The Campus Clarion
Behold the lytro A moment with Edward Opany NUJOSA elections
fashion for a journalist The Clarion journey
Why you should feel your boobies
st a ten
n cha irma
der iors ile sm
f n ol o g y s t uf
heart to lei
pl a on
sure rt w
THE EDITORIAL TEAM EDITOR IN CHIEF Stella Muthoni SUB-EDITORS Magdalene Kanjejo James Alando Solomon Irungu Ngoru WRITERS James Alando Magdalene Kanjenjo Philip Maosa George Tubei CONTRIBUTORS David Kaunda Purity Wangari Marie Nakunta David Karanja Anthony Kuria Christine Kasaya Mwai Alex PHOTOGRAPHERS Magdalene Kanjejo Solomon Irungu DESIGN AND LAYOUT Stella Muthoni
EDITORâ€™S HEART We welcome you to the first edition of the Campus Clarion which is a product of the students of the School of Journalism in the University of Nairobi. On behalf of the wonderful team which was involved in making this magazine a reality; I would like to thank all of those who sent in their articles, all those who took part in the brain storming sessions and designing of the magazine. This magazine would not have been published without your crucial support. The magazine aims at giving campus students a chance to get their articles published and to act as a training ground for the market place. I would like to urge all of you to send in your stories, poems, gossip, pictures no matter how bad you think they might be. Our wonderful editorial department will be able to handle it. I believe that the campus is boiling with potential and untapped resources which are just waiting for the right opportunity to be unleashed. Well, your prayers have been answered and the Campus Clarion is providing the opportunity. The question here is, can you step up to it? Hit us up with your comments, compliments, complaints on our contacts and we will gladly work on improving and ensuring quality deliverance of a good read. Thank you and stay safe. Stella Muthoni
MARKETING DEPARTMENT Edward Opany
CONTACTS E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.issuu.com/campusclarionmagazine Blog: www.campusclarion.blogspot.com
THE JOURNEY “If you want something you have never had, you I simply started identifying people who I knew had a must do something you have never done.” Says passion Mike Murdock. These have been the words that have driven and kept me motivated at fulfilling our target from the period of conceptualization of the idea of this magazine up until now. It has not been an easy road though I have to say, I can think of so many adjectives to describe the journey from chaotic, hectic, discouraging, mind opening, exciting but the one I cannot afford to leave out is that it has been humbling. When the magazine committee was formed initially, I can’t forget the zeal and excitement amaongst the students, we were a group of over 20 students who came out and were pumped up about being part of the history of the school of journalism by coming up with a publication to enable students to exercise their journalistic abilities and skills of writing, which they formally did not have a platform to output. Everything was going well; the students had their job descriptions well defined. We had editors, writers, a research team, people responsible for interviews, talent scouting team… it was perfection at its best. But all this came to a drastic change when we asked people to contribute towards the project to keep things running for the magazine as we did not have any sponsors yet. Nothing good in life comes easy or free sacrifices and commitment are a huge part of change. Sadly not many students were willing to commit to this request. Slowly by slowly people drew away and numbers kept decreasing each day and before I knew it we were left with a total of wait for it… FIVE students . With vision nothing is impossible. I have to say so. How do you come up with a magazine when you are only five novices? Where and how do we get articles? How do we coordinate something we are not professional at? Personally writing was something I considered myself not good at but I was not about to give up on something I had committed myself to. No matter what, it had to work out.
I simply started identifying people who I knew had a pssion for writing and who I believed had something to offer and asked them to write articles for the magazine. I scouted for people who had experience on magazine publication and you know how they talk of Godâ€™s timing being the best? It really is. At the moment when the five of us were really struggling to keep things running, I had joined AIESEC, (a student organization that deals with maintaining global unity through the interaction of diverse cultures offered through exchange programs and conferences which they organize.) They were in the process of publishing their second online magazine and hence more experienced. AIESEC had their own magazine committee and I couldnâ€™t afford to miss the opportunity to utilize this chance of learning and being mentored by them. I invited my own committee to come to their meetings and we learnt from them asked them questions and got a few ideas and advice on how to publish our own magazine. My committee comprised of George Tubei, James Alando, Stella Muthoni, Edward Opany and myself. Stella was my support system, she is the one who has kept things running from the word go. She wrote articles, edited most of the work, called for meetings et cetera. James wrote some stories, attended all the meetings and gave us some photographs. This experience opened up our minds a lot and up till now we have been able to put our thoughts and efforts together. There were times when we were almost giving up because we didnâ€™t see any progress or have any support offered but I have to say our editor in chief Stella really kept us on our toes; she called for meetings, had us help her in everything and through that we stuck together. So as you indulge in the greatness and awesomeness of the articles in the magazine it is my great hope that you will enjoy and be inspired to be a better person. Cheers.
