Intellect differs with every individual and possessing academic qualification has never been regarded as a substitute for wisdom. To be in the right frame of mind requires an all round approach, including physical, education and spiritual grooming.
Before feminists pounce on this article on unfairly focussing on women in the editorial content, one fact is clear. Women are an influential component of society. They dictate voting patterns, consumer spending, fashion trends and the likes. Reason advertisers target women because they would be more prone to impulse spending based on emotional appeal on a product. Women are indeed trend-setters.
Some ten years ago, media made a conscious effort to highlight women embarking on positive initiatives in various fields. There was once corporate guru’s like Wanjiku Mugane, Rose Kimotho, Amollo Ngweno, Olga Orara, Patricia Ithau, Brenda Mbathi, Njeri Rionge, etc dominated news headlines. Their stature slowly diminished as shameless self-promoters took center stage, creating a vacuum.
The epicentre of the toxic messaging tainting young women can be traced to the early 2000’s when a beautiful lady was promoted to head a new social magazine within the Standard Group. Ciku Muiruri was editor of The Pulse Magazine that took Nairobi by storm. Focus shifted from content to glitz and glamour. It was an idea way ahead of its time, because Kenya had not matured enough to withstand the avalanche of mixed-messaging, as mainstream media had a chokehold on the citizenry. Quite unlike now when social-media can counter narratives being mainstreamed, like K24’s new television show Nairobi Diaries which has been dismissed as a platform for glorifying commercial sex workers.
Nation Media Group quickly followed suit with a competing platform Buzz, which had Wayua Muli and Adhyambo Odera at some point calling the shots.
And from then on, Kenya was headed to the dogs. Two of the largest publications dedicating acres of prime space in elevating mediocrity meant that the country was held hostage by the vested interests dictating the editorial content appearing in the tabloids. At some point Ciku Muiruri became gripped by the “life” that she was covering, and got lost in the wave by finding herself in a compromising situation with Artur Margaryan, the Armenian con brought to Kenya by Othaya MP Mary Wambui to execute security-related heists. Sheila Mwanyigha also went “against protocol” and found herself consumed with the wave hitting Nairobi, that she dated rapper Prezzo who is ten years younger than her.
Consumerism, materialism took precedence over intellect and spirituality. However we are always quick to remind you that the noisy lot are a simple minority. To Ciku Muiruri and the rest, unfortunately this the the legacy you built for yourselves and it’s quite unfortunate that us young Kenyans are the ones calling out you older media operatives for your historical-mediocrity, while it should be the other way round; us looking up to you for guidance.
Today, terminologies that media personalities loosely throw around like sponsor, clande, socialite, have had adverse effects on the younger generation, conditioning those coming from unstable backgrounds into believing that this is the norm. Far from it. Ten years ago, the social structure in Kenya was way different than it is today. Women danced in discoes, two Smirnoff Black Ices were enough to make a lady black out and men actually chased after women.
Today, the genetic framework of Kenyan women has mutated, and their alcohol tolerance supersedes that of men. A scientific breakthrough of sorts, or evolution.
No better place to observe the deteriorating curve that Kenya’s morality has taken, than in the social-scene. Engage with a lady and you can immediately tell her institution of higher learning by the “demands” she will impose. Ladies from the top Government universities will go on a more intellectual plane, choosing to converse in a bid to evaluate prospects from her suitors. The ones from some of the private universities will either ignore or engage based entirely on the financial incentives at hand.
When President Mwai Kibaki assumed presidency in 2003, his initial target of reform was education. He implemented Free Primary Education within the first week of being elected, and while on a wheel-chair, unlike the incompetent Uhuru who is yet to fulfil any electoral pledge three years into his term.
Amongst things Kibaki liberalised was the issuance of University charters as Moi had kept them controlled in a bid to stifle intellectual growth in the country, meaning more institutions joined the fray and university education was devolved. While some retained standards of ethics and professionalism, others adopted the conveyor-belt model whereby graduates are being churned out half-baked and totally unproductive in the formal economic structure. Those universities are purely built on commercial motivations.
Cut-off points for entry were reduced to accomodate lower intellectual cadres and a chance for redemption to those that had flanked their high-school exams became a possibility. Just ten years ago, that would have been a privilege for the chosen few that could afford pre-university at high cost colleges like USIU, Augustana and Catholic University.
Still, you can pick out students from public universities from a crowd. And no better way to passively judge a university’s stature by the calibre of its women.
Most of the new private universities are largely comprised of children from humble backgrounds whose parents breastfed on Moi-era narratives that a degree was all that was needed to succeed in life, never mind the quality of education, the character of an individual or side skills one may have like playing an instrument, speaking a foreign language or even running a home. Many of those parents barely take time to evaluate each institution based on the children’s ability, and thus concede a rather important obligation in upbringing to third-parties.
And while Government universities are the hub of the country’s best brains, private universities could be considered as the dumping ground equivalent. In the end, the future of an individual depends squarely on their purpose and ambition to excel, whilst avoiding distractions.
Coming from inferior backgrounds and having had neglected upbringing, ladies from private universities largely form the bulk of “clandes” whose upkeep is underwritten by “sponsors”, a catastrophic state of affairs in this country. Which then defeats the purpose of spending a fortune to educate the girl-child, if at university level, when the mind is vibrant and full of energy, they still hold onto toxic discourse propagated by an errant and unregulated press corps. With the need to live beyond their means, wear latest trends and be seen in the it-places being prioritised.
And instead of leading lights like Ory Okolloh @KenyanPundit who choke twitter space with their unsolicited opinions, rising up to the occasion to stem the tide and encourage media to relay messages aimed at altering the course of this sinking ship called Kenya, they simply moonlight kissing Statehouse’s behind, hoping to be awarded tenders in exchange for their so-called twitter influence. Let Mutahi Ngunyi’s diminished status and subsequent fall from favour with Kenyans in pursuit of short-term gains be a lesson to Ory and her ilk. We see you and your disgusting behaviours.
Meanwhile the girl child whom a lot of effort was expended in elevating their plight, is slowly losing stature and getting reduced to serial-borrowers and pseudo-whores, all being the work of the senior women in media who supposedly champion rights of women but instead end up doing the exact opposite. When you have university girls confidently saying that it’s ok to have sponsors for financial recompense in exchange for sex, means that even our education system is fundamentally flawed.
Are these rapidly-growing private universities hubs for incubating intellect or conveyor-belts for the next set of Njoki Chege’s or Caroline Mutoko’s?
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