady’s house and declare interest. It also helps that you both no longer have the awkward “this is my friend, good friend” conversation with your parents & relatives every time you meet. They know he’s the man you intend to spend your life with. Then once the introductions have been done, the man’s family is then told what the dowry entails and they’re meant to negotiate for thee lady (me in this case). Traditional ceremonies are fun, but of course when you’re on the spectator part of the field, not when you’re the man in the arena. At that point you’re tense from your hair strands to your toes.

So once the man’s family has negotiated with the lady’s family, comes the 2nd meeting which is the Ruracio. They present part of the dowry to the lady’s parents in the presence of the relatives. Apparently, the dowry can’t be paid all at once. It’s an act that’s done over a lifetime, it’s a relationship that has just began. And that’s how you become traditionally married. It’s no longer, the man’s family now but the in law’s – in love’s perhaps. I’m traditionally someone’s wife now. And the question everyone is asking, is what next? “have you set dates for the wedding?”, “have you gotten a dress?”, “what’s your theme?”, “have you settled on a venue?” No one gives you a break to even absorb the fact that you two just made what was possibly the biggest decision (i.e. a lifetime commitment to each other) in your lives just yet.

But we’re not complaining, we’ll definitely need to be bound by law and make that covenant before God and man. And that’s coming soon to a garden near you. Gadamn! How grown up have we become already?

The ceremony was a small one. With family and close friends in attendance. We invited some, others we forgot, important ones, but it was nothing personal. When you have these events – especially if you’re not an events person or quite the planner, your memory tends to be obscured by the event, that’s all you think & dream, the last thing on your mind are who the guests will be in attendance. While we’d have loved to have everyone on board, it was virtually impossible. There are constraints like; their availability, hosting capability, pressure to deliver, and so on that exist. It’s quite an interesting road to pass through because it opens your eyes and it makes you understand why people do things the way they do.

It’s definitely a story worth narrating another day, and using it to encourage others who are going through the same process. We got a lot of support from family and friends. From our friends, I learnt that sisterhood and brotherhood does exist – that your friends can be there for you, even when you haven’t asked them to be. They volunteer, just because. There’s not a day we lost sleep over how we’ll get some things that were expected of us, despite us being clueless about how to go about getting them – from BIG sufuria’s, leso’s, honey and much more. We got so much encouragement, we shared stories and experiences, we laughed, we ate and we celebrated together. But even better, friendships got sealed & our families got bigger. To us, that’s what mattered the most.

To those who wished us well, we are grateful. Lots of love & light!

Ceremony, Ruracio, Traditional Ceremony, Marriage

*Funny, I barely took any pics with my device, the ones I did were a blur. When I get the some good pics soon (from my baptized photographer of the day), I’ll be sure to share.

Signing off ~~~ *Kawi*

 

When Impressing Becomes Depressing

I get inspired by songs, who doesn’t? I’m the kind of person who loves a song first because of the beat – upbeat, slow-paced, dance-able, catchy tune, gets me distracted, gets my current mood, I can hum along (I never remember lyrics, so I don’t bother, I just hum away or catch up on the bridge) – but even more because of the lyrics (just because I don’t remember, doesn’t mean I don’t listen to them – with a very keen ear by the way). If the lyrics makes so much sense, that artiste wins my heart. I’m that easy to please.

Colbie Caillat, is just but one of the reasons I love country music. I’m more modern than I think I am, at least based on the kind of country music I like. If I gave my mum to listen to her jams, she’ll be like, “that doesn’t sound like country”. Her country is the Kenny Rogers kind.

As I listen to her song “Try”, it speaks ear loads to me and what I see around. So many times, we want to be seen as who we’re not just to please others. You know the “fake it till you make it” kind of thought process. For example, someone gave this example a few years back explaining it, which I found too hilarious. Your dream car is a Mercedes and you can’t wait to make it (of course financially) so that you can get one. But your current state is that you don’t have a car or well, even better, you drive say a Toyota (I don’t why this one would make you feel any lesser than the person who drives a Mercedes). This thought process is such that you carry a Mercedes-Benz key holder with your Toyota keys or with your “imaginary car” keys so that the people you interact with can think you drive a Mercedes. Apparently, they say the faking it is a declaration that enables you to eventually achieve your dream – or pressures you to go get it. There’s some truth that rings to it, I mean you’re being aggressive and declaring your wealth…Amen! But why not be aggressive while accepting the stages of life you’re in – it’s a growth curve.

Why fake it? So that you can impress someone? So that someone can like you better? For some reason, we feel like we have to be some type of way or act some type of way so that someone (funny, it’s mostly people who don’t give a damn about you) can like you. And if we’re not their type of way, we feel the need to go around doing things that can get us to be their type of way or have them validate us. And while at it, we lose ourselves, because we become someone we’re not. Someone who’s driven not by their own passion or desires, but by what they want to prove to others they are, while they are not.

I think the saddest thing would be losing yourself by trying so hard to be whom you’re not, that being who you are or who you’re supposed to be, becomes a mammoth challenge.

It’s a complicated world already even when you’re yourself, so why complicate it further, by trying not to be yourself? Funny that those people we try to impress have their battles too. They may not show it, but they do.  Battles that we don’t even know about, but we feel like when we get their validation, life will be better. Life feels better when you do you, and are good at it – it gives you contentment, a sense of satisfaction even when you have not achieved all that you’d love to achieve just yet.