Cancer, a plague across generations
Walking along Mamlaka Road headed for lunch, I notice a crowd of people in a somber mood gathered at the Mamlaka Chapel. Cancer had claimed yet another life. Alexander Ajowi, a four year old girl, who had been so full of life and hopes to live a long life had succumbed to leukemia. Forgetting my lunch, I walk inside the chapel and join the congregates as they celebrated her journey of hope and eulogizing about the young optimistic cancer icon. Most notable was the tribute by Angela Awino, Alexanderâ€™s mother. Angela remembers nostalgically how the battle against cancer began. She recalls how she had given birth to a healthy baby girl but at the age of three, life changed for the worst. She remembers with tears in her brown eyes how baby Alexander was admitted in hospital due to her worsening fevers and cough. Doctors at the hospital misdiagnosed the symptoms for pneumonia and treated the same. Specialized tests at a later time revealed that the bone marrow was full of leukemia cells. The news was received with shock by the family and it marked the beginning of a spirited fight against cancer. The family spent thousands of shillings travelling to and from India seeking medical attention. Their efforts seemed to have borne fruit as baby Alexander was declared cancer free on October 8th 2011.the family gave thanks to God for answering their prayers and offering their beloved baby another chance to life. Their happiness however, was short-lived as Alexander passed away on July 17th 2012. I came out of the chapel and thought just how life can be unfair and short. I vowed to take care of myself and live to the fullest because one does not know just when they will expire. I also vowed to take my health seriously and look out for danger signs concerning my health. As I walked I could not shake off the question: what if the doctors had been thorough with their work, would they have detected the cancer early enough to be able to cure it? The answer is yes. Cancer, if detected early, has a high possibility of being cured. Although symptoms of leukemia can be confused with those of other diseases like tuberculosis; when you find yourself exhibiting the following symptoms, rush to the nearest hospital and het checked. -Frequent fevers -Night sweat -Unnecessary weight loss -General feeling of weakness and tiredness -Swelling and discomfort in the abdomen (usually brought about by swelling of the liver or spleen) Those at a high risk of developing leukemia Those with a family history of leukemia Exposure to high levels of radiation for example, atomic bomb explosion and frequent radiation therapy. This is a catch 22 situation as radiation is one of the methods used in curing cancer patients and yet it may cause one to develop leukemia. Those suffering from Down Syndrome Prolonged use of chemicals containing benzene which is used in the manufacture of products like DDT, insecticides, detergents and motor fuels. Smokers are also at a high risk of developing leukemia. By Kaunda
Soj Students vote in new leaders The hotly contested NUJOSA election came to a close on Saturday with the widely popular Cedric Opany retaining his seat as chairman of NUJOSA. The NUJOSA elections, primarily concerned with journalism students at the UON, are held anually. the elections entered its homestretch on Saturday but the anticipated climax was witnessed on Wednesday when the aspirants debated against each other in fiery discussions. The otherwise calm election was at some time marred with some setbacks. Communication mishaps where by the Dean’s secretary failed to communicate on the venue of the voting exercise to the lecturer who had a class at the respective lecture hall. But the glitch that took the day and overshadowed the whole exercise was when a faction belonging to one chairman aspirant, Mr. Ferrari Odhiambo, made claims of election rigging. This led to insults being hurled all over the place reminiscent of city hall gaffes. But the whole situation was calmed down by the lead commissioner, Mr. Felix Odhiambo. “These are delays we are usually used to because of sensitivity of the elections”. The lead commissioner said. The last election which was basically a two horse race between Cedric Opany and Kevin Otiende, had a turnout of over 500 voters compared with to this one which only had about 350 voters. “Low voter turnout was expected because the candidiates did not have enough time to campaign due to the lecture’s strike,” said Mary, a clerk at the elections. The election turned out to be a first on many fronts: First, the hopefuls had the shortest time in the short NUJOSA election history to crusade for votes. This draw back was stoked by the fact that lecturers had called for industrial action against the government, agitating for the 300% increase in their income thereby crippling learning at the institution. With the short available time, the aspirants turned to the popular social media platforms to highlight their manifestos to potential voters. Secondly, since the inception of NUJOSA eight years ago, the chairmanship had always been contested by two political heavy weights but this time round, three contestants were in the running hoping to be at the helm of power. Thirdly a second year student, the little known egalitarian Jesse Kisenya had opted to take a giant leap of faith and plunge himself in the murky political waters. Lastly, Mr. Opany successfully vied for and defended his seat as the chairman. This was the first time ever a sitting officer has ever accomplished such a feat. As the current occupant for another second academic year he was pitted against the benevolent Jesse Kisenya and the charismatic Ferrari Odhiambo. the new NUJOSA parliament for the year 2012-2013is as follows: Secretary General Emmanuel Muasi
Publicity Secretary Joyce Kinyua
Vice Secretary General Joy Marakis
Treasurer Lucy Akinyi
Vice Chairlady Mickey Awuor
Vice Treasurer Velony Wanjiku
Organising secretary Damian Irungu
Vice organising secretary Magdalene Kanjenjo
A MOMENT WITH THE CHAIRMAN Campus clarion found time to chat with the newly elected soft spoken dark sanguine chairman of The Nairobi University Journalism Association (NUJOSA) about his life as a student and chairman. C.C: What is your full name Mr. chairman? E.O: Edward Cedric Opany. CC: What is your area of specialization? E.O: Development communication is my area of specialization CC what is your educational background? E.O: I attended Ringa Primary School in Rachuonyo South district, Homabay county for Secondly, I really feel we need a modern studio and my primary education. After which I was admitted its high time we outsource for the funding of the to Got Rateng High School where I sat for my studio to put a stop the dilemma of students having K.C.S.E and in May 2010 I joined the University to rent worst buy their own cameras and also getting of Nairobi to the field with minimal practical skills CC: How did you feel after winning the Thirdly, I wish to organize an annual open inter elections? university forum to bring all journalism students E.O: I was very humbled and happy keeping in and the Media Council of Kenya on board. Finally mind I was the first person in NUJOSA history to I hope to make SOJ as vibrant as possible where vie and be elected twice. The win also gave me the admistration and students have a good and motivation knowing that students believed in me professional relationship. which has made me a much better person. CC: What does chairmanship entail? CC: What challenges do you face as the NUJOSA E.O: First of all you must realize that chairman? chairmanship is just a nametag. The real defination E.O: Challenges are numerous but as I said before is serving the students. My main work is to I donâ€™t believe in just complaining but being part oversee all NUJOSA activities and serve as the of the solution as well. That said, the first challenge direct link between NUJOSA, other studentsâ€™ is that the UON administration allocates a very organisaton, the administration and corporate minimal budget to NUJOSA. This has forced us world. to cut down on several SOJ activities which gives CC: What are we expecting from you this time us headaches in planning our activities with the round? shoe string budget.Bureacracy is another thing too E.O: This time round I can say for sure I have which has slowed us down in implementing most more experience than the first time, since I know of our plans. Some students do not appreciate the what afflicts SOJ. First of all I want to ensure we fact that change is a process and not an event, so create rapor with the media institutions and other whenever there is a problem they narrow it down to relevant organizations, where students can greatly the NUJOSA leaders not knowing that for change benefit in terms of attachments and networking.
