Another good Friday just hours to the mighty Valentines day. Happy Valentines Reelers!
Today on Magazine Reel’s Friday briefing is an amazing guest. To Egerton university students, he is a true soldier, a hero, an elephant in the jungle of student leadership and not less than an iota of hope. Victor Ooko is his name.
Mkubwa as he is well known, is the former Student union of Egerton university (SUEU) secretary general and a senior student at Egerton university. Ooko was also suspended for a record 1 academic year together with one Mr Kivondo for allegedly inciting students to demonstrate against the management of the institution. The students demonstrated against the inhuman killing of one of their colleagues within the localities.
He has a vast experience in blogging and a great mastery of the queens language. He is also a lion in the field of poetry, a piece he wrote in honor of his late dad is still a memory to most of his followers.
Today Mkubwa reveals to us everything about him, his thoughts on student leadership and his experiences in dealing with matters administration. Most importantly, Ooko gives us his thoughts on the recent expulsion cases which saw SUEU chairman dismissed from the institution of higher learning.
Here we go…
MR: Its good to finally have you on Friday briefing, how have you been?
I am fine thank you Mr. Koyo.
MR: Good to note that; let’s get in on the road, from where you sit, what is ailing Egerton University and how can the blight be terminated.
Egerton University is not ailing. Not at all. Egerton University is undergoing a transformation at different levels.
The helm of management is soon shifting; there are great development in physical infrastructure; lucrative academic programmes are in the pipelines as is evident with the introduction of new courses both at the Undergraduate and Masters levels etc.
However, all these have their own share of challenges as is evident in most other institutions both private and public. But are we ailing? Far from it.
MR: From your recent articles and your blog posts, you appear to be so radical on the Egerton university administration, what controls the tip of your pen.
(Laughing) Well Mr. Koyo, I do not really regard myself as a radical. I am a realist and outline things as they are. Where the varsity is doing good, I commend them for it.
However, I also criticize and call for reforms where I feel a voice is needed. The tip of my pen is driven by my idea of the ideal.
MR: S.U.E.U’s fallen soldier, Shisia Ongoma .Describe his short term in office in the least words possible.
Mr. Ongoma was hope for SUEU. He was poised to realize that which most of us wish to see the Students Union become. All hope and now it is gone.
MR: With Ongoma officially expelled from the university, the chairpersons position remains vacant six months to the next elections, what do you think is the best foot forward.
Since we are already in the 2 semester, the constitution dispels the need for a by election. I remember writing an article on the way forward for SUEU. The VC now becomes the Chairperson, but only on an acting capacity as reiterated by the constitution. He cannot become the chairperson because his role is specified and an opportunity for acting in that capacity has presented itself. He cannot also take over the role for a signatory to the union financial requisitions.
MR: At one moment you served as the secretary general of the students union before being suspended. Do you regret ever serving the students in that capacity and what is your advice to the current crop of leaders in Kenyan universities?
I am very proud of the role I played in Campus politics as the Secretary General. I harbor no regrets at all since I was willing to stand by my ideals even when it meant being sacrificed for it. I call upon the current crop of campus leadership to stand by that which is just according to the ethical codes of conduct as well as our national and union constitutions. It is true that a comrade is always right. But that only goes as long as that comrade remains right.
MR: How do you relate with the Egerton university administration, do you watch your back at night?
I am among the most comfortable students in relation to the varsity administration if not the most comfortable. I have lines I understand I should not cross just as they also respect their boundaries. My activism acts have not been blown out of proportion and I think that’s a good indication so far.
MR: The disclaimer: you know me: Runs at the end of your posts on social media. I know it’s directed to the university administration. How do they know you and how can that help revamp the students hope in the union.
Whenever I post a political message on social media, I am well aware that management views the flow of information. I use that opportunity to attract their attention to that which I think needs their immediate attention while at the same time notifying the Students population of my perspective. The experience I have had in handling students as well as interacting with management means that I still have an advisory obligation to disseminate. Whether they choose to adopt or ignore is however not my prerogative. I find satisfaction purely in spelling out that which others think would have daggers pointed at them.
MR: Whats next for Victor Mkubwa, are you nursing political ambitions after school?
I am nursing political ambitions, yes. Though my priority at the moment is fulfilling my scholarly obligations. I intend to go for a masters and PhD programme before plunging into the wild waters that is Kenyan politics.
MR: Once again, thank you for speaking to Magazine Reel, your last message to your fellow comrades?
Am grateful that you had me, Mr. Koyo. My parting sentiments to the students fraternity; You have this time and space to be a student, take it and make maximum use of it. In whatever you do, the denominator is making a life for yourself. All others are just implicit results of your being here to study.