The Weekly Review

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ECK Calls Off Election Campaigns

The Electoral Commission of Kimathi has released a statement announcing that there will be no campaigns this year. This is in line with the Ministry of Health directives that there should be no public gatherings due to the corona virus pandemic. Even without this directive from the ECK, there can’t be much campaigning this year, seeing that the Dekutso council nominees have no competitors. As opposed to earlier years where posters would be all over campus, there are none this year. Delegates have been relying on WhatsApp for their campaigns, with WhatsApp groups being the most common tool. Digital posters are also circulating on social media. The elections are set for the coming week, with delegate elections set to be held on Tuesday 24th and council elections on Friday 27th.

Political Tensions Escalate As DeKUT Nears Elections

After the ECK announced that there was only one successful nominee for each Dekutso council position, we embarked on the path to what could go down as the most unique election in Dekut’s history. It was astonishing to note that though there had been multiple candidates eyeing the various positions on the council, in the end, there was only one successful nominee for each of the seven positions. Comrades could not help but wonder how this had happened. Some of the explanations that have been offered include: betrayal in previously formed alliances between candidates and the influence of the deep state. John Gwambo, in an article published on DekuTrends, called for hygiene in Dekut politics, blaming the current situation on the heavy influence of tribalism in politics. Martin Pombe also called for the “losers to stop throwing tantrums and join hands with the winning side” for the betterment of Dekut, praising the nominee for Chairperson, Gakere Nyingi, as an able leader.

Comrades’ Choice Awards

Nomination for the CCA 2020 is ongoing, with voting set to begin soon on the DekuTrends website. The objective of the awards is to recognize and appreciate comrades in different fields, including sports, talent, comrade service, influence and entrepreneurship. To nominate someone for any award category, contact info@dekutrends.co.ke. Learn more about the awards and see all the categories here

Concerns On Why Elections Are Being Held If There’s No Competition

There have been concerns among comrades regarding the necessity of the forthcoming elections since there is no competition. Normally, students elect delegates who in turn choose among several candidates. For each post, the candidate with the highest number of delegate votes becomes the winner.

But with the way things are this year, some comrades believe that it is useless to vote for the delegates since no matter what happens, the successful nominees will win. However, according to Muia Stephen, who is running for a delegate position in the department of Civil Engineering, it is possible for the nominees to fail to get into office, even if they have no competitors. This can happen if majority of the delegates decide to vote against the candidates. In such a case, a by-election will be organized by the ECK. If the same scenario occurs again, and the candidates fail to get a majority vote, then another person shall be appointed by the student council to fill the post.

This is explained by this excerpt, taken from the Dekutso constitution,

“In case there is only one candidate contesting for a post, the DEKUTSO electoral commission shall arrange for a special ballot paper where voters shall either vote for or against that candidate. A simple majority must vote for the said candidate. If the candidate fails to be voted for by a simple majority, the Electoral Commission Chairperson shall declare new dates for a by-election. If in a by-election only one candidate contests for that post, and the said candidate fails to secure a simple majority vote, the Students’ Council shall appoint another person to fill the post.”

Vice Chancellor Address to the First Years
The Vice Chancellor giving his official address to first years

On Tuesday 17th November, first years gathered in the Freedom Hall for the Vice Chancellor’s address and official welcome to the university. The VC, Prof Kioni, emphasized the university’s commitment to ensure that students finish their courses in the shortest time possible without compromising the quality of education. He also highlighted the importance of empowering students to establish and run successful enterprises in addition to giving them technical skills and knowledge. After the address, as a way of welcoming the first years to Dekut, they were given free yogurt.

Successful Accreditation of New Courses in Dekut
The VC upon receiving a visit from the CUE at the CBD campus

Following inspection by the Commission for University Education, close to ten new programs have been approved. These include three undergraduate programs: Bsc in Chemical Engineering, Bsc in Geology and B Tech in Building Construction. The other programs that have been approved are Masters Programs in: Telecommunication Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Machine Tools Design and Manufacturing, Civil Engineering, Chemistry and Forensics and Security Management.

More on DekuTrends:

1. Con-men Take Students’ Laptops in Nyeri View

2. Official CCA 2020 Categories and Sponsors

3. Dekut to Mass Produce Coffee Flavored Yogurt

4. Dekut Student Embarrasses Himself in Ladies’ Washroom

Influencer of the Week: Mohamed Maow

By | Kimathi | No Comments

Mohamed Maow, aka the Isaac Hassan of Kimathi, is the 2020/2021 Electoral Commission of Kimathi Chairperson. He is the first person to be featured on Influencer of the Week in 2021.

