DeKUT is a university of technology. If you ask me, it’s one of the best in the country. Of course I say that partly because I belong to DeKUT but mostly because it’s the truth. The university’s administration – in my view – has done a commendable job in living up to the name of “a university of technology.”
Being a university of technology has come with its costs – as students currently taking classes online and graduates who had to attend the biggest ceremony of their lives on YouTube will tell you. But that’s another issue.
Today, we are being appreciative. DeKUT has done a lot for the benefit of everyone in terms of technology. Our School of Engineering is very well equipped. For crying out loud, one of two national Science and Technology Parks is being established at DeKUT. The other park is at Konza. Additionally, a Film Hub was recently launched at the university in partnership with the Kenya Film Commission. So when students resume, they’ll have access to a training and production center for animation, film making and gaming. How cool is that?
These are a few examples but evidently, the administration has done its part. And the students themselves have not been left behind.
Through DeHUB, numerous innovations have been made by students. DekuTrends has featured several of them which have proceeded to win prizes in national competitions such as the Konza Covid-19 Hackathon and even in global competitions such as the Microsoft Imagine Cup.
Today, we focus on one of the most significant but underutilized innovations by students in DeKUT – DeChat. DeChat is the product of Kenova – a tech company founded by a student who is currently at DeKUT – Aaron Rono.
It is a social media app meant for Kimathi comrades – who I will hereby refer to as Kimathians. It has some features from Facebook, like the ability to have friends. But it also has some features from Twitter, like hashtags and the ability to make posts that can be seen by everyone in the app. It is available on Play Store and barely three months after its launch, has surpassed the 500 downloads mark. It’s expected to hit 1000 soon.
This means that 1000 Kimathians are already on one platform. In short, if I make a post on DeChat, it will be seen by all these people. How wonderful is that?
I say it’s wonderful because as students, we are used to WhatsApp groups – which have a maximum of 257 members. Kimathi has about 7000 students. So to get to every student, you would have to be in numerous WhatsApp groups. But with DeChat, you can potentially reach every Kimathian with just a single post. Come on… That IS awesome.
And the best thing is that Kenova has plans to provide such a solution for every campus in Kenya. In fact, if you go to Play Store right now, you’ll see that they already have apps for JKUAT, Moi University and MKU. So after the app becomes a success here in DeKUT, we’ll export it. Just like Facebook exported to the world. Again, come on… Don’t you feel proud to be associated with that?
I know I do. Which is why I’m writing this article in the first place. Because when DeChat is successful in future, I will want to say, “I helped build that. I’m a Kimathian. We are awesome.” Ha ha ha.
On a serious note, DeChat is a gem. Below are the reasons why:
1. Simplified Access
Supposing you are a first year and you want to access John Theuri – our president – to help you with a certain issue. What do you do? Where do you get his number from? Or supposing that you want to join the Rotaract Club or the Drama Club, where do you start?
With DeChat, if Theuri asks whether there is a rent issue, you can comment to his post with your problem and you get to talk to him very easily. If you want to join the Rotaract Club, you just have to go to DeChat and look for Rotaract in the Communities section.
When we go back, it won’t be long before we need to elect other student leaders. It will be to the advantage of candidates to have everyone on one platform. It will also be to the advantage of Kimathians to be able to gauge and discuss their potential leaders on one platform.
Just like Twitter and Facebook are a major factor in national politics, so will DeChat play a major role in Kimathi politics in the near future. So if that’s your field, it would be in your best interests to position yourself advantageously as early as now.
A good number of Kimathians are business minded and have some side hustles in addition to being students. Such people generally deal in products that are in demand among comrades. For example, if you have a laptop repair service, what would be more perfect than having all your prospective customers in one place?
You, my dear reader, are right. The answer is nothing. Nothing would be more perfect than DeChat.
4. Journalism & News
I could be walking to Kahawa at night and see someone post on DeChat that he has just narrowly escaped from some thugs and that the next person will face the music. Or I could be hurrying to the Mess from A-block when I see someone post that, “Pilau imeisha.” In the first case, I will definitely not go to Kahawa and in the second case, I’ll just go to Boma directly if I wanted pilau.
My point is, using DeChat, Kimathians will be able to share news in real time. This means that information will be more valuable because it’s timely. The applications of this are endless.
5. Relationships and Dating
Do I spend my time scrolling through profiles on DeChat, trying to find myself a person from Kimathi? For the sake of my reputation, let’s just say that I don’t. But I know that some of you are already doing it or will be doing it a lot from now on.
But honestly, I’ve seen and made friends with some beautiful people on DeChat. I saw their beautiful photos by accident, of course.
And I see a scenario where a guy walks up to a girl and after shooting his shot, the girl asks him, “Unajiita aje DeChat?”
Can you imagine the shame of such a guy saying that he’s not on DeChat. That’s how you bite outside. It’s the little things. Honestly.
6. Celebrity Culture
Who doesn’t want to become a celebrity?
Seriously, if you know such a person, tell him or her that Silicon thinks he or she is one of a kind.
Obviously, there are some people who will stand out on DeChat. A new brand of campus influencers will arise. Some of them will be the funniest. Others will be the hottest. And others will find crazy ways to be interesting. The bottom line is: it’s going to be a beautiful world with DeChat.
7. Hashtag Activism
This type of activism is powerful. Hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter have been used to effect real change in issues that are important to the public. This will be the case for Kimathians on DeChat. If you want them to start offering meat at subsidized prices in the mess, you just start the #GiveUsMeat campaign. Or if they are offering poor services at the student clinic, you get to speak out and effect positive change.
Anyway, to show my support for DeChat, the Silicon Foundation will be giving away a cash prize next Sunday.
I’m just kidding. There is no Silicon Foundation.
But… the sh.500 cash prize is real. Go to DeChat and make a post. In the post, tell us how you see DeChat being of use to you in the future. To qualify, you must use the hashtags #AwesomeDeChat and #Silicon in your post.
Once you make the post, get as many friends as possible to vote for your post by liking it. You can achieve the most likes on your post by inviting fellow comrades to download the app and go like your post. This is money we are talking about – You don’t just leave things to chance. Next Sunday, the Kimathian with the most likes on his or her post will get the sh. 500 from me and will be celebrated in the Silicon Editorial.
The best thing about this competition is that between now and Sunday, brands that want to promote themselves are invited to give cash prizes also. So we might end up having more than one winner. If your business gives a cash prize, I will recommend your product or service to the readers of the Silicon Editorial and we might even advertise your product on other sections of the DekuTrends website. If you’re interested, use the number 0703154483 to send a WhatsApp message.
We have done such competitions before. Do you remember the Meme Festival sponsored by Yellow Strings Drycleaners located at Boma? Two students walked away with sh.500 each and the competition was featured in the campus vybe section of The Nairobian. Did I hear someone say Wow!? Anyway, for all your dry cleaning needs in Kimathi, look no further than Yellow Strings. They’re very good people. They sponsored us to have loads of fun with memes during the Meme Festival. If you want Kimathians to love your business, you have to be willing to do some things for us.
In conclusion, I appeal to you – fellow Kimathian – to do everything you can to make DeChat a success. It’s our baby and it takes a village to raise a child. The village in this case is you and I. Invite your friend to DeChat. Post something once in a while. Check in everyday to see what other Kimathians are up to. This is history in the making. Don’t just sit by. Grab your place among the greats who make history. If you’re yet to download the app, click here to get it on PlayStore and join a thousand Kimathians. If you’re having trouble with the app, you can always use the web version via your phone browser in this website: dechat.kenova.co
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