The story of Robert Lesiew, the man who shot and killed his sister in law by spraying her with 17 bullets in the Burnt Forest area of Uasin Gishu County Kenya tells the story of an educated graduate whose life had been turned into a play field by the many tosses and turns that define life.
Not only did the man possess a Bachelors degree in Business Management but he also had gone through the nerve wrecking system of Kenyan University lecture halls to acquire a Masters degree in economics. Over time, people have talked of his brightness but through the years what started as rumours of smoking bhang deteroriated thereafter defining the man as a senseless killer whose life is no more thanks to Karma.
The story tells of an education system more determined in offering certificates than critically improving the lives of anyone lucky enough to have the opportunity of passing through it. As it is currently, so many have passed through the system with nothing to show for it a decade later.
I remember reading the story of a trained medicine graduate who has nothing to show for the university experience only bullet wounds and knife cuttings obtained in the endless gun fights that have defined him over the years citing lack of opportunity to practise and employ the skills he acquired into good use.
In 2014 alone, Kenyan universities produced more than 10,000 university undergrad degree holders. With no jobs to end up in, where do these educated fellows end up? The market ‘out there’ is already stretched beyond it’s limits by graduates that an additional 10,000 serves only to worsen the situation.
Having spent 4 to 6 years in University only to end up jobless after all the struggle only serves to make us graduates bitter for the lack of a more effective phrase. Someone will blurb of us looking for self employment through starting of small enterprises and businesses, but where do we get the capital?
Take this situation for example; I am fresh out of campus with nothing but my papers and certificates to show for it. I have struggled all along to pay tuition fees which have already been subsidized by the government, sometimes even sleeping hungry in an effort to spare that extra coin to deposit into the university’s bank accounts.
Then here I am, having graduated, someone starts making noise of how i should use the knowledge acquired over the years to offer employment to others by venturing into business. Where do I get the capital required? An Equity bank Loan? Where do I get collateral? The Uwezo Fund thingy? What will I be doing for the 6 months required for a group to qualify for the funding? Do I belong to any group that can even qualify for government funding? Suppose I belong to such a group and the funding can only be 100,000 for starters? Belonging to a group of 15 people, that is Ksh 6,666.67 per person. What can I do with such amount of money after investing so much in my education?
Telling just graduated persons to try and venture into business without showing them practical ways of how to do so amounts to hypocrisy, dishonesty and malice.
We complain every so often of how our educated youths are being introduced to radicalism without making an effort of addressing the root cause of the whole exercise.
Let me ask, what does this graduate do after graduation bearing in mind that the family sold everything they possessed so as to see them through education? What does he do for the family looking upto him for support? How does he deal with the pressure of life and the ilk of frustration? What becomes of him after every office he drops his CV in lies of ‘getting back to him’?
I have no answers to the above questions, maybe someone should help me answer them.