Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Best of Makmende

The last few days I have laughed myself to almost death point as I have read various tweets on the mystical powers of Kenya's new superhero, Makmende. I have therefore decided, like many .ke bloggers to compile a list of some of my best of Makmende. Here they are
1. Makmende can touch Mc Hammer
2. Makmende is peeing all over Nairobi, some are calling it rain
3. Makmende can tweet 141 letters on twitter
4. When Makmende was a mono, the school principal used to wash his clothes
5. Makmende never tweets but everybody retweets him
6. Makmende hangs his clothes on his safcom line
7. Makmende gets his vitamin C from his orange line
8. Makmende cant tell time, he simply decides what time it is
9. Makmende does not need a twitter account because he is already following you
10.Makmende does not get old with time, time gets old with Makmende
11. Makmende can drink Omusakhulu's boilin tea straight from the sufuria and negotiate that man maish's horrible pothole

There are plenty more Makmende's that I read out there and it really amazes me how people have been so creative with the dude. Waiting to see if Just A Band will cash it on the craze!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fallacy of Obsession with Passing Exams

A few days ago I watching news coverage of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Schools Education - or whatever it is called - and was surprised to hear this journalist, while reporting on the number of those who failed to meet the university admission cut off points, authoritatively state their dreams of achieving their aspirations has ended. I couldn't help but think that therein lies the problem with our education system, selling the fallacy that it is only by passing examinations and going to university can one achieve their dreams. What this does is that for the thousands of kids who get to believe this message and who don't make it as far as formal education is concerned, their confidence in making a better life is shattered, and some will accept their fate and withdraw from any endeavor to exploit their talents and other opportunities.

When I was in high school, I had two exceptional friends whose names I will not mention. One was extremely lazy in class but brilliant artistically. He scored all Es - he hardly answered any questions - in the final exams and he never gave a hoot about exams. He went on to design matatu art, pimp cars, design t-shirts and has generally made a good life for himself. The other one, though not really a bookworm in the sense, was extremely brilliant and scored all As. He went to university and studied one of the elite courses - choose between Medicine, Architecture, Law- but is a mess of a human being at the moment. I see him I try and avoid him as most likely he will be trying to squeeze a penny out of me, most likely for a drink. I have another example of a friend who committed suicide out of depression after getting brilliant scores and going through one hell of a roller coaster ride in campus. My point is that performing well in exams is not necessarily a guarantee that dreams will be fulfilled, and also performing poorly is not a sentence to a miserable life.

I usually cite my life as an example. I did not perform brilliantly in my form 4 exams. As a matter of fact, I did not get the required marks to go to university, though I did not fail flat for that matter. But getting Ds in Maths, Chemistry, and Biology as well as a D- in physics did not inspire confidence in me among some of my family members. But now I head an international NGO in the country. Here is a link to an article I wrote about my perceptions on this sometimes back