THE LATE HON. GEORGE MUCHAI TESTIMONIAL
Veteran Kenyan Politician
His life history is an inspiring one for those adults who want to achieve higher education. George Mukuru Muchai was born on July 22 1949 at a time when many did not take education in much seriousness or were unable to continue due a number factors like lack of fees, harsh academic conditions, etc. After completion of his primary education Muchai, he began from a humble background, working at Elliots Bakeries Limited, where he served as plant technician between 1975 and 1976. While working, he was involved in championing the rights of his fellow staffs where he thought injustice was predominant.
He later climbed the ladder to serve as the Deputy Secretary General of the giant worker’s union, Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU), serving alongside as a Vice Chairman of the National Industrial Training Board (NITB). Through this experience of serving government corporate organizations, Muchai’s ambitions led him to be an aspiring politician. His main interests were to represent the people of Kabete constituency as their Member of Parliament.
However, the new constitution unveiled in the year 2010 , in Kenya, posed a new challenge by insisting that a member of parliament must have a bachelors degree, which George did not have knowing his background
Acquiring a degree from Kenyan public universities must take one four years (usually longer due to many incidents!); i.e after completing O Levels Education. That obviously presented a huge challenge to Hon. Muchai. It is on this basis that he approached The African Council for Adult Experiential Learning (ACAEL) and his vast years of experience were professionally evaluated alongside his natural talent using professional scientific tools . This was later equated to academic credits and he was allowed to enroll for a degree course under Talent and Work Experience based program. He massive exemptions hence being on fast track .
Within less than a year, through sponsorship from The African Council for Adult Experiential Learning (ACAEL), Muchai graduated with a degree from a UNESCO Accredited University, which enabled him to vie for Member of Parliament seat beating the deadline that the Independent Kenya Electoral and Boundaries Commission ( a body overseeing elections in Kenya) had set. George Muchai won the seat and became Kabete Member of Parliament.
But it is not lost to many that the late Muchai loved the outcome so much that he dedicated his money, time and effort towards the completion of the University of Talent in Kisumu that was sponsored by dissolved DALC Education Group and affiliates. He flew to Kisumu record 4 times in a year and became the board member responsible for the library development and services. By the time he died, the last floor of the university building was already set as a library and even bookshelves erected, thanks to the trusted Muchai.
HON. HEZRON AWITI BOLO
Kenyan Logistics Business Mogul and Politician
Logistics is a word that you see most often on the side of trucks. But it has a bigger meaning: the management of the flow of materials through an organisation, from raw materials to finished goods. “It’s one of the most abused terms in business,” says Peter Bakker, boss of TPG, a transport group. The Oxford Dictionary definition of logistics is first, the “science of movement, supply and maintenance of military forces in the field.” Poor logistics helped to defeat Napoleon, and later Hitler, on the road to Moscow and Stalingrad: both over-stretched their supply lines. The same problem did for Rommel in North Africa, when his tanks lacked enough fuel to fight Montgomery effectively at El Alamein.
Much of the allies’ Gulf war success was also attributed to logistics. Indeed, that war made logistics a sexy management subject. General Norman Schwarzkopf’s logistics chief joined the American retailer Sears Roebuck, to work his magic in civilian life.
Logistics might sound a simple enough business of moving things around, but it is growing more complex as customers demand more finely tuned services, and as new technology and greater use of the Internet open up new ways of passing around information. Now that companies have delayered, re-engineered and scrubbed the waste from their assembly lines, logistics seems worthy of rather closer attention.
Now companies are more demanding, seeking to eliminate both incoming and outgoing inventory
Much of the Japanese-led methods of lean production and just-in-time supplies remained within factory walls. Incoming parts came in batches from warehouses, and sat around until they were used; outgoing products were delivered to distributors in batches, and also sat around. Now companies are more demanding, seeking to eliminate both incoming and outgoing inventory.
This Story is an excerpt for The Economist and we you can imagine what logistics is for someone who has never been school beyond Primary Level.
This was the case for one Hezron Awiti Bolo. He dropped out of primary school more than 30 years ago and overcame so many life obstacles including leaving his rural home in Kendu Bay ( South Nyanza) for Mombasa, Kenya.
He had learn the new Swahili language and cope with new and hostile climate . From being a messenger to being clerk, he rose to start his own Clearing and Forwarding Company.
The HABO Group, which he now owns as logistics company, now employs graduates at bachelors and masters degree level.
You can imagine this primary school dropout understands the above complex logistics jargon and chairs meetings of the graduates and gives directions for the company.
Such a person obviously has intelligence in the form of natural talent. But our education systems still believe that for him to get a bachelors degree, he must first complete his primary education and most likely in the same class as kids the age of his children’s!
That’s how and why we picked up his case. ACAEL undertook professional assessment of talent, life achievement and work experience. We found out a very intelligent person whom ,even though was limited in the English Language, could have the capacity to change this world in his own unique ways.
We chose to build his English Language slowly while ensuring that we did “fill in” skills gaps as well as create intellectual build demand.
He was placed on full Talent Based Learning for Adults and he worked on several projects. With 7 months, it was obvious he was doing better than traditional students and was accelerated. By the time he had done about 3 years, his projects we evaluated and equated to meet threshold of a bachelors degree.
We requested for his credits to be transferred through many levels of diplomas and in the fourth year, he achieved his bachelors degree.