1. Who is Mohamed Maow?

I’m a fourth year student pursuing Bsc. Electrical and Electronics Engineering. I am an intrinsic nomad hailing from northern Kenya, to be specific Garissa. I am a persistent procrastinator and an avid sleeper. Some people might say it is laziness and I don’t disagree. It is who I am and I love it. I have an unhealthy crave for camel milk. You can call it an addiction and you will be accurate. I guess it is how I was brought up. I use it as a pleasantry for my guests because I believe it is the highest honor one can bestow on any one. Some like it, some don’t. If you want to try, come over to my place, knock off your shoes and enjoy a cup of hot camel milk. Any way that is me.

2. Being the Chairperson of the ECK in DeKUT, what is that like?

It is a great honor. I started as a commissioner back when I was in second year. I became Vice-Chair miraculously (and I mean it) when I was in third year and finally I was the Chairman in 2020. Technically, I am the longest serving student in the commission.

Mohamed and the ECK

What do you mean when you say that you became vice chair miraculously?

I applied for the commissioners’ position. I wanted to try it for the second time. Ordinarily, the chair and the vice are chosen from those who applied for the chair position. Checking on the shortlisted people, I was the Vice-Chair. It was unbelievable.

3. Having been in the electoral commission for 3 consecutive years, what can you say about DeKUT elections?

DeKUT elections are competitive. That is a good indicator of a functioning democracy. However, the elections are not inclusive. After the delegates system was introduced, the elective positions became a reserve for the big communities leaving no room for the minorities. Last year, we wanted to amend the constitution to allow for minorities representation but corona made the efforts futile. Some were accusing me for pushing for the amendments to create myself a post through dubious means but that was not the case. We just wanted diversity to be evident in the council just like in other universities.

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4. Tell us more about the plan to amend the DeKUTSO constitution

It caught some impetus last year. We had planned to turn the electoral commission into a constitution review commission. We had some bold proposals and the whole process was to start when we resume may-august semester last year. Corona came and scuttled our plans. Well I don’t know when it will pick up again but what I know for sure is that we need inclusivity in DeKUT politics.

5. DeKUT elections in 2020 were different from previous years’ elections in that there were no competitors for the student council seats. How did that happen? Is it that nobody else submitted their nomination papers or those who submitted didn’t qualify?

The commission has rigid time and everybody including us have to conform to it. We are required to publish the schedule of events on the schools’ notice board so that everybody is aware about the time everything is supposed to be done. Some people picked the nomination papers but did not bring them back. There were some ethnic politics at play but I don’t want to dwell on that. Bottom line the other group did not beat the deadline.

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6. From your point of view, what effect did the lack of competition have on this year’s elections?

It had no effect on the competition whatsoever. The other side of the isle were keeping us on our toes by filing for frivolous petition. I mean, it was very easy to debunk their lies but it was very good. They had the legal right to file for that petition. What I can say for sure is that the one sided competition made the work easy on my side. When the game is not so competitive the referee is happy 😂😂

Did the lack of competition affect on voter turnout?

In my view the voter turn out was affected by students who were committed with their studies because it was an examination period. The voter turn out was unlikely related to the contest.

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7. You mentioned that you were involved in plans to change the constitution. What did you hope to achieve?

The constitutional change was just to allow for the formation of two political parties with candidates from all the regions of Kenya.

Tell us more about that

Formation of political parties would encourage a policy based democracy rather than ethnic based democracy. There would be two candidates from a given community from both the parties, so voters would make decisions based on ideas not ethnicity.

Mohamed and his team

8. The ECK has been having a communication problem where majority of comrades in DeKUT don’t know what is going on. A good example is this year’s debate. Communication about the venue was made just two hours before. What do you have to say about that?

The venue was a hard issue this time because there was an examination going on. Almost all the venues were in use and the relevant officials who are involved for example time tablers and the registrar were hard to reach or were simply busy. But we tried our best to communicate as early as we could.

9. What frustrations, if any, has the electoral commission faced while discharging it’s duties during the 3 years that you have been in it?

Not that I’m aware of.

Mohamed with some members of his team

You’ve had no challenges?

We had a few challenges among them the inconveniences with venues brought about by the pandemic. There were also some challenges from digruntled student who were not happy about the political formations that were playing out. Overall, nothing significant.

10. What is next for you after campus? You’ve been actively involved in campus elections. Do you intend to play a part on the national stage? Maybe be another Isaac Hassan?

I have some political ambitions for as early as 2022 but I have not yet made up my mind . There is a lot I want to change in my community. I believe I will play a huge role in Northern Kenya and the country at large in the future.

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11. What do you like most about DeKUT?