to happen it takes two to tango you and me, leaders and students. CC: What is your best experience in SOJ? E.O: My best experience was when our student Kamau Mutunga won the CNN multichoice award, this proved to all and sundry that indeed our students have what it takes in this 21st century to face the world head on. CC: Whats your worst experience in SOJ? E.O: The deaths of Dr. Peter Oriare and Ms Margrate Orwa were a blow to me and the entire School of Journalism. CC: What is your advice to aspiring students leaders? E.O: Be passionate in what you do and have a clear picture of where you want to go and above all; be humble after all, pride comes before a fall. CC: What are your future plans? E.O: I plan to leave a legacy before I graduate since I come from the school of thought of leaving a place better than you found it. I also plan on going back to the community after my studies to give back to the community using communication through starting a community radio CC: What are your worst fears? E.O: My worst fear is when social contact is broken, all those Arab springs are as a result of social and communication breakdown, hence always try to avoid it at all cost. CC: What are your hobbies and interests? E.O: I like dancing, socializing, doing research, listening to riddims and Rhumba; Franco being my idol. CC: Are you single? E.O: (laughing) I am very single and searching. CC: What donâ€™t we know about you? E.O: I am a very established and renowned volleyball player. I was even once the best player in my district and was featured in the local newspapers.
By George Tubei
FASHION FOR A JOURNALIST Journalists are among the lucky few professionals who can get away with breaking dress codes in strictly formal environments. You see, while other professionals may be denied access to formal events due to their dress codes, journalists just need to flash out their press cards, smile and confidently walk in their jeans and sneakers with no opposition from the security personnel. Surely, you would not expect a journalist to take pictures while in high heels or with the official tie chocking him? Although journalism as a profession does not have any official dress code, care should be taken especially when conducting interviews. A journalist should always do a thorough background check on their interviewee before conducting the interview. This will enable the journalist to dress appropriately for the interview so as not to offend their source by their dressing and also to create a wonderful rapport with the interviewee. It is based on the first impression that journalists are judged by the interviewee. The first impression can either make or break the interview. It can spark differences between the journalist and the source or bring out the similarities between the two. It also reveals the level of professionalism of the journalist. A professional journalist strives to be on a more equal level with their source. He or she strives to respect the culture, status, values and background so as to get the most out of their sources. This does not mean that journalist should deceive their sources but rather, dress codes should be a simple means of connecting to their sources. Different interviews call for different dress codes. There are interviews that require journalists to fish out their best official suit from their closets. This is to project a professional and
serious image to the interviewee. Such include interviews with the crĂ¨me de le crĂ¨me of society, the business moguls and politicians. Live interviews also call for formal dressing on the part of the journalist. A journalist interviewing the common citizen or people in the jua kali sector need only to pull out their faded jeans and T-shirt and they are ready to go. This is to show the source that you are one of them and that they can trust you. The trick here is not to be utterly formal and neither should you be overly simple. The journalist should strive to strike a balance between the two. A trick that almost all journalists pull is the mix and match dressing. This is whereby the journalist wears both official and casual. This type of dressing enables the journalist to transform with ease from either casual to formal or vice versa. For example, a male journalist might wear his jeans with a formal shirt without a tie. When duty calls him to a formal meeting, all he needs to do is just to pull the matching jacket from behind his seat and he is ready to go. The same applies to female journalists who just need to wear that official jacket over the casual dress and put on their official shoes instead of flats. Whatever the case, a journalsit should always be prepared for anything because you might never know when or where you will be sent to get the story.
By Stella Muthoni
Women are like a pack of cards.. you need hearts to love them clubs to entertain them diamonds to marry them and finally spades to bury them compiled by Solomon Irungu
Compiled by George Tubei
WONDERS OF TECHNOLOGY Who would have thought that technology would grow to such heights that learning can take place via the internet. I am not talking about the distance learning programs that we are well accustomed to. Such programs should be left for the tech savvy and those with unlimited access to the internet. I am thinking of that university student, who depends on the school computer lab and cyber to do their studies. Under such circumstances, it is quite impossible to study online. The learning that I am referring to is whereby the lecturer sends notes to a common class email for the students to access. Wow! Education has never made so easy. Worse comes to worst when the lecturer decides to set the exam or CAT based on the â€œnotesâ€?. You end up getting lower marks and blaming the lecturer who up until now, is oblivious of the fact that the notes were not received by the majority. You may also have to deal with those people who think that the common email is a personal email. Such people see it fit to change the password of the class email and make it their own. If that is not selfishness, I do not know what is. I am reminded of my experience in first year. You can imagine the shock I got when the lecturer said that he was not going to dictate notes! I started panicking trying to recall the past few hours word for word in vain. Just as I was contemplating the way forward, I heard him say that he would send the notes to a class email. I heaved a deep sigh of relief and went home smiling, thinking of how good it is to be in university. Shock on me when I logged in to the class email and could not find the notes. I felt cheated and could not shake off that feeling of panic which was slowly gripping me. My class had dozens of those cheky fellows who would change the password every time; even after a new common email was created twice. We would therefore be forced to endure hours and hours of finger numbing writing because the lecturers had lost faith in the common emails and hence did not send notes. Do not despair, for every problem there is a solution and in this case, two solutions. The lecturer can decide to send notes personally to all students. This is not only laborious on the part of the lecturer, but it is time consuming as well. On the positive side, at least everyone will receive the notes. The second and probably the most practical solution is for the class representative to create a mailing list. A mailing list is a list of people who subscribe to a periodic mailing distribution on a particular topic. The mails or information is sent directly to the personal e-mail address of those subscribed. The advantage of mailing lists is that the lecturer can send notes to one email and then the same will be automatically re-distributed to those who have subscribed. An example of commonly used mailing list services is the Yahoo groups and Google groups. According to Mr. Ibrahim Okinda, a lecturer at the University of Nairobi, mailing lists are more sensible to use because the moderator has the password hence no one can change the password or delete any notes without the approval
