Vice Chancellor’s Speech Presented during the Orientation for Freshers on 17th September, 2019

The Deputy Vice Chancellors

Deans and Directors

CoDs and HoDs

Faculty and staff

Student Leaders

Freshmen

Ladies and gentlemen

As we assemble here to celebrate this auspicious day, it is with privilege and great pleasure that I welcome you all to Kibabii University, a premier University that is committed to scholarly excellence in an environment boasting of state of the art infrastructure set out in a serene landscape. In the last few days you have had an opportunity to walk around and can therefore attest to this.

Congratulations !

Let me start by congratulating you for the hard work whose outcome was the quality grades which earned you a place in the University. It should be stated with emphasis that this was achieved in an increasingly competitive academic environment.

I am aware that you have been going through an elaborate induction program. The purpose is to prepare you adequately to cope with this new life. The life of academia that involves serious intellectual rigor.  What you become however will depend on how seriously you take the content you have been exposed to during this last one week.

New chapter in life

Your arrival at Kibabii University marks a new chapter in the story of your life. But this chapter is different. The preceding chapters were largely written by different persons; your parents, guardians, families and teachers amongst others. Now you will not only be the principal author of the next chapter but will also become its critic. You have the opportunity to determine the direction of the motif, theme, style and plot of your story.

At Kibabii University you will have the opportunity to learn new things, acquire new knowledge, grow new competencies, develop new skills and enhance your personal attributes in profound ways that will shape your character for the rest of your life.

You will also have an opportunity to weave new friendship that will impact your lives in incredible ways both in the University for the next four years and for as long as you will live on this planet.

All these are predicated upon your commitment to navigate the tricky terrain. As is the case with suspense packed literary book chapters, you need to learn, and very fast, how to dodge the many conflicts and distractions in your path. The distractions unfold in diverse ways. I will mention a few.
Vice Chancellor’s Speech Presented during the Orientation for Freshers on 17th September, 2019

Distractions to avoid

A university student is the most coveted. The politicians consider you a treasured trophy to be used for their selfish ends. Religious groups look at you as a disciple anointed to help propagate their doctrines, sometimes destructive. On the other hand, entrepreneurs will find you a prized cog in marketing their products. And don’t forget radicalization elements who will entice you to carry out evil activities in the name of untold rewards in heaven. Then the flamboyant ‘sponsors’ out there will make you think you are the most beautiful piece of art that God ever created. All have one hidden agenda, to misuse and eventually dump you.

The world around us is not safe anymore. It is teeming with moral decay manifested through negative social practices such as homosexuality, romantic relationships, wild parties, binge drinking, substance abuse and killings among others.  You must be cautious of those who have abrogated themselves the role of opinion leaders, yet they have failed to complete their studies. You must also stand up against bullies who are set to derail you.

I now wish to focus on the following important things that will ensure you leave Kibabii University a successful and useful person.
Vice Chancellor’s Speech Presented during the Orientation for Freshers on 17th September, 2019

Focus on what brought you here

Set eyes on your goal. This goal is to go through the whole university education process and at the end earn a degree. It requires that you take responsibility for your learning. Every second, minute and event is a learning experience. Take advantage of both human and material resources readily available in the form of faculty, staff and infrastructure to expand your intellectual capacity.

 Brand yourself

Choose what you want to be and start branding yourself now. Your brand should be reflected in your mannerisms, gait and grooming. For example, at the university, there is no prescribed dress code for students but I urge you to be guided by the tenets of modesty and decency and carry yourself with decorum. Master the soft skills such us the art of communication, collaboration and problem solving. If need be use digital platforms positively to brand and market yourself.

Be a good manager of your time

Learning at the university is less structured unlike the high school. There is a lot of freedom where you choose to attend or to miss lectures, you also have the freedom to walk out of a lecture hall. One can through choice either build their future or destroy it. However, all these choices have consequences. Make the right decision.