The thing I like about DeKUT is the timely completion of the course work. Sometimes when I look at my peers from other universities, I am proud of my decision to choose DeKUT. I also love its Engineering program. I believe DeKUT will be a leading University in the future.

12. Almost half of the students in DeKUT will read this article. What would you like to tell them?

Believe in yourself. This is the right time to build your future.

13. DekuTrends fans question: Are you making money while still in school? And if you are, how?

No, I’m not making money in school. The only cash I made in school is the salary from my work as commissioner, Vice Chair and Chair. There were also some few allowances from that work as well.

It’s been a pleasure interviewing you. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors even on the national stage.

Do you have any comment on this article? Feel free to leave it in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

If you are not in any DekuTrends group, click on this link to join one of them and stay up to date on everything that we are doing. You also get the chance to suggest who should be featured on Influencer of the Week and suggest the questions that they should be asked.

DekuTrends is looking for writers to cover DeKUT issues and general matters regarding the youth in Kenya. If you’re interested, WhatsApp 0703154483 or email info@dekutrends.co.ke

Here are previous Influencers of the Week:

1. Janet Chepkirui, DeKUTSO Vice Chaiperson.

2. MCA Victor Karanja

3. Sabul “The Bull”, who won the award for Most Influential Person of the Year in the DeKUT Comrades’ Choice Awards 2020

Other articles on DekuTrends:

1. Campus students should ignore mental health at their own risk

2. The CCA 2020 results

3. Of Dildo, Masturbation, Jason and Death – Part 1

WHAT ARE WE?

By | Blog | No Comments

By Beardy Ed

Image credits: Dreamstime.com

It is a warm breezy afternoon. Her hair gets blown back lightly revealing her bright hazel eyes. Your heart flutters a little. Goddamn she is pretty. Her perfume lingers in the air every time she gestures with her slim beautiful arms. You cherish each second of your short walk from church to your hostels. Each Sunday is magical whenever she is around. Her voice entrances you as she weaves in from one event to another relating her week to you. Adjectives cannot fully describe her countenance. “If I could get her the moon!” You believe you must be special since she seeks you out every time so that you can walk her back to her hostels. Sadly, your thought train is cut short by her goodbye as you part ways to your different residences. Damn it! Does the distance get chewed up short on Sundays? As you walk off to your room, a tiny smile flutters on your lips. Happiness, joy and longing well up in you.

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“What is love?” The question has been on your mind for the past six months. Should I also mention that coincidentally it is also the same period of time that Amy and you have been having this sort of ritual walk? Sure you have been to a number of events together but nothing beats the perfect afternoon weather with Amy walking beside you. You can tell you feel something for her but cannot pinpoint it.

I would like to confidently state I do not know the answer to the above question. Love is a complicated emotion that has baffled many. Trying to describe it is akin to subjecting a toddler to complex calculus principles. She/he is spellbound by the concepts but cannot grasp an inkling of whatever is being taught. Many have tried to define love but can only do so from a given perspective that does not encompass the true and complete definition. In today’s world, the term love is most commonly taken to mean the erotic/romantic kind. It is not my wish to discuss this over-hyped and overrated form. There are numerous books, articles, journals, writings, radio programs and TV shows on it. As such, I would like to tackle a type of love that has been in the shadows for far too long.

Platonic love is defined as an emotion that leads to a close non-sexual relationship between heterosexual individuals. Simply put, it is the mutual feeling of connection between heterosexual friends. The Aegean philosopher Plato first described it in ‘The theory of Eros (love)’. We all express this love towards our friends whether male or female. Bromance is a great example of this. However, the society of today has it all mixed up. This is especially true in male-female friendships. Stereotypes have led to the transmission of ideas that lead to dating and casual sex causing sentimental confusion. A lot of guys mistake platonic love for erotic love thus bringing about an awkward situation once they get to realize they feel different. However, this does not mean that platonic love does not evolve and morph into erotic love. It does but not all the time.

