By Shayn Ritah.
It has been close to a month and a half since the dons’ strike kicked off. This has seen learning paralyzed in most public Universities.Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology is no exception.
Many of the students from the Kakamega based varsity have travelled home due to continued idling since it seems the striking lecturers have not reached concordance with the government. However, to some of the students, this is sort of an entrepreneurial opportunity as they are no longer tied to class attendance or anything like assignment commitments.
“I have not gone home yet, now that the government has turned its back to the striking lecturers, nmeamua kuhustle. For now what am doing is filling KRA Nil returns. Am taking the advantage of the free time to do the returns stuff for comrades and any other person interested. All I have to do is just contact guys ask for their KRA details and all I have to do is put my laptop to use.
Since am using the varsity’s free Wi-Fi, I just charge Ksh 50 per head. To the non-bargaining type nawatoanisha Kama Ksh 70 hivi. And it’s working. Have done the filling for more than one hundred guys in the last one week. All the same, I hope and pray that the learning resume as soon as next week.” Said a one George Ndutire who is a third-year Journalism student at the institution.
Another one is Steve, a final year student, who owns a camera and has taken this chance to take photos at events around Kakamega. Due to his prowess in photography, he has gained fame within MMUST and around the county.
“Am now taking photography seriously, in the last few weeks have made some good cash from my hustle. I normally do it during the weekend but it seems the strike period has created more time for me. It’s a well-paying job coz sina competition mingi. Mostly naitwa kwa events, last Saturday for instance, I received a call from my friend, he invited to a relative’s wedding at Lurambi and I made I made more than my rent in a single day. I have many customers around that’s why going home has not crossed my mind yet. I have been to Eldoret for business. All one needs in photography is a good camera. I look forward to the resumption of lectures coz I only have one semester to go and then am out of here to widen my business ” A thrilled Steve told Magazine Reel.
Self-employment has become an order of the day among those who are around MMUST but to those selling things like clothes and foodstuffs, there is a challenge simply because 90% of the customers are students.
Speaking to Magazine Reel, Aileen Kairu, a B.Com, finance option student, said that she has been forced to travel home because her mutumba kibanda* business outside the campus is not doing so well.
“I had resolved to stay and wait for the lecturers’ strike to be called off but it seems there is no hope a month and a third after it kicked off. I have kept myself busy at my Mutumba kibanda right opposite the University gate but all is not going that fine because most of the customers who buy clothes and bags from me are students and they are home. So am just down then my parents insist that I should go home otherwise they are not sending any upkeep for someone doing nothing in school so I have the fare at hand already I am going to book the evening buses at Western Express. My folks are so hard on me.
My father claims that the lecturers’ strike is no longer news and the media treat that as old stuff while the government has played dead in the issue so I should be home and no more stories.Tangu Monday actually sijafungua apo kibanda, mara mvua then issue ya customers. So I can’t stay further”, Aileen termed the dons’ strike as a stumbling block to her success.
The learners are hoping that the government will hear their fowl cries and resolve the remuneration issues with the striking lecturers so that things get back to normal.