Deputy Vice Chancellors
Deans and Directors
CODs
Student Leaders
Staff
Freshmen
Ladies and Gentlemen

We are gathered here for a very important activity. One that marks the end of your orientation programme and has ut-most significance to you today and in your entire life. The freshmen who give this function the seriousness it deserves have never gone wrong. Thank you for your presence.

My remarks today are based on the fact that university students find themselves in trouble because they know so little about themselves.

In the last two weeks, Kenya had a chance to show case one of its most important resource, the human resource in the form of its sons and daughters who won elective positions as Governors, Senators, Women Representatives, Members of Parliament and Members of County Assemblies. Even Kibabii had four of its former and current students on the list of elected and nominated MCAs. Ninety nine per cent of these people were at one time students at the University, but the ones we consider the cream de la cream are those who participated in the election petition at the Supreme Court. Most of them were not only alumni of various universities but at one time served as student leaders. The people sitting in front of you at different times sat in university lecture rooms. A few of them sat in Kibabii University lecture rooms as recently as last year. All of the people on the dias are not sitting there by default. They chose the right path.

Success in life is a matter of making the right choices. You too can excel if you choose to do so.  Indeed never have the opportunities for the youth to participate in development been as abundant and critical as today. The other day I was at an international Airport and I was amazed by the number of young people travelling to and from various destinations on serious issues. A few months earlier I visited the KTN studios and was taken aback by the army of technical staff running the outfit. All below 25 years.

You are on the right track.  Having a nice and memorable university life is everyone’s right. This is the place many cherish to be in. You are one of those few privileged to be in a university. At this point, I wish to perform a very important ritual. I will do this in three parts: First, will be to congratulate you for passing one of the toughest examinations done under the toughest conditions now famously referred to as the Matiang’i rules. Secondly, I wish to welcome you to Kibabii University. This will be your legal home for the next four years. After that you become an illegal tenant. Third, is to invite you to the life of adulthood. Never will you be referred to as boy or girl. Going forward you are ladies and gentlemen. Kibabii University is the home that is going to transform you into a young professional ready to contribute to the development of self, family, community, county, country, region and globe.

Orientation Speech Delivered to Freshmen on Tuesday 12th September 2017

However, like thousands of those who were classmates of the great minds alluded to at the beginning of my remarks, many of those who join university are never seen or heard of. They merely get lost without trace. The possibility of disappearing into the oblivion is greater for you now than ever before. This is because of a number of aspects that characterise life today, including individualism, recklessness, materialism, artificiality, competitiveness and momentum.

Life in this century is complex as it is exciting and overwhelming at the same time. It is replete with dangerous vices such as drug consumption. The most common problem on campus however is binge drinking. Other epidemics are unplanned pregnancies, suicide and depression.

These vices distort minds and personality and lead to social and emotional pressure which makes students easy prey to ruthless sharks who hire them for criminal purposes.

As you navigate your way through life at the University, one of the first issues you have to deal with will be that of creating company and building collegiality. That is selecting friends and social groups. What are the rules and norms? You will have to learn them fast and hard.

It is possible that most of you have never had time away from your parents, guardians and teachers to understand who you are. So, personal issues of identity will emerge as you adjust to new life.  Some of those related to maturity will be manifested through biological changes.  If one is not prepared they end up being overwhelmed. Many freshmen fail to cope with exigencies of transformation into adult life because they ignore their well-being which includes small things like rest, sleep, exercises, company, eating well and personal hygiene. University students’ well-being is more often than not distorted by unrealistic socialization in terms of materialistic tendencies that cannot be sustained by the constrained budgets.

The most critical part of University life is school work. This is what will determine your success. But unlike previous cases where teachers and parents supervised school work, your professors will never follow you but will expect the output at the end of the semester.

I need to caution that the University will not insulate you from public scrutiny. It is thus necessary to know the expectations of the tax payer whose money is paying for your education. The potential employers’ perception of university students is that of half-baked pretenders to professionalism. They also perceive students as a segment of society that lacks social sense commonly defined as self-respect, respect for one another and respect for our environment.

You have a chance to redeem your image. Starting university is like starting a new life. You have left home to embark on a new journey; one of self-reliance, self-discovery and self-destiny. Your time at Kibabii is meant to largely shape up your outlook on life in the longer run. How can this be achieved?

On daily basis check your life dash board to ensure your mental, academic, emotional, spiritual, physical, and social gauges are neither below minimum nor beyond maximum limits. Have you checked your gauges today? What are the readings?

I number of you have a very wrong assumption. You think that in a crowd you will do anything and get away with it.  This is one reason why the social media has been abused. I wish to caution you that you will be held accountable for self and your actions. Employers these days seek public opinion or reports of electronic data mining experts on their potential staff before appointment. It is at this critical point that your hidden past will come to haunt you.

Like has been emphasized severally in my remarks, to succeed one must know self.  All that is required to know oneself is in black and white. It is contained in books.  At university it is imperative to buy books, to own books, to embrace books and to read books. Leaders of influence all over the world are always great book lovers. Eventually such leaders also become writers. Your mind is a powerful thing. If you fill it with positive thoughts from the writings of others, your life will start to change.

One way to develop positive identity and social sense is to embrace African culture, values, customs, traditions and norms. In the words of the Pan African Institute of Development, young Africans must learn how to study, eat, drink, walk, dress, think, talk, communicate and do right. These variables amount to Intelligence and character. That is the goal of university education. Your background does not matter. Neither does your economic status. Kibabii University is offering you a chance to become somebody.

Don’t be at the mercy of peer pressure. You came here as an individual. Much as you may find friends useful, you need at times to be alone to turn your mind inwards to know who you are.  Mandy Hole advises that some steps need to be taken alone as it is the only way to really figure out where you need to be.

What one does in a university class alone is not enough to enable them excel. He/she requires professional up scaling in terms of additional professional and technical courses as well as life skills. Even more important is the need to spruce up the language competence. It has been noted that one of the disabilities not listed before is the language disability. Yet this is one of the manifestations of a normal human being. It is now common knowledge that man’s character may be learned from the adjectives or in other words the language which he habitually uses in conversation.

In conclusion, knowing yourself is the pathway to your successful stay at Kibabii University. You will be able to deal with challenges: homesickness, pressure of studies, time management and company of friends, academic rigour, independence, social life and responsibility.  Then you will be able to do all that you require to become a professional on high demand. At the very least, one who will be able to provide solutions to problems and difficulties afflicting self and society. Like Mark Twain once said: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do”.

I wish you a happy stay at Kibabii University, success in all your endeavours and see you on graduation day at this same venue in November, 2021.

Vice Chancellor’s Speeches

Orientation Speech Delivered to Freshmen on Tuesday 12th September 2017

Orientation Speech Delivered to Freshmen on Tuesday 12th September 2017
Orientation Speech Delivered to Freshmen on Tuesday 12th September 2017
Orientation Speech Delivered to Freshmen on Tuesday 12th September 2017
Orientation Speech Delivered to Freshmen on Tuesday 12th September 2017