Image credits: Pinterest

Some of the important pointers that indicate your emotions towards someone are platonic include:

  • You love being around them more than with anyone else.
  • You try your best to make time for them.
  • You feel they understand you the most and best. They can literally read you like a book.
  • You are happy whenever conversing on the phone with them.
  • You keep pictures and souvenirs of them.
  • You try to include them in your plans such as hikes, events, camping etc.
  • You cannot picture a life without them.
  • You feel comfortable around them. Fights are more common and take longer to resolve between romantic lovers than between friends in a platonic relationship.
  • You are interested in their lives e.g. their joys, pet peeves.
  • You have a lot in common e.g. your love for football, your shared dislike for a certain innocent individual.
  • You can both have endless conversations where you share your deepest thoughts and desires punctuated with numerous light-hearted moments. The awkward silence never occurs.
  • They are the first recipients of news about your life and hot juicy gossip. Their opinion is very important to you.
  • People often mistake you as a couple.
  • You avoid flirting and intimacy. You do not feel guilty when flirting with other people nor jealous if they do so. Sexual feelings do not crop up whenever you are together and alone.
Located opposite the DeKUT main gate on your way to Catholic Hostel

How can we deepen these relationships? First, express your love. You can get them gifts that clearly communicate your intentions. Make them a friendship necklace or buy them a yellow rose on Valentine’s Day. Second, spend time together to strengthen the relationship. You can go out on a friendly date, try new activities together or just take a walk together. In addition, always try to support them in what they do no matter how menial. Lastly, in order to avoid any confusion, always define the relationship. Many might tag you in some nasty memes about being in the friend zone. It is not a cardinal sin to strictly be a best friend but it is disastrous to be in a sort of limbo in the ‘what are we?’ stage after a romping session. 

Love is not about wanting the other person to be yours, it is about wanting the other person to be happy – Vadim Kotelnikov.

More articles by Beardy Ed:

  1. Cyber Security
  2. Toxic Masculinity

Of Dildo, Masturbation, Jason, and Death-2

By | Alan Shadowrine, Alan Shadowrine, Blog | No Comments

Continue from part 1

 Jason was the last explosive missile that had finally blown apart my hardened heart. Or we could say I was the reason that Jason would be falling apart in less than a year, not able to swallow the ocean of form around his sore mouth, his great smile fading across his sunken cheeks. To him, I would be the time-bomb waiting to explode on his face. And the last seconds of the time-out was at the abyss as soon as his call would off in the middle of this night.

In a flash of a second, I reviewed hell a lot of stuff that had brought us here.

I remember how it all happened, like it is all fixed at the tips of my fingers. My friendship with Jason began at the basketball pitch in the August of 2016, a time of the year when the cold weather across the country was unforgiving. I was a finalist, studying a course my parents had conspired I would pursue long before I was even conceived, while he was a third-year, pursuing an engineering course that he said he loved like Jesus loved the church.

Jason was the bright guy with the longest pair of shorts with green stripes and a pair of black and white baseball shoes, almost every day. He was unusually talkative, essentially outgoing, and almost always, cutely smiling. He smiled to the orange basketball, to the opposite team, to the rude and as dark as my grandmother’s pot coach, and even to space. His smile was the kind that found me uneasy, freely smiling back without authorization from my hard-to-get ego. The type of smile that is bright enough to light up the darkest souls. He was fast, a little skinny compared to other players, with a light skin complexion that made the smile more irresistible.

He did not style his hair like other campus dudes did. Nor did he show off his growing muscles through the sleeves of an unbuttoned shirt. He did not argue with the captain even when he was blamed for missing the score. When I asked him why he never justified himself, he said that while his team was learning how to shoot without missing, he learned how to fly without perching.

I never understood what exactly he meant by that phrase. But there was no way I would admit that I had no idea of what he meant. I would wait for the right time to ask the connection between a shooter and a flier. As the old saying goes, when the moon is shining, the cripple becomes hungry for a walk.

My cute Jason was composed, a little funny, and, as I would find out, very intelligent. He never missed practice both on weekdays and on weekends. Even though he missed many matches because the coach thought he was short and not as strong, he never missed practice. And as long as I can remember, I never missed practice too. Only that I never touched the basketball with my hands or let my shoes pet the concrete of the pitch.

I only sat on the side bench, cheering and shouting Jason’s name like a shot hornbill. And true to that, I would later become Jason’s hornbill, only that this time I would not be making loud noises into his tender ears or buzzing into his face like a hornet. I would be staring at him die, listening to him whiz the last gulp of his life, unable to curl his delicate flesh underneath my weakling wings. Poor Jason.

We fell in a sporadic kind of love that knows not knocking of doors or ringing of bells. I baked him cakes on his birthdays, and as bad as I was at baking, he always enjoyed them. He would wait for me outside the bathroom, playing Motor Combat or Need for Speed, oblivious of the need to live. I would go over to his place, and he would come to my place. Sometimes, he would come for a sleepover to my place as I stayed alone only to leave a week later. He was my mantra; I recited him every day.

Suddenly, it dawned on me that the call was almost ending. I led out a forced-relaxing breathe, my heart beating thunderously like a Yamaha motorbike, my mind racing like an Aston Martin. I swiped across the phone screen to receive the call. And like a mechanical machine that had not seen a lubricant for ages, I dragged the phone to my ears, the pulse on my arms too loud to ignore, the race in my mind so endearing, the blood in my veins too heavy to lift.