By Stella Muthoni
BEHOLD THE LYTRO, THE NEXT LEVEL IN Digital photography goes a notch higher after the invention of the lytro camera which makes taking photographs more interactive. The lytro is a five inch square tube camera with a lens opening at one end and an LCD touch screen at the other. The camera comes in two options: one can either buy the 8GB which holds approximately 350 pictures or the 16GB, which holds approximately 750 pictures. The camera captures light differently from traditional photography through the use of a light field sensor which is absent in the traditional cameras. The light field sensor enables the camera to capture color, intensity and direction of light from all angles. For those of you who think that I am speaking geekanese, this is a genius invention. Never before has there been any invention which can capture light from all directions. This is a milestone in digital photography because one can change the point of focus of the image after it has been captured (focus here meaning the point that is rendered sharply.) As in, say you have taken a picture of a girl holding flowers and the main focus of the picture is the girl; should you by any chance wish to shift the focus away from the girl to the flowers, you can while using the lytro. The lytro also allows you to focus after the fact. Speaking geekanese again, I know. Ok what this simply means is that there is no shutter delay when taking pictures. Shutter delay is the delay which occurs after the shutter release button has been pressed and the actual recording of the image. This results in you getting a picture that you did not intend to get. The advantage of using the lytro therefore is that you can capture the moment that you meant to capture without worrying about the delay in shutter speed. As with all inventions, the lytro comes with its disadvantages too. For starters, it is quite costly. One lytro goes for about $400 which is approximately Ksh34000. This is expensive for the casual photographer who relies on his or her mobile phone or cheaper digital camera to meet their photography needs. Another disadvantage comes about when the picture has only one point of focus. This means that one cannot be able to shift the focus to another point of focus. Also, professional photographers tend to shy away from using the lytro as they intentionally focus on a given point to create desired effects. The lytro can shift the point of focus hence distorting the intended effect. It is also not locally available hence extra costs will have to be met for those wishing to keep abreast with technology. The future is bright for the lytro and more research should be done to make it better and more pocket friendly for the common folk.
By James Alando
ENTERPRENURAL THINKING As many students in the university come close to completing their studies in campus and some even struggle to find their way into the job market they face the major challenge of unemployment. In Kenya alone the unemployment rate stands at more than 40% with the youth being the most heavily affected. Kenya is however not alone; global youth unemployment has reached the highest level on record and is expected to increase according to the International Labor Organization. The ILO global employment trends for the youth 2010 revealed that of the world’s 620 million economically active youth, aged 15-24 years nearly 81 million were unemployed by the end of 2009. The good news however is that in every cloud there is always a silver lining. From time in memorial, necessity has always been the mother of invention. If opportunities do not come looking for you, of which they rarely do, it is up to you to go out and create them yourself. My reasoning is that in the current generation called the Y generation, we find that more and more young people are going out of their way to create opportunities for themselves. For others it is out of frustration of not being given opportunities. Others do it to prove to themselves that they are worth much more than they were told they are. All those who have been turned down in an interview can I get an amen! I came up with some of the reasons why as a young person you should have a fire burning inside you to succeed in entrepreneurship and to push yourself to the limit. Disappointment- in the current competitive employment sector, chances of one being employed easily are close to rare. We have people who have degrees and even masters but still get turned down during interviews on the basis of being “overqualified” Really?Going through such stress and trauma is too much. You cannot afford to be just ordinary, you need to posses some very valuable and unique characters which others do not so as to be on the cutting edge. A lecturer of mine once told us sitting down and waiting to be employed is like looking for a needle in a hay stack. Each of us posses a unique talent or skill which others do not. It can be in the arts, it can be personality wise, leadership skills, the power to bring people together, communication skills, an undying love for information technology, observation skills all this and so much more are God given talents you have to identify and use them well. Think big and smart. In no way am I discouraging people from applying for jobs, on the contrary, be aggressive in your pursuit to get employed but just think outside the box. Learn from history- history exists to tell a story so that lessons can be learnt. With that said we have a number of people who have worked their way up to their top positions for example Soichiro Honda, the founder of Honda which is one of the well known large automotive companies, he went for a job interview to work for the Toyota company but was rejected which later gave him the idea of starting his own company. Imagine how the world or the employment sector of the country would be like if we all had such drive and motivation. What we can learn from this is that as long as you have a passion and desire for anything, you can succeed and should never give up. Hard work pays. Unfortunately one of the things that draws back this current generation is their get rich quick mentality and notion. If they start something and it does not bring profits quickly,they quit and look for another solution. Hard work has and will always pay. If you start something or are working at something give it your all and don’t give up on it. Don’t sit around wallowing in the miasma of your joblessness and hopelessness keep on keeping on and believing in your dream. With this said lets be solution finders to our problems and not complainers after all you cannot become what you are destined to be by remaining who you are. Courtesy of Magdalyne Kanjejo.
