The Dream of a 15-year old boy

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I decided to share this amazing blog post by Allan Munyao, it’s inspiring! Read on =)

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” Mine is a story of a 15 year old boy in 2006, who was literally day dreaming in a history class one fine afternoon. A dream whose reality has come to pass, and a dream whose future can only be brighter. Deep in the Lukenya Hills, was the harbor of a teenage boy by the name Allan Munyao. A boy whose journey was a long and treacherous one. But that’s a story for another day. Nevertheless, in 2006, the dream to be a lawyer was born. How? I’m still to make the substance of it up to date. This was a dream so rooted in my soul that only a few people knew, not even my father knew about it. I remember day dreaming that I would one day become a lawyer. To, me the future could only be brighter and my limit could only be stars, not even the sky as the old English adage alludes to. Many assumed and believed that I’d become a doctor like my father as is tradition in homes where the father is a doctor. Others assumed that I’d be a journalist due to my exploits in the journalism club, both in written word and in oratory skills as well. But only I knew and beloved the beauty of my dreams and Jeremiah 29:11 in the Bible was the anchor on which I based my unwavering faith in relation to my law dream. Fast forward to 2008, the year when I was finishing my secondary education and I told my father I wanted to be a lawyer hence study law in university. The only way to describe his reaction is by alluding to cartoons, where their jaws literally fall to the ground. Same as my grandfather and my father’s friends and sisters as well, they all thought I would be going to medicine school. This prompted a bet between me and my father. Should I get below 72 points I’d do medicine, should I get 72 points and above I’ll do law. Again I repeat Jeremiah 29:11… In February 2009, I received my results and I had scored above 72 points. My happiness knew no bounds since this was a staggering confirmation of my dream to do law. October 2009, marked my entry into University of Nairobi, school of law. A journey that has been an interesting one. From studying with a broken leg for a whole year; representing Kenya in Netherlands in an MUN; engaging myself in diplomacy stuff… The story is endless… The very dream that was born in 2006 is being realized in 2013. The journey isn’t over yet, but this is a milestone. Finishing law school and finishing on a high isn’t an easy feat. Law school isn’t for the faint hearted… It requires hard-work, great dedication and commitment. Any lawyer can testify to that. The road is a long and unwinding one, but I’m enjoying and I do plan to enjoy every bit of this journey. Diplomacy and public international law are the areas that have become dear to me in law. These are the areas that I seek on grounding my law career on. It’s a tough one, but the beauty of my dream is one that makes me believe in it and once again the promise in Jeremiah 29:11. In conclusion, the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. My future is now as I dreamed of it in 2006. I now dream of a bigger future for myself. God has seen me through since the birth of this dream of being a lawyer and He will indeed bring it unto completion at His own appointed time. My father has ensured that I have indeed gone through law school without any fees balance and he’s supported me all through together with my sisters. The other 5 members of B6 Incorporated, since 2nd year of law school, we’ve built each other and encouraged each other despite our diverse dreams. And many others of whom I’ve not mentioned here since your numerous of you for me to mention all of you here. Many of you have built me and continue walking with me in this journey. If you’re reading this you’re one of the key pillars to me as well. This isn’t the end of a journey, but the beginning of a great journey ahead of me… 🙂 Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans that I have for you, declares The Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” God bless!

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AFFIRMATIVE ACTION; A PROBLEM THAN A SOLUTION

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Yesterday I had the opportunity to interact with one of the most respectable people in the legal profession, Dr. Kariuki Muigua. He is a great man judging from his achievements and opinions, I most certainly wonder why he doesn’t have a Nobel peace prize as he’s dedication to mediation mechanisms and ADRs is commendable. It was all in all an inspiring interaction especially to a first year law student as he took us down his journey to being the lawyer he is today. One of the key moments though was when I actually locked horns with him on the question of affirmative action. He himself detests the whole idea infact he insists that he believes in competence. The echoes of that particular conversation rang back and forth in my mind as the realisation that affirmative action was actually more of a problem sunk in.

Let’s just look at practical examples, when you go to a grocery shop, don’t you select the best looking tomatoes regardless of the reason why the bad looking ones are from poor farmers or poor environments?

If we keep assuring students in Turkana that all they need is to get 300 marks to go to a national school when will they ever surpass that target? When we tell women that there are special seats for them in government when will they ever realize that all sexes are equal?

Let’s talk about education first. A Pokot class eight pupil with 301marks is at par with a Nairobi class eight pupil with 420 marks, isn’t this total absurdity!!! Before you are quick to judge, let’s look at how it’s argued. Oh Nairobi has better facilities; Pokot has harsh conditions; Nairobi has more teachers, blah blah. That’s all the government says every year during schools selection, using affirmative action as a hideout for it’s pathetic, I repeat pathetic incompetence. How is that student supposed to compete adequately in the so called national schools populated by kids who passed with flying colours, isn’t that subjecting him/her esteem to inferiority? While at the same time locking the potential of a bright kid by exposing him to where he doesn’t deserve to be in. It almost sounds like punishment for being smart. How is affirmative action rather positive discrimination supposed to be a solution when it highly suggests that certain regions have a lower potential; wouldn’t you call this the poisoning of young mind-sets with abilities to do the unimaginable. That community/society will never step a notch higher because their mind-sets have been synchronised to think that success only comes through ‘favours’’.

Women, women, women. They are probably the most visible victims of this creature called affirmative action. The most memorable debate motions from my early school years was “Girls are better than boys’’, and our teachers strived at every chance to convince us that both sexes are equal. I personally was convicted to their reasoning and grew up knowing no sex was superior than the other. But as events unfolded, my conviction became dimmer; indeed the male species superseded the female counterparts. Special seats in almost every authority, compulsory presence of female representatives in every institution, let’s just look at it black and white. In simple terms, the ONLY way you women out there can be leaders is when you are favoured. It’s obviously something most ladies will not be delighted to hear; but that’s exactly what the law tells us, that’s what the conduct of women groups preach on. This then means that we have to compromise standards, compromise competence under the umbrella of affirmative action as the rain drops of third world pressures hit us harder. Is it really worth the trouble?

I believe there is a much better alternative to Affirmative Action which is EMPOWERMENT.

Let governments, let organizations, let institutions empower the otherwise disadvantaged or marginalized groups through development; e.g. providing entrepreneurial opportunities, building better schools, better social amenities in general. In clear terms, raise their standards to give them a fair opportunity to compete the so called ‘’advantaged groups’’. Only then can we have small successful nations within our states, only then can we have a garden of an equal sex perception, only then can tribal attachments have more benefit than detriments and finally only then can we create a better story than Singapore, Malaysia, you mention it .

Empowerment