I usually say this jokingly but I always mean it, “If I don’t have it, I don’t have it. That doesn’t incapacitate me, I’ll work towards it. If I have it, good for me. On to chasing my next dream, because dreams never die.”

Also something about dreams – I imagine that my dream will never be someone else’s dream – you can share goals but not dreams. Even if we all dream to be presidents (whether of the country or a corporation), chances are that we dream of doing it differently and we will do it differently. I’m pretty sure when God made our finger prints different, he made our thought processes just as different too.

Just be you, it might not impress everyone, but it’ll definitely impress someone without making you step out of your skin.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

#ThrowBackThursday: Campus, Groups and Lessons Learnt!

Today, as I was busy doing my work, minding my business and sipping my water – from a KOR Water Bottle brand placement much, a very random thought crossed my mind, campus days! Not the fun times we had, because we had a lot of those – I treasure my campus mates for that experience. I’m talking about the tough times. The ones that make you wonder why you were studying what you were studying in the first place. I did Business IT in my undergraduate and there are some really difficult and unnecessary courses we did – ethics, computer graphics, programming, business accounts … it’s a long list, those are just a few of which I can remember as I write.

The tough times, really, were managing groups and the complications that come with being in a group. From the selecting members that will be in your group, availability of those group members, handling the assignments, the art of utilizing everyone’s strength within the groups and equally identifying their weakness – because that could be what takes you down, overcoming the group mentality and the solidarity in results.

Selecting group members

This must’ve been the lectures favorite part on the first day of the semester, “now get into groups which you’ll maintain for the rest of the semester.” It must also have been the students’ worst part, because woe unto you if you land into a group you don’t dig or don’t get along with the members. One has to be smart about the people they select to be in their group (if given the choice), else the struggle becomes real. Sometimes you realize you’d rather not select a group based solely on friendship – same concept with business.

Availability of those group members

So you have the group, good stuff. You have a plan as to when you’ll meet, but there’s a conflict of interest. Others are not available, others are not willing to sacrifice a little good time to attend a boring group meetings about assignments. Sucks when you have a group of 6 but only 2 or 3 are available – at all times. It’s very non-progressive.

Handling the assignments

So the 2/3 who meet decide, “Let’s peruse through the assignment and assign each group member a part”. I mean, their contribution is necessary, if not mandatory. You send the assignment and responsibilities to each member and give a “deadline” preferably a few days before due date so that you can work on the correction and formatting. Sounds perfect huh?

Art of utilizing everyone’s strength within the groups and equally identifying their weakness

Very important. When you’re in a group, you need to accept the fact that everyone is not the same, we’re absolutely different. Sometimes you might think, “If I can do this, why can’t he/she do this? “ Well, because he/she is not you honey. This is a tough lessons that many can attest to. If you’re not good at it, you’re just not good at it. Chances are that someone else is, why not support this person.

For example, we had a programming course, most of us loathed it. I know loath is a strong term, but that best explains our emotions towards that course. Unfortunately, it was a compulsory course. The lecturer happily gets us into groups of 6 and we’re assigned a project. The projects involved designing, developing and presenting a system. Presenting it to him the same way you would a client – including the manual.

Remember the part we loathe programming, that was 3 ½ of the group members. One (Valentine Wambui) loved it and she was the IT girl when it came to coding. The ½ (must’ve been Christine Were or Jean Opiyo) liked coding but wasn’t really good at it. The rest (Janice Muringo, Julia Wanjiru and I), don’t mention coding. Well, coding was just a part of the project, albeit being very important. For the project to happen – we needed to come up with the concept, design the interfaces and the database, code the system to being and then document the manual. Some parts like designing and developing the concept, interfaces and databases, you have to sit and do together – like one big happy family, that we did. However, someone had to take responsibility for each part, to make sure it’s done & well inputted or recorded. I love documenting, so if memory serves me right, I must’ve done the manual.

That’s the one time I saw the power of group work, because we aced that project – it was a Wardrobe Management System. Plus I had so much fun working with them and see the project materialize. I don’t know what happened to it, because that was way back in 2006/2007, when we used diskettes for storage.

TBT, Throw Back Thursday, Diskette

Group mentality

Perfect not! When everyone in their mind decides, “Someone will definitely do it!” Who’s that someone? Considering everyone in the group has a name. Once you overcome this mentality, chances are that you’ll thrive. Put a name on it. Have a group leader and let them distribute the work load based on who does what best and what can be done together.

For instance, we had a naughty group member who never participated or contributed towards any group assignments, but on the d-day always appeared concerned. So after bitching A LOT, we (Thuku Ndung’u or Rodney Senga, seconded by the rest of us) decided for that semester, he would contribute to printing and binding of the assignment, and any photocopies we would need during presentations – that stuff was expensive – given that it was campus with our ever eluding little pocket-money. He was moneyed, identifying strengths, no?

Solidarity in results

Whether you participated in the group assignments/activities, or not – you all get the same results. If it’s an A – y’all get an A, if it’s a C – y’all get a C. Unless you rat someone out, the lecturer looks at the group as 1, not as 5 or 10. When in a group, you’re fully responsible or in change of your group members’ success, and your participation is what will let them prosper.

Today, I am thankful for that throw back, because it has just made me realize that for the rest of your life, you deal with groups – whether it’s at home or at work. And campus was the best stage of life to learn that important lesson, because it’s brings into perspective the saying, “Man is not an island.”

Happy Diwali!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*