Entreprenuer of the month
Our Entreprenuer of the month is Mercy Kariuki popularly known as Sonnie. She is a broadcast student at the university of Nairobi. She is also a model and entreprenuer who has a boutique called T N S. The clothes sheâ€™s wearing are from her own boutique, ladies you now know where to shop. Facebook page T N S
As she drowned herself in her thoughts, She had shut her heart to the world, Squeezing herself into her cocoon, Small enough so that no one finds her, She wants to remain a stranger to the world, She guides her bleeding to her sorrows, Self inflicted pain, She belongs in her nightmares, And she can’t face another. Fading in the background, Taking to the dark, Hiding as the city council vehicles pass along the street, She has to keep out of jail, She has to keep food on the table for her drunkard father and abusive mother, She needs to hustle up for that abortion, she is 2 months pregnant and she is HIV positive, She has no choice, This is how she survives, Some of them rape her, Some don’t pay her, Helpless at only 13 years of age, She did not ask for all this, She did not bring it all on herself, She cries, she lies, and she soon will die. She believes she’s worse than the litter on the trash can, At least they have flies to keep them company Her; born in loneliness, raised in solitude, Her dignity, lost, Not given the chance to experience life like a normal teenager, She bangs herself against the wall, It’s not enough She goes out drinks herself to stupor It’s not enough She goes on a rampage sleeping with any man who will pay, Not enough Finally she takes the pills She’s heard enough She’s ready to depart Her soul needs rest... She swallows and closes her eyes Silence... She wakes up in a hospital bed A stranger had saved her Not the mother she longed should love her... Not the father she desired to be close to A stranger on the verge of death Had interrupted her soul’s end of torment, Her parents hadn’t even known about it, When she gets home they expect money and back to the same drill she will go. By Mwai Alex
KNOW YOUR BREASTS By Marie Nakunta October being the breast awareness month has seen to it the craze in women going for check- ups which are usually at subsidized rates if not free. Services like the clinical breast exam are provided free of charge while others like mammogram (a special x-ray of the breasts) are subsidized substantially. A woman cannot just afford to miss out on such an opportunity. Therefore, all the major hospitals are usually booked to the maximum during this month and the oncologists move all over the place conducting their awareness campaigns. Pink is the color of the month and a lot of fuss is made on sensitizing the women. Whereas it is not a bad thing to concentrate on the women, I mean, they are the ones who are critically at risk of getting breast cancer; just by the mere fact of them being female. They are the ones who stand to lose an important body part, their dignity and in worse cases, their lives. I understand why the spotlight is on the women, but attention should also be cast on the men. Yes I said it, the men. You see, men to can get breast cancer and hence should also be sensitized. Most of you are probably wondering how this can happen. You are probably thinking that men do not have breasts, ok; they do have but the possibility of them getting breast cancer? That is unheard of. That was my reaction when I attended one of those awareness campaigns held at the Aga Khan Academy a few weeks back. I thought I knew all there is to breast cancer; the symptoms, the risk factors, how to detect the lumps… everything. Shock on me when one of the speakers, Mr. David Makumi, the Manager of the Aga Khan University Hospital Cancer Centre, gave his talk. “Breast cancer affects both men and women and is the leading type of cancer among women in Kenya.” he said. I immediately stopped chatting up the lady sitting beside me and leaned forward to get a better glimpse of the man who uttered such preposterous words and who was about to embarrass himself with such lack of facts. Did I hear correct? Either my ears are playing tricks on me or that Makumi man is crazy. He certainly got my attention. “How can a man get breast
cancer?” I thought. His words clearly had a profound impact on the rest of the crowd (not only me, thank God) especially the boys who looked shocked and a little bit scared. There was silence in the room; he definitely had all our attention. Throughout his talk, everyone was listening keenly to the life saving words which were coming out of his mouth. Ladies and gentlemen, the breast awareness campaign is not just meant to teach you how to check for lumps but also how to know your breasts better. Although this mostly applies to women, but men, as I came to realize, also need to know how a normal breast should feel and look like. For the men, it might help them to conduct a self breast exam and also for the married men, it might help them notice subtle changes in their wives breasts. “Knowing your breasts is like knowing your timetable or schedule, you will definitely notice if there is any change.” Said Lorna Akinyi, one of the nurses who had accompanied Mr. Makumi. Although men do not have big breast tissue, the small one that they have, can get infected. Symptoms of breast cancer are similar in both men and women and they include: a lump ( usually painless, ill defined and not very hard), blood stained nipple discharge, inverted nipple, swollen glands under the armpit, wounds on the breast, redness or scaling of the nipple and a change in the color of the breast. “If you notice any of the symptoms, do not panic. Simply get to the nearest hospital and get checked immediately, after all, prevention is better than
cure.” Said Ms. Akinyi. According to MelissaConrad, a specialist consultant in the breast oncology research program at the University of California, risk factors and causes of breast cancer in men are: Exposure to radiation through therapy, especially that which is done on the chest area. High levels of estrogen ( a female hormone) in their bodies. Estrogen is responsible for the growth of breast tissue and hence can result in diseases and conditions like gynecomastia (a condition in which there is an abnormal breast enlargement) Klinfelter’s syndrome ( an inherited disease in which a man has an extra female chromosome hence produces high levels of estrogen) Familial dispositions which is, when a man has a high number of female relatives who suffer from breast cancer, chances are higher for him to get the breast cancer causing gene. Finasteride use. Finasteride is a common drug used in the prevention and cure of prostate cancer. Although it s not quite clear as to whether this drug increases the risk of men acquiring breast cancer, studies have proved that some of the men diagnosed with breast cancer were found to be using this drug. More research is being done to clarify this allegation.
Pictures of how to conduct a self breast examination. courtesy of musing mommies.com
WORLD STUDENT SUMMIT FOR SUSTAINABILITY.
