Yesterday I had to attend a meeting of the Information Sciences alumni. The turnout was excellent. We were so so many. I was amazed.

But, back to the meeting. It was one of those moments where you get revealed to yourself. You’re also made to feel a little bad about yourself, and partly, you’re forced to offer that uncomfortable explanation about whatever you do.

You see, Katuu, was in the House. He said he had “a problem with journalists”. His beef is that we don’t give “thought” to what we write. He did not like that some journalist did a story about digitization of Nelson Mandela’s archives (or something like that) in such a manner that “to put it bluntly, it is just a clever way of copying and pasting.”

“It is all on the website. Why would I not just go to the website and read whatever is written there?” he told me.

Well, Katuu knows his stuff, plus, he’s got the advantage of having worked on the project that this journalist was writing about.

“A journalist is an analyst, who presents complex information in a simple manner after having given it some thought and ruminated about it,” he said.

And he had a bone to grind with me. He said, the IMF report that he sent to the forum was not handled very well.

“I think you should have done more,” he said. Aha, I got the memo.

Give me the heads up as soon as you guys in the States upload a report and I will handle it with the seriousness it deserves. Goodness! SK has a very low opinion on the way journalists handle stories. He actually had to remind me that “Chief, you did information sciences, let it show!”

That was harsh! But as usual I smiled and smiled some more. Evelyn was standing right there, I suspect, enjoying the episode. So, you ISers, who are journalists, I carried the cross for you.

Katuu had presented lots of data and information about the job market and information sciences. He took the view that the concentration of information scientists in Nairobi was “unsustainable”. Why, he asked, are we afraid to work abroad?

I don’t have an answer to that.

Then there’s this lady (I actually forgot your name, profound apologies) who sat at the corner and wore a beautiful red trench coat. The lady who said she was sidestepped in a promotion at her workplace, just because, she was Kikuyu. Tribalism is one of Kenya’s troubles.

She who is an Adventist and was born and raised in Nairobi and who loves Luo and Kisii foods more than Kikuyu foods.The one who said the job market in Kenya “ni kujuana” (all about connections, tribalism and a little corruption). Yes, that one, who said, she’s applied for UN jobs and that there was a time, she was a professional job seeker. “Kazi yangu ilikuwa kutafuta kazi!” Oh yes, that one. Unemployment is part of the troubles of this country.

There may be many who did not attend and what to know what answer she got. Well, Katuu said she hadn’t seen anything yet. Because, he’d been applying for UN jobs since 2002, and that he got his “first interview three months ago. Interview, not a job!” Yes, read that again!

Michelle –the lady knows how to dress-- she looked stunning. And that question she asked about a survey question to show, which majors made the most money. There was this individual who makes Sh740,000 per month, and the suspicion is that, the fellow is an IT major.

By the way, it was refreshing to note that someone just changed jobs after seeing that he was doing somewhat badly as per the survey results.

So, Michelle, wants people to know what to ask for when they get to the job market. Because, say, if you’re paid, whatever amount, is it because that is what you asked for, or is it because the employer thinks that’s what you’re worth. And Michelle, we discuss nearly everything in the forum, as Hilda knows, football is sometimes “in season”, but I can bet you, politics is about to be “in season”

That said, there’s always the option to “press delete”. *Runs and hides* He he he!

And so, I got to the meeting, it was good to see Mr Mbengei and Mr Musakali. Quite refreshing. And Musakali is still popular. Okay, just before Bernard stood to tell us about Pretoria and taking further studies, someone asked where the proponent of not acquiring further papers was.

We did not watch the video, but watched some short clip. It’s somewhere on Youtube.

Anyway, Mauya and Mugendi were in the house and so was Dr Gichoya, Prof Odini and our host Prof Kiplangat. Mathew OJ was also there and he said he likes Information Scientists because they are versatile.

“The university will not show you or teach you everything. It makes you trainable,” MOJ told some fellow –he who had shaved Jordan (bald), and proposed that Moi should be like Strathmore and offer short courses-- I didn’t get his name, who also told us he’s had his share of tribulations. More on this guy later. MOJ said ISers ought to pick lessons from BBM guys, who while in university do their CPAs and when they’re done with their degree they have something.

The “Jordan” guy then grew restive and dropped the Strathmore vibe. He’d earlier told us how he went for an interview, and was side-stepped because KU picked their alumni. He wondered, amid cheers from a few, why Moi would advertise jobs when there were able men and women in their jobless pool of alumni.

Why for example would you advertise for a system administrator, when there were plenty of them, around, in the alumni. Worry not pal. That’s life. May be we should look abroad? What do you think?

Alphonce, he who prayed, he who runs Oracom, that was wonderful to learn that the business is doing fine. You’re such an inspiration.

I met Ann and Cate. And yes, we had some dinner at a place I don’t like. But it was a Friday night and it seemed Nairobians had filled up every joint. It was nice seeing you guys.

May the story end here… if you picked a lesson or two from the meeting, please share in the forum. If you didn’t pick any, too bad. Belcha, it was refreshing to finally put a face to the name.

I can’t say everything that happened. Otherwise, what incentive will you have to attend another meeting?


  1. Must have been a secretly held invite only event because some information scientists were not informed of it.Organisers should open that pool to more of us.

    1. The event was actually posted on Facebook and on the alumni mailing list ( Well,seems you did not get the notice. Will endeavour to call people from all over the next time.


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