If you attend classes, do assignments, sit for continuous assessment tests and examinations, obey the governing rules and regulations, you will be sure of walking out of Kibabii a worthy person. Do the right thing at the right time. Stay in the straight and narrow path. Keep on the right lane and side of the road and you will be safe. Remember once a minute has gone it will not be rewound. Never forget that Maisha si tamthilia wala riwaya. This means life is not a rehearsal.
Vice Chancellor’s Speech Presented during the Orientation for Freshers on 17th September, 2019

Exploit your other talents

Kibabii University are the reigning champions in Taekwondo. After the All Africa Games competition two of the team members have been selected for Tokyo Olympic trials. They have also excelled in Music and Drama. Recently they participated in the Presidential Digital talent as well as Robotics competition. The Robotics team too have been offered one week of training in Nagasaki, Japan. This was possible because your predecessors were involved in extra-curricular activities but of course without compromising their academics.

At Kibabii University, a world of endless opportunities will unfold before your very own eyes. You can be somebody you want to be and you can choose to be anything that you want. All you need to do is to work hard and work smart. An extract from an email I received recently from an alumnus is testimony. It reads: “ Hello Prof. I hope this finds you well. My name is Kennedy Barasa, former student leader at Kibabii   in the capacity of Editor-in-Chief. I am glad to inform you that, from the pieces of advice and wisdom you so generously shared, I was able to make something fairly good. I was lucky to get a Fulbright FLTA chance and am currently teaching Swahili to beginners at the University of Pittsburg. I am also privileged to study at least four courses and am glad I will get to know more about Journalism and Writing. I am sharing my culture here across American high schools as well, telling them more about East Africa but more importantly, Kenya. It is an exciting venture and I am grateful for your advice!”

Chart out your future career

The jobs of the future may not be known today. But I can assure you that you need more than lecture notes and reading list to prepare yourself for the future place of work. Sharpen your IT skills, enroll for professional courses, refine your character, grow network of contacts and tighten your resilience.
Vice Chancellor’s Speech Presented during the Orientation for Freshers on 17th September, 2019

Take care of your life

Life is precious, so take care. One of the most recommended strategies is moderation. Moderation will open more doors for you, help you manage day-to-day pressure and take you where brilliance and machoism cannot sustain you.

Always remember to have limits in your indulgence.  Like I have stated earlier, you are here for a specific purpose which you must always hold as the compass that directs every single step you make. Balance between social life and academics.  I urge you to lead responsible lives, carefully choose your friends as some may corrupt your morals,  avoid risky behavior and don’t succumb to peer pressure.

Although we are welcoming you into the world of young adults, your body, mind, and soul are still too fragile to cope with the exigencies of life. For example, while it is good to raise families, this coveted but challenging societal role should be done the right time. Similarly, marriage is the best thing in life but it does not mix well with studies.

As much as campus dating may seem to be in vogue, it is simply a waste of time and breaks many hearts. A number of those who came ahead of you have learnt these truths the hard way. More importantly, maintain your independence. God never creates dependents. Even total orphans have made it through university.

Financial management

Financial management is the most challenging. There can never be enough cash. Exercise outmost financial discipline. Please use every coin responsibly and diligently so that you will always have finances to meet your daily expenses. Draw a budget that prioritizes your needs to enable you lead a simple, dignified and manageable life at the University.
Vice Chancellor’s Speech Presented during the Orientation for Freshers on 17th September, 2019

Take yourself as a problem solver

United Nations General assembly will recognize two Kenyans this month on contribution to environment. These are Elizabeth Wanjiru and Francis Kamau. You too may register this kind of achievement. As possessor of huge reservoir of information, thanks to the digital era, direct your arsenal of big and bold ideas and innovations towards solving problems in the University, community and the country. So, it would be unfortunate to allow yourself to be taken hostage by the so called opinion leaders.

Embrace diversity

You have come from diverse geographical and cultural backgrounds to pursue your ambitions and dreams as students. Some of you will be tempted to join herds of those from your communities. This is retrogressive. Take advantage of this opportunity to extent you network of friends.  Mingle with colleagues from different parts of Kenya as we will demonstrate in a ritual that will be performed at the end of my speech  and you will see the positive outcome:  cross pollination of new knowledge and ideas that will  enrich your lives. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to KIBU, your new home. Your home until November, 2023. Thank you and God bless you.
Vice Chancellor’s Speech Presented during the Orientation for Freshers on 17th September 2019

Vice Chancellors Speeches