Students should step up and utilize untapped resources without harming the environment advised prof. Anderson at World Student Community for Sustainable Development (WSCSD). Professor Thomas Anderson, Chairman of the Advisory Board WSCSD, also advocated for good education and sufficient technological knowhow. This would help fight unemployment. He also encouraged teamwork as he gave details about the summit. Addressing the students, Mr. Nickson Otieno, President, World Student Community for Sustainable Development (WSCSD), urged them to be innovative and to promote sustainable development. Mr. Mahesh Pradhan, Chief, Environmental Education and Training Unit (EETU), UNEP, pushed for environmental conservation. He insisted that proper education, training and networking were essential in ecosystem management. He also said that empowerment on green economy was necessary in human ingenuity and sustainability. Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, Director, Division of Environmental Policy Implementation, UNEP, maintained that green economy was the way to go in promoting sustainability. Hon. Amb. Chirau Ali Makwere, Minister for Environment and Mineral Resources, also urged the students not only to be innovative, but also to conserve the environment for future generations. The summit was officially opened at the University of Nairobi, on November 13th 2012 by Hon. James Orengo, Minister for lands. He was representing the Prime Minister, Mr. Raila. A. Odinga. This yearâ€™s summitâ€™s theme was Promoting Student Leadership and Innovation towards a Green Economy. By Christine Kasaya
Participants during a break at the World Summit for Sustainability held at the University of Nairobi
Heart to Heart
C.C: What are some of the triumphs that have made you love acting? Manu: When someone tells me I have seen you on TV, or I saw your play and it was awesome. Or C.C: Full names sometimes I am walking in town and someone just Immanuel Muasia stops you and they are like “hey I liked your acting, C.C: What sparked your interest in acting? I like the way you played that role.” It makes me Manu: I think it’s just in born talent. The first time I started acting was in a church play. I was like four feel really good because it means I have impacted someone. Also just shooting things and being on years and I just grew to like it. C.C: Describe the kind of work you do and what stage makes my day. I like being on set. C.C: What inspires you to keep at it even when it involves Manu: Acting involves a lot of things but mostly, it it is not easy? Manu: What inspires me is that movies and acting is just imitation because most of the time you have to change yourself and become someone else. Some- can change lives in a great way. Like with the plays I times you are given a role as a street boy or maybe a have been acting with a group known as Liquid Enwatchman and you have to be perfect at it. So mostly tertainment, we try to bring out Christian values in it is all about impersonation, but acting is also an art a comical way. In as much as we are making people laugh, we are showing them something positive. So in itself. C.C: What are the skills necessary to succeed in the fact that I can change lives makes me want to go and do more. If I continue like that, I may become acting? Manu: If you want to pursue acting first of all, you someone’s role model. There are people who come up to me and ask me how do you do it? How have must be very social, you must not be shy because you been able to get there? making me continue. for example when you are doing theatre, you enter Also the fact that I know it’s a God given talent and the theatre and there are so many people and you I have to use it, makes me push on. I don’t have any see people who you have never seen before. People other talents. I can’t run like Usain bolt or Rudisha with all kinds of eyes (giggles), which are all on you. You have to look at them and present your work so I am just using what I have. set books. I have also done adverts for Barclays and perfectly, and also when you’re on set for a movie, KPLC. there are people you have never met before like the cabin crew and actors, so you have to be very confident. You have to be versatile and ready to embrace change because sometimes you are told to put on a wig and make up and you are a dude and you have to do it. You should also be open-minded and ready for anything. C.C: What are some of the challenges you have faced along the way? Manu: Making a name for myself in the industry and knowing people. The industry is not yet that good so there is still no money. For example, you can be doing practice for like three weeks and transport in itself costs you Ksh1000 per week and at the end of it all you get paid Ksh1000, so it is hard. You must have the heart and passion for it and if you don’t love it then you can’t survive. There is a lot of ‘kujuana” in the industry and in my family no one does acting so I had to build myself from scratch.
C.C: Talking of role models, do you have any of your own? Manu: Acting wise I have many of them. My favorites as of now have to be Will Smith and the one and only Denzel Washington. Throw any roles at them and they re perfect them. There is no movie you can watch and say that Denzel didn’t give it his all. When it comes to politics, I have to say president Barrack Obama because this man came from nowhere to somewhere. He always has hope even when things are tough. Personally I have to say my father because he is also those people who worked their way up. When we go upcountry he will show you the school he studied in and you go like what? But now he is living the “Kenyan dream” if I can say that C.C: What are some of the major roles you have played? Manu: I have done some supporting roles in movies and productions for example Mheshimiwa. Since I major in theatre, I have played most major roles in set books. I have also done adverts for Barclays and KPLC. C.C: How do you balance between school and acting? Manu: Its hectic I tell you like last semester, I missed a lot of classes but the good thing is that most of the classes are in the evening so I do my stuff during the day. In the evening I come to class, but most of the shoots go late into the night like at 2 AM so I have no option. I just make sure that I get roles that are during the day and even if it is in the night, I make sure it is after my class. C.C: What do you hope to achieve in your future? Manu: Well first I hope to inspire many kids I want to show them that you can make it through acting in Kenya you know the industry is not yet professional people just do it for fun, but I want to show people that we can make much of this industry we can inspire people, we can hire people and we can change lives through acting. C.C: What are some of the lessons you have learnt along the way? Manu: Perseverance. That is the biggest lesson
I have learnt and patience, because you give so much into the industry and what you get back is not worth it .I have also learnt to be social and I have learnt to appreciate life more because I have done shots in ghettos in the suburbs seen the different state of life people live in, each day I’m doing a role I learn a lot. C.C: Hobbies apart from acting? Manu: C.C: Are you single? Manu: (giggles) no I am actually seeing someone for now.
