1. Who is Janet Chepkirui?
First and foremost, I am a very determined and passionate B Sc Mechatronic engineering student. I always go for what I believe in and always fight for my goals until they get accomplished. I like exploring my limits and pushing past them and I am a very approachable person. I never give up on what I believe in.
2. If things go as they are expected to go, you will be the Vice Chairperson of Dekutso. How do you feel about that?
I think I am quite surprised on how these elections turned out and I am still quite shocked actually but I have embraced it and I feel good because it was once a dream but now it is becoming reality. It has been the desire of my heart to have a seat on Dekutso and become a channel to air the views of my fellow students. We have so many things that need to be done in the academic sector, which is why I vied for the vice chairperson seat in order to raise our voices and be heard. I am ready to fight and accomplish my concerns and adequately represent the interest of every comrade in every opportunity I get.
3. What will your first objective be if you get into office?
I will push for the online classes if possible to be done face to face.. Wearing of masks will be mandatory as will maintaining social distance. That’s what people on the ground are telling me. If not, internet services should be in each corner of the school and it should be one password because not every eduroam password works… That’s what is in my agenda as my first priority due to its urgency.
4. How were you able to secure the nomination despite the tough competition?
I forgot to say that I am a very prayerful person. I prayed about it then boom I was given the position since I had talked about vying ever since my delegate victory last year. I can say I am very involved in many things in kimathi so the chairperson vying approached me and since I had no political partner I accepted.
But the journey has been tough. It’s been a battle of finding the correct connections and finding your own support. Also we have exams right now yet I am still actively participating in political meetings. All I can say is that I have passed through a lot to get here and I am grateful for not giving up.
5. Which year are you in by the way?
I’m in the same class as Brilliant Ruto.
That’s Mechatronic Engineering 3.2 right?
Speaking of Brilliant Ruto. She has been a delegate before, just like you. And there are those who expected her to be in this race. You two seem like competitors. Tell us about that
She’s a good friend of mine and I am part of those who wanted her to be on the ballot as well but everyone has an entitlement to ordain the path they want in life. She’s behind me giving me support and if she decides to vie next year she will have my full support and even if she did vie this year it would have been the toughest race for me but I wouldn’t have stopped her either because competition is good for politics.
6. Which leadership positions have you held before?
I have been trying to live a quiet life… studying ,having fun and stuff but occupying a leadership position was something I feared. But after successfully becoming a delegate, I felt like I can do it. People voted for me, showing me a lot of support and I felt that it was time for me to venture into leadership. When I told my friends I want to be the vice chair, they gave me the support and I dared myself to take it and here I am.
7. You have no competitors. But you can still fail to get into office if majority of the delegates vote against you. How do you feel about your chances? Are you afraid of losing?
I am ready for anything since I know its possible but I am a hopeful person. I think I won’t be surprised at any result whatsoever but I am hoping for a win… a big win… I really hope for the best.
8. Speaking of a big win, it would be awesome for your leadership and for DeKUT’s comradeship if you got in with 57 delegate votes. What can you tell the delegates? Why should they all vote yes for you?
They should vote for me because what I want is to better the lives of every comrade. Kimathi is a mess. First year fees were increased with no additional services to correspond with the extra money. We did online classes and are we seriously gonna graduate with this rate of literacy and competence?! There are students who drop out because of fees since the bursary allocation is not even known by the students. And a lot more … We want change. Let them give me a chance to make that change. We are paying full school fees in engineering courses yet we were at home. The system is not playing fair and I am confident that I am the right channel to air these views.. I am a comrade and I am asking them to give me that vote with confidence as they are going to send me to be the voice and ear to each and every interest of every comrade… The rent is shocking tusiende hapo i am just annoyed with the administration and I feel I can do a lot….
9. This year’s politics have been described as weird, and rightly so. For example, the costs involved in the campaigns have dropped dramatically. Outgoing chairman Theuri told DekuTrends that he spent close to half a million to get into office. How is the financial burden for you?
For me financial spending was not part of my agenda… I wanted people to vote for me not because I gave them a kakitu but because they have confidence in me. I wanted a win without bribery but as the political norm is set; one has to prepare pocket-wise just in case.. When there’s a lot of tight competition, that’s when spending goes up. Like in last year’s election, Sabul and Theuri’s competition was very tight. This time its going to be different since corona is here with us and the number of cases in Nyeri is rising. The campaigns have even been called off…the people have a choice to choose with or without financial spending.
10. What can you say about the outgoing vice chairperson Purity Mwende and the work that she has done?
Purity Mwende did what she had to do. I won’t spill the beans though because who am I to judge? All I can say is the vice chair seat is a delicate sector since it deals with academics and much more hence one should be ready to work. I don’t know her that well and so I won’t comment on her work since corona did interrupt all of our activities.
11. You’re in 3.2 right now. Will you have a chance to vie again? And if you do have another chance, would you go for the top seat?
Absolutely. I can vie for president. I am an ambitious lady and as far as I know there’s no lady in kimathi who has ever applied for the task; if my research was right. This is something I am considering… Let me do my part as the vice chair and plan then let the people decide if my work is legit and worth another term as president for the Dekutso.
12. Tell us about your running mate. He seems really popular.
Gakere is himself. His determination is something to admire. After the few years I have known him, I would advise delegates to vote for him because he has innate leadership in him. He is ready to always hear out someone even if the idea is lame and he supports whenever he can. He is always available whenever someone is in need and he has been such a good friend for me and many comrades. I cannot describe him enough and I am willing to work with him as delegates prepare to vote for us since his agenda for the comrades is appealing. I believe he will restore Kimathi to a state that we are proud of and I am humbled to be his running mate.
13. What do you want your legacy to be by the end of your term?
To be remembered for accomplishing most if not all of my promises and for having worked with students in every way that I can. I want to do all I can to speak to students and hear them out first then go to the admin and negotiate as far as i can and if all goes as planned we will all be happy.What do you love most about DeKUT?
It was a pleasure having you on Influencer of the Week. We wish you all the best.
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