Confessions of a campus hustler

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What you need to know:

  • A while ago, I cleared my room in the campus hostel and moved my belongings to my uncle's house to join my cousin Patrick and his friend Osano.


  • Patrick has recently graduated from Moi University with a degree in architecture while Osano has a degree in education. Recently, anxiety has become our unwelcome friend.


  • We live in perpetual fear. The fear that we will never amount to anything. There is nothing we haven't done to survive. Patrick continues to work as a civil servant despite the mediocre pay.

BY DUKE NYANKABARIA
It is a New Year filled with many expectations and big aspirations, and a new semester in universities across the country. For many comrades, classes have begun. But, there are those of us who have been slapped with a nine-months holiday. Nine months! No job, no internship, nothing financially gratifying to aspire to other than my erratic earnings from freelance writing, which can barely cover a single visit to the salon if I were dating. Thank God I am not.

Without knocking on my sister's door to borrow money, I can barely survive. That is an extremely embarrassing fact, especially because I already have a beard. When I think of going upcountry, the only interesting jobs that come to mind are cattle rearing and tea picking. My mum is an agricultural aficionado. He thinks that a man who despises farming is not worth his salt.

A while ago, I cleared my room in the campus hostel and moved my belongings to my uncle's house to join my cousin Patrick and his friend Osano. Patrick has recently graduated from Moi University with a degree in architecture while Osano has a degree in education. Recently, anxiety has become our unwelcome friend. We live in perpetual fear. The fear that we will never amount to anything. There is nothing we haven't done to survive. Patrick continues to work as a civil servant despite the mediocre pay. He once tried his hand in freelance writing and had a few pieces published, but pay was poor, so he kept his pen in the drawer.

Osano, a truly remarkable human, is employed in a medium-sized business that performs almost every task. He is either delivering something this week in Kisii, or hosting high-profile guests in one of the five-star hotels in Naivasha. The following week he could be an event organiser! We even met a few new friends. There is Paul, who works for a theatre company that performs plays for high school students. Due to lack of focus and a large appetite for high school students, who were also his audience, he didn't exactly succeed.

His friend, Paul, is however among those responsible for making the University Travelling Theatre thrive. A gifted man he is. He and I have engaged in some deceitful behavior, such attending Consumer Research Day and masquerading as accountants when, in reality, the only accounting we know is how to make use of a Sh500 shopping voucher.

As you can see, we do what we have to do to get by. As for me, I recently had to pick up the chalk and tutor a young student in Umoja II, Nairobi. And that is when I realised I had forgotten everything I learnt in high school. It is unfortunate that all the knowledge I gained in campus has been lost. When they came up with 8-4-4, did they mean 8-(4+4)=0?

Dravil Duke is a student at Moi  University.                                                     [email protected]
 

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