By Magdalene Kanjenjo
Stay safe “Look right look left look right again and I f the road is clear, you can cross.” These were the words sang by elated nursery school children at the Aga Khan Nursery School Nairobi as they were being taught how to cross a road. Seeing these little angels sing their lungs away, oblivious of the life saving words in the song took me down memory lane. I remember nostalgically how my nursery school teacher used to make us chant that song tirelessly. She would go a mile extra and ensure that we actually “cross” imaginary roads in class while singing that song. I remember also how I would not wit to put my new found skills into action. My mother would get angry at me for making her sing the song whenever we got to a road. I did not care whether she was late for work; all I knew is that teacher told us that we must sing the song before crossing the road. I now look back and thank God for such dedicated and caring teachers. I salute all the nursery school teachers for their patience and outstanding job at teaching young children that song. Although they would not know it, some of us are probably alive because of paying attention to the words of that song. Ok, granted, I may not exactly sing the crossing song out loud or even adhere to its practicality; but I sure try to look right and left before crossing. (most of the time) Even after the teachers lose their breath as they drill the song into the little brains, some people, when they are all grown up, forget the crossing song. They tend to think that it is a waste of time and energy and that the song is meant for small children. Such people throw all caution to the wind about traffic rules. You will catch them jumping onto a busy road and crossing at dangerous points of the road. This has seen to it the rising number of road accidents on Kenyan roads and especially on the Thika superhighway. Just the other day my friend lost his life to the Thika “superdeathway.” I chose that name because it fits perfectly to describe Thika road. The number of lives that the superhighway has claimed and continues to claim is alarming. Whereas it was a god idea for the superhighway to be constructed; I mean, traveling has never been made so easy. Nowadays, it is child’s play to travel to and from Thika as there is no traffic. Jobs were created during the construction period; the country can now boast of top notch infrastructure… all these are good news to the ears. The bad news comes in when we hear the number of accidents and deaths that are reported and others are not reported even. With such developments, the road users should be trained on how to use the road. The number one culprit for such scenarios boils down to impatience. Everyone is impatient. No one wants to let the other person pass as all of them are in a hurry to go God knows where. They tend to forget that it is better to reach your destination late but safe, than not to reach there at all. Drivers of both public and personal vehicles, think they own the road. If you do not believe me, ask Likono (Msamaria Mwema) and he will tell you in his good Kiswahili “barabara za jiji bwana, zina wenyewe!” you will find them trying to out race each other to prove who is boss. If you have ever boarded a Paradiso, Zamzam, to name but few, u you will second me on the reckless driving of these buses. They
literally fly on the road with their music blaring and the drivers bullying every other road user. They are in business and time is of the essence. Pedestrians on the other hand tend to be a little bit lazy and careless sometimes (me included). One look at the tall footbridge sends chills down your spine and you would rather risk your life running at full speed across the road, than to climb up that thing in the name of a footbridge. You only think of how tired you will be walking up those stairs and how late you already are so a quick sprint across the road won’t do you any harm. On the other hand, the pedestrian crossing acts like some décor for the road. You do not see the importance of using it and you think that whoever came up with such a ridiculous think was out of his mind. I mean, why waste so much paint on some road? It is a sad situation on our roads and we have to learn how to be responsible people. Emulate the nursery school children; take care while using the roads. Look right, look left before crossing and all will be well. Cases of road accidents will not be caused by reckless or drunken driving but will be just that, mere accidents. Have a safe day won’t you By Stella Muthoni
RIP CLIFFORD BEST
Clifford Best Anyimu Nyabwari, our cherished classmate, friend, father, brother and fellow comrade. he was a victim of a hit and run accident on the Thika Superhighway. Comrades of the School of Journalilsm have suffered a great loss but we will be strong and instead of mourning, we will celebrate a life well lived. May your soul rest in peace.
Calling on all fathers to be tender warriors Just the other day in church, I sat behind a couple with a baby boy aged around 3-4 years. The boy seemed to be too attached to his mother such that when the mother got up to go outside, the boy squirmed on his seat until the father had to take him outside to the mother. I watched with great fascination at how the father seemed oblivious to the fact that his own son was not even comfortable being around him. As the service went on, I kept stealing quick glances towards that family. I noticed that whenever the father tried to hold his son, the little boy would sit uncomfortably still for some minutes and then lean towards his mother for her to hold him instead. This got me thinking, isn’t it time that our men became more involved in bringing up their children? I remember when I was growing up together with my siblings, how terrified we were of our father. Whenever we saw or heard his car pull up on the drive way, all of us would scatter into the different rooms and pretend to be doing something productive. We could not imagine what he would do to us if he found watching some television or just goofing around, which is what we were originally doing. Anyway, back to the sermon. The pastor asked us to tell him the nicknames that we had given our fathers and I was surprised to learn that it was just not in our home that our father had a strict name. In most homes as I came to find out, fathers were given strict names which were a reserve for the military. Names like General, Mheshimiwa, Mzito, Mkubwa to name but a few; came flying from all corners of the church to describe the fathers. For the first time in history I felt the weight and guilt that I felt for giving my father such names lifted off my shoulders. I took consolation to the fact that it was not in our family only that our father got such a strict name, but in majority of the families too. I came to understand that it was the African way to give our fathers such names and that it was not that the fathers were mean (which is the perception that I grew up believing), but that they are the head of the family and hence had to be accorded such names. While I would not trade my father or the values that he has taught me for anything in the world, I sometimes wish that he and I had a stronger bond from the very beginning. But on the other hand, it is probably his strict stance which has enabled my siblings and I to have a sense of balance and direction in our lives. He is the one we always turn to when making life-changing decisions since we value his input and know deep down that he has our best interests at heart. Our father is usually the first person we cal when in trouble because we know that he will not over react during such times. Men indeed need to have a softer side while still maintain the disciplinarian side. My pastor describes this phenomenon as being a ‘tender warrior’. He hit the nail on the head with the definition by stating that it is ok for fathers to be strict but emphasizes that there should be a balance that ensures that they do not end up being estranged to their children and end up being more like strangers. Men should know that it is ok to show their tender side and not feel vulnerable in front of their own children. They should work hard to establish a bond of friendship and love from the time the children are young because when they pull such a stunt when the children are all grown up, it will be a little too late. The children will already have their own lives and will probably lack the time to work on the father-child bond. In worse cases, the children may end up resenting their fathers and will not want anything to do with them. I would not advocate for the Western way of bringing up children which is a little bit ‘touchy, feely’ for my taste and also it gives too much leeway for the children. On the other hand, the new generation fathers who emulate the totalitarian way of bringing up their children only creates a disconnect between fathers and their children. Fathers should merge these two extreme parenting techniques and put an end to the ‘my way’ or ‘the highway’ mode of thinking. They should take a more active role in their children’s lives rather than just being the disciplinarian and provider. By Gladys Wangari
Affairs of a Smile Every mouth loves being embraced by a smile always. The more cordial a mouth is kept smiling the more happy you will be with your life. How best can we improve our smiley faces? Preface: Greetings should be used whenever and wherever they can be used. Voice volume: Avoid raising volume out of emotion or merely because another party has raised his/her own voice. Shouting is rarely productive and often give the impression that you are losing control of the situation of being happy. Body language: Care should be taken to avoid behaviors that intimidate negative or unwanted reactions from others. You should at all cost avoid displaying negative emotions as much as much as possible under any state of affairs. The show of friendly expression is highly advised as an effective channel to expand and gain pleasure. Individual opinion: Frequent errors which can make your smile and happiness fade are committed while expressing personal opinions on the significance of tense subjects of discussion. It is particularly vital to guard the expression of such opinions through your mode of communicating or other conducts.Â Provocation: Humbleness and collective thinking is required to anyone who cannot be able to practice and develop self control. When one direct anger and dissatisfaction towards you, there is always the tendency of a constant reply. Do not give in to it. The best way to work out the insults is to ignore them. Focus your mind on positive things and just smile on the insults. You should not allow your own emotions to aggravate the situation or it will later become an issue. Endure the situation and make it an issue of your happiness. Undignified remarks: Remarks or speeches that ridicules the other person, expresses disrespect or are calculated to provoke anger and are therefore never appropriate. In conclusion we are expected to use the most and consequential channels of being happy that the circumstances
and we in unison can allow. Think of people in warring nations who spend almost their whole life searching for that happiness. So make that sacrifice of being happy whenever you can and thank God that you can afford to open your mouth and smile. Be and stay happy always.