His dream came sooner than he thought. It gave him the confidence to seek leadership. He went for it and captured the parliamentary seat for Nyali Constituency in Mombasa.
Of course, there those that thought that his degree was fake because of his English language; Of course there are those who still believe that education is within 4 walls of a classroom and that it must take ages, with many written examinations; Of course, they will always remain there even if so much has changed.
But, to ensure that Hon. Awiti did the right thing, the government confirmed recently that his bachelors degree is genuine and he was cleared to vie for the governorship of Mombasa County, a fact that requires a genuine degree according to the Kenyan Constitution.
Kenyan Legendary Musician
“The scary thing about music is that so much of it is about chance. Someone can go my path and be 25 and tour with tons of bands and have seven records out or you could be someone who can get a billion hits online and be an Internet sensation. I learned about the music business and being on tour by actually being on tour. Technical musicians or people in orchestras don’t necessarily have to go to school, either, but it’s very helpful.
Music is not like being an author because you can kind of do that at whatever age. Music I think has to have a time limit for certain things. When I was 17 and on tour, we slept in a Walmart parking lot. I would not be able to do that even now at 25. By 30, I want to be in the position where I can tour once a year and make a decent living because I’d like to have a family and kids and be home”
“Musicians should get in a band and play and play and play and go and go and go. That’s school for them. For technical musicians, it’s very important to know how to read and how to play in every key. It’s very different from what I do. Most people don’t really know what the music business is like. I don’t know if any formal education would prepare you for that.
I feel like everything that can inform the words I put into songs is welcome. In order to get that, I have to self-educate myself and challenge myself intellectually”
Wow…Those comments from some young musicians might just have folded what Kenyan Musician Suzzana Adhiambo Owiyo could have gone through many years ago.
Born to parents that academics meant everything, you can imagine what it took her to be such a celebrity today. You can imagine how many names she could have been called those days for escaping class or go dance or play and instrument or record her music.
But you can also imagine the feeling when she was invited to sing at Mandela’s Birthday, meet Obama, meet Clinton, meet Opray Winfrey, and many others?
When she wanted to get back to education, she was reminded of the “procedures” and the “grades” required.
She is very grateful that she ACAEL finally helped her attain a bachelors degree through her Talent, Work and Life Achievement
Legendary Kenyan Musician and Artist
Harrison Mungai “Harry” Kimani grew up with music, teaching himself to play the guitar by watching an older brother perform. He attended Kirangari High School in Nairobi, where he already showed a great interest in music; he sang, composed songs, participated in music festivals and, at one time, conducted the school choir. His first love in high school inspired him to compose a song called “African Woman,” which was well received among his friends; they urged him to record the song.
In 1999, Kimani left school to look for a recording studio. Eventually, in 2000, he met producer Maurice Oyando of Next Level Productions; with Oyando’s assistance, he recorded “African Woman,” which was released as a single. The song began to receive air play on several radio stations in Nairobi.
Encouraged by this early success, Kimani returned to the studio to record a complete album, tentatively titled African Woman. A second single, “Tuohere” (God Forgive Us), was released for radio play. Although the African Woman album was completed in 2001, it was not released due to lack of funds. Undaunted, Kimani returned to the studio to work on another album while his first one waited for release. He has since recorded and released two albums, Unborn and Tiushi Mi Nawe.
When the Festival Mundial officials visited Kenya in September 2002, they were impressed by Kimani’s talents. He performed at the 2003 Sarakasi Festival in Nairobi and was part of a group of Kenyan artists invited to perform at the Festival Mundial in June 2003 in the Netherlands.
Harry Kimani was also featured in the award winning African hip-hop documentary Hip-hop Colony. In 2009, Harry released his latest album, “the Quest”.
Harry got also lucky when a prominent UN worker from the Netherlands connected him to the Festival Mundial organisers.
“Going to the Netherlands with the likes of K South, Mercy Myra, King Kong and Eric Wainaina was my big break,” recalls the 2005 Kora Awards Most Promising Male Artiste nominee.
Then known for African Woman, Harry would achieve super-stardom after Haiya, which he released on January 1, 2005.
“That was a different sound and video,” he says of the song’s success.
Around this time, he met Blof, one of the biggest Dutch bands, who took him on tours around the globe under the joint Umoja project. “I have sang with (jazz great) Hugh Masekela at the SawaSawa Festival. I have also done serious stuff with Sodi Singh, Chris Adwar, Mercy Myra, Bamboo and Abbas among others. I collaborate with people who appreciate music,” he says.
In the year 2014, a breakthrough in education came to him when he met officials of African Federation for Gifted and Talented as well as GATES Africa Education.
Harry was assessed for innate talents (using professional and scientific methods) and was found to have multiple talents, music being one of them.
He was surprised that he had so much without realizing and understood even some of the things that were happening in his life. Experts explained to him that although he had great talent in music (aural and manual dexterity), there were other talent genres that had not been unearthed and were crucial for his full round potential. Lack of identification of these crucial talent domains could have been responsible for some of the behavioral problems he had while growing up and during his career in music.
Armed with this information, Harry ( 2014) embarked on various talent tasks and projects ( as part of Talent Based Learning) and finally graduated with a Graduate Diploma ( 80-90% bachelors degree) in less than 1 year thanks to his many years of life and work experience being considered as part of the learning process.
Kimani is now working on new talent tasks (songs/albums) , with a clear inclination to business and will soon obtain a full bachelors degree.