“Hello Jason,” I stammered.

“Hello Coll,” said the voice on the other side.

“How is it?” I enquired, pushing the dildo away.

“Good, they are taking me in to the buzzing machine in a few,” Jason struggled.

“Are you like, scared?” I asked. He never sounded afraid, not even a single day.

“Naah, but I have something to tell you,” he punched my heart, like I anticipated, clearly struggling to say it between two loud coughs. You could feel the pain in them, the pain of a human soul slipping out of the human flesh.

“What is it? Jason,” I sat down on the edge of the bed, my shoulders collapsing to myself momentarily.

“Sometimes, distance is the only way to heal and find peace. I hope we get enough of it to heal our wounds.”

“What do you mean?” I said to the hanged up call, the beeping sound of an ended need blaring to my ears.

What is your body count? Yes, you am asking you.

CYBER-BULLYING

By | Fashion | One Comment

By Beardy Ed 

Photo credits: Memepesa 

I can tell you either laughed, giggled, chuckled, smiled or whatever the heck you do when amused. There is a lot of ‘teasing’ on social media most of which revolves around the physical appearance of ladies. Foreheads, flat bottoms, skinny frames, not-so-blessed busts and the list goes on. Notably, this is not only restricted to ladies but some gents also face the same treatment 

(I feel you light skinned men). 

What can be considered to be just harmless joking and where does the line lie? Are we going  overboard and leaning more towards cyber bullying? This is an emerging issue in today’s society. UNICEF defines cyber bullying as bullying with the use of technologies. It can take place on social media platforms, gaming platforms and mobile phone messaging apps. It is  repeated behavior aimed at scaring, angering or shaming those who are targeted. 

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Tweeps can actually attest to the occurrence of this phenomenon daily on the bird app (Twitter for the lesser). Not a day goes by without the use of harsh and hurtful words towards other app  users by unapologetic bullies. KOT is a proud lot of gossips, keyboard warriors and clueless individuals all who have a single mission; to expose and make fun of others for clout.  

I was recently treated to a horror show in one of the WhatsApp groups I am part of. A young  fellow decided to celebrate a man he considers to be one of his heroes and role models. Mind you this was on Facebook. The man being celebrated is considered to be a fraud by the rest of  the group members who has spent years in law school. The agents of doom never sleep a wink. 

A screenshot guru shared the post in question and all hell broke loose. The fellow was accorded  a front seat during his roasting session. Almost everyone delivered a sucker punch lowering the  fellow’s esteem. It still baffles me how he never left the group. 

Photo credits: Techweez 

How many times have we subjected others to such unwarranted treatment? Psychology tries to  explain the core reasons behind this uncouth behavior. Jealousy, obsession and a lack of  empathy tend to lead social media users down this dark path once in a while. Take a scenario  where a not-so-handsome sixteen-year-old boy comes out as gay online or a skinny nineteen year-old girl posts a photo of herself clad in a skimpy crochet top. What would your first reaction be? Jealousy at their brazen and maybe misguided confidence would burn through you. It is human to have negative emotions towards others but how we manage and let out these  emotions showcases our humanity. Frustration and underlying feelings of failure can also fuel bullying. Nerds and model students get the short end of the stick on this one. I can go on and on with a million examples but I hope you get what I am driving at. 

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We may want to join in on the ‘fun’ with the bullying pack since everyone is doing it why not  me. Cyberbullying tends to occur on a one-on-one basis but the more common way is in form of pack bullying. Stars like Mulamwah and Jimmy Gait have had very rough journeys due to  pack bullies. Some of us may have been part and parcel of such marauding bands. 

It would do us no harm to restrain from crossing the line when joking with friends or keep off  making smart, sarcastic or rude remarks towards strangers online. Kindness cost nothing. I get  it that we all have our own issues. Offloading the anger and pain on others only gives a  temporary high. Give appreciation where it is due. Making others smile actually gives a sense of fulfillment. Remember that one time you gave someone a tiny gift and they got really excited? Does it even compare to the evil satisfaction you get when someone cries because of an insult? Always remember the golden rule: Do unto others what you would want them to do  unto you. 

Photo credits: Dreamstime.com 

In conclusion, for the cyber bullying victims, seek out a therapist to try and heal from the trauma.  It would also be great to remember that some evil guys just spend their time hating on others  because they consider themselves to be failures. It has nothing to do with you most of the time.  Keep on being you and doing what you do best.  

Surely good deeds will erase bad deeds – Al Quran 11:114