Students First Annual Leadership Forum
The First Annual Students Leadership Forum was held at the Assembly Hall in the month of July this year. It addressed topics on; fighting tribalism, transformation, youth leadership, entrepreneurship, empowerment, character and role modelling. The event which was organized by the outgoing leadership of the Student Association of the Technical University of Kenya (SATUK) in conjunction with the university administration took place at the main hall. Lecturers, students and invited guests listened as speaker after speaker addressed them. Academic Division was represented by Rev. Chalton Ocholla and Dr. Ong’ong’a Achien’g of School of Business and Management Studies.
The Chief Guest Prof. Patrick Loch Otieno ‘PLO’ Lumumba was represented by Dr. George Washington Mwiti. Other invited guests were; Prof. Julius Bitok, Financial Director, Office of the President, Miss Pauline Njoroge, Communications Officer NEPAD-Kenya Mr. Meshack Ian Kimutai Chair, National Youth Alliance among others. The program’s moderator, Citizen TV news anchor Kirigo Ng’arua, started by thanking the event organizers saying it provided opportunities for students to learn a lot. The outgoing SATUK Chairman Ngugi wa Thiong’o welcomed everyone and urged students to put into practice, whatever will be said. His sentiments were echoed by outgoing Secretary General, Meshack Ian Acholla who added that students needed to embrace transformation.
The chief guest Dr. Mwiti, an alumnus of the institution at a time it was Kenya Polytechnic advised students that one should achieve his/her highest expectation, which according to him is between the age of 25 and 35 years. He defined leadership as the capacity to have obedience. “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible,” said. Dr. Mwiti, adding that one of the greatest enemies is laziness of the body, mind and spirit. He noted that strong leadership is measured by two things, capacity to reject anything that is evil. His speech was inspiring. This was visible from the patience and high levels of concentration demonstrated throughout the forum. “The ball is now in everyone’s court. It is the duty of everyone to take up the challenge and put everything learnt into practice. Surely, a bright future looms if all these are to be considered utmost,” added Dr. Mwiti. Dr. Achien’g welcomed the move to hold the conference since it ensured progress in building the institution’s image. He urged the youth to take up leadership, which is not only inclined to political but also other areas. He said that he was liaising with other mentors with the aim of taking the initiative to a higher level. His sentiments were echoed by Rev. Ocholla who noted that the youth have got so many opportunities. He therefore urged them to take their right position in the development of the nation. While giving an example of Mr. Duncan Kihara, former SATUK Chairman who is currently a Member of County Assembly (MCA) Kabaru Ward Nyeri County. He noted that leadership starts at an early age.
Mr. Kimutai urged students to remain focused, nurture their ambition and champion their course with passion if they have to remain relevant in this competitive world. He challenged the youth to take up initiatives and avenues that will ensure they are economically, socially and politically empowered. To achieve their dreams, he said that they will need to have the will, believe in themselves and make use of available opportunities from the government such as the Youth Enterprise Development Fund and Uwezo Fund. Tribalism being a subject of concern in the country at the moment was also discussed. Mr. Mike Rotich urged young people to stand, think and act beyond their surnames. Prof. Julius Bitok addressed the issue of Role Modelling, highlighting that the university is the seedbed for training a leader. He mentioned five C’s that are key in any youth’s development. These include; Character which has to be beyond reproach, Confidence, Creativity for the sake of innovativeness, Connectivity of the mind and the people anyone wants to lead and Creed or religion which is the opium of the mind as well as what one believes and stands for.