Many Kenyans get caught up in unsatisfying careers in Kenya. Personally, I remember dreaming of getting into a hospital theatre and cutting open someone’s brain to rectify some neurological hitch. Yes, I dreamt of being a neurosurgeon in Kenya. I had grown up reading some inspirational novels by Ben Carson, and being the kid I was, I could only think as far as Ben Carson did. Ben Carson was a rather average kid in school but he ended up outshining all his classmates to becoming one of America’s best neurosurgeons after having his sight rectified. Having an eye problem at that age too, one thing was for sure- I was destined to become a neurosurgeon.
Later on in life I came to know that the field of medicine in Kenya requires much more than academic excellence. It was a calling. I have a minor case of trypanophobia! (That is not some deadly disease by the way!) Trypanophobia in Kenya basically is the fear of injections, and needles. Of course with this, I would not have the courage to be a general physician in Kenya leave alone a neurosurgeon. It is good to dream and be ambitious alright, but with some of these careers, much more is needed.
Then again, came the idea of being a lawyer in Kenya. Well I would have probably stuck to this one had my grades allowed. I ended up being an environmental scientist in Kenya by virtue of failing to attain grades fit to pursue law. I still have the dream of pursuing law, probably at masters or doctoral level though.
Kenyan kids wallow in the miasma of career confusion in Kenya, lack of exposure being the main culprit. Most primary schools all over Kenya are however trying to stem this tide by having career guidance sessions over the term. The kids have a talk with experienced counsellors in Kenya and other professionals in various fields who tell them what they need to get to such professions and more so what obstacles and hindrances they are likely to encounter. Schools in Kenya go as far as facilitating talks where the primary school kids are guided on which secondary schools to apply to with regard to their academic capabilities.
Again, this goes to the parents- Kids should be allowed to follow the professions in Kenya in which they fit. There are many stories of kids who live a rather desperate professional life after being forced by their parents into careers they dint fully fit in. If your kid wants to pursue fashion and design, do not force them into a business related field. They will live to blame you in the future.