by David Karanja
e h t coa
THE DAWN INTRIGUE “Msota, washing these clothes plus the utensils really wears out my nails,” she said. Msota put on his faded yellow tattered shirt knowing fully well that his morning had just been cursed. The small window could hardly serve as an outlet for the stinging smell of dead rats. Nevertheless, he relentlessly wafted away that usual smell, using her fairly new auburn blouse. “So what is the problem?” He asked, showing her his back. She was still buried beneath their thin blanket that did little than welcome the cold. “The clothes wear out my nails, so what?” He mumbled to himself. His attempts to light the tin lamp were fruitless since the kerosene had died out. “I beg you pardon?” She asked while sitting up. “Never mind,” he replied. “I need to tend to my nails, which in turn mean that you have to give me some money,” her angelic voice rented the air. “Taka! There is no kerosene to light the lamp, no sugar for the black tea, yet you only worry about your nails,” he complained. This time he had turned to meet her eyes which were full of despise. The morning was dragging itself. Due to this, he could not leave until complete break of dawn, lest he gets another encounter with the muggers. Therefore, he had to abide to her frequent demands. “You always have excuses. Why don’t you say that you have no money.” She spat out with utmost disregard. “By the way, all your expensive attires and accessories, where do you get the money to buy them from, because I am the only one who’s working?” He asked inquisitively. “I am a lady who has needs. In fact, I will not be around tonight.” She went on proudly. He rubbed his neck repeatedly with his mouth wide open. Her comments were definitely suffocating him. “What’s that supposed to mean?” He asked with his eyes firmly locked at her. “Never mind,” she answered. Msota was an experienced construction worker but due to his misfortune of being in and out of jobs, he was ever below the poverty line. In addition, he was being bludgeoned from all sides by his ever unsatisfied wife. Warm rays struggled to penetrate through their tiny window. There was awkward silence between them. She always had an endless artillery that bombed him into silence. “I have to satisfy my needs,” he contemplated on what that meant. His dear moment of thought was abruptly interrupted by the hooting train that signaled time for job hunting. “Before you leave, let me first go to the comfort room,” her condescending voice took charge again. Quickly, she put on her silky overcoat and proceeded for the door. Her magnificent rear blessings could not be hidden under her white coat. She pulled its sides concealing her blossomed chest. Msota put on his brown worn out boots, belted his faded blue jeans then caped his bald head, as he defiantly walked towards the exit. He stood for a moment then turned to where her purse was. Cautiously, he stepped outside and threw his eyes in all directions before rushing back in and locking the door. He hurriedly took her black polished handbag that had a diamond coated buckle. For a moment, he stood there gazing blankly at it. Numerous thoughts were racing through his mind. “She always tarts herself in expensive clothes; she has a wide variety of shoes, and let alone her not so dear weave.”All these paralyzed his mind. Without buying too much time, he began to scour through its contents. He did not have the slightest idea of what he was looking for. Nonetheless, he knew at the back of his baldness that the answer to all his
questions lay there. He brushed away the guilty feeling of rummagig through her bag by putting his mind to the task. The brown folded envelop did not escape his hawk eyes. Slowly, he took it out and placed it on a rickety table. He meticulously unfolded it looking over his shoulder to check whether anyone was watching. The contents gave him a scare. The sound of the fallen envelope was consumed by the heavy load it carried. His dilated brown eyes were fixed at the bundles of money. Besides them was a neatly folded piece of paper. “What!” He yelled after revealing its contents. Instantly, he began to revisit her boisterous comments, “I have to satisfy my needs.” He felt nauseated. In spite of that, he still darted his eyes all over the paper. “Why?” He thought to himself. The list of names that were accompanied with the money seemed infinite. The packet of strawberry condoms salted his injuries. Msota sat on the floor mindless of its dirt. He was gasping for breath with his head buried between his arms. Tears freely ran down his bonny cheeks wetting his shirt with overwhelming sorrow. With his head pillowed on his knees, he tried to find a justification for her actions. “Why?” The same thought rang again. The knocks at the door intercepted his sobs. His face was drenched in disgust while veins engulfed his face like vultures on a deserted piece of meat. Needless to say, the firmly held paper could almost predict the impending danger. Carefully and calculative, he picked the rolling pin as he matched towards the door. The lists of names, the money coupled with all her painful remarks, clouded his mind as he reached for the door knob. By Philip Maosa
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