Every time I pass by the suitcase vendors in Nairobi town, I am reminded of that time when I was shopping for a suitcase for my freshman year in college in Kenya. I was admitted to one of the public universities in Kenya. My first choice had of course been The University of Nairobi or at the very worst Kenyatta University in Kenya. Having been born and brought up in the country side, I wanted to have a personal feel of the city life, and what better opportunity than over the four years of campus stay?
I remember checking my admission over the mobile phones, and shock on me, I had been admitted to Moi University in Eldoret Kenya. Well, I was to get more shocked when the admission letter and other relevant documents were sent to me. The main campus was located 36 Kms from Eldoret town! Now, I was not only far away from Nairobi, but also far away from the nearest town to the campus. If my parents had the financial capability, I would have enrolled for a privately sponsored program in one of those universities in the city of Kenya, but as this was not the case- I packed my bags and left for an unknown land. The land of Eldoret!
I am sure most Kenyans my age would have opted to study in Nairobi too. Nairobi is more accessible from other areas all over the country. Eldoret was at least over six hrs drive. On the travel day, I had to make sure that I left early enough to be in Eldoret before dusk. Nairobi on the other hand, is located 2hrs away from my countryside home.
People who study in Nairobi are subjected to better living conditions and open to more opportunities career wise as compared to those studying away from Nairobi. Here in Nairobi you could get a side hustle for students say a cyber-attendant job and this can help supplement your finances over the semester. In Moi University however, where the nearest town is located at least 36 Kms away, you have to depend on the little pocket money from your parents, or the HELB money for the lucky few.
Last week I had to travel all the way from Nairobi to Eldoret to sort out an academic issue. The time wasted on travel and the money used on accommodation would have been saved had such a situation arisen to an alumnus of one of these city campuses living in Nairobi.
On the other hand however, there are more social evils experienced in a town campus in Kenya. Most students in Kenya who are in their late teens or early twenties will tend to try out everything they can. From liquor taking to bhang smoking. Some even turn to other hard drugs found in the city of Nairobi. The ladies who need to supplement their finances also result to prostitution thus the infamous Koinange Street. I don’t mean to say that these social evils are not found in those upcountry universities. My emphasis is on prevalence. Other campuses are sadly gaining in on these wayward behaviors among students in Kenya. Just recently, there was a report on the influx of prostitutes in Eldoret town over a wheat harvesting period in the area. The anchors were specific to say that most of these hookers were students in the area colleges and universities.
Be the judge!