If you have not read Homestretch, you are running before you can walk. But no human is limited so have at it. I am sure you have read or heard about the plight of interns, for those who were lucky enough not to experience it firsthand. And when I say lucky, it is an understated understatement.
“Good riddance to bad rubbish”
That was the overall feeling when we completed our industrial attachment at Nairobi County Government ICT offices where they had us do their scutwork for them. You did us dirty Lydia, but it’s cool. Malipo ni papa hapa duniani. For my Australian and South African readers, that can be loosely translated as ‘there is power in synergy’. But let’s not focus on the rot in devolution. Quite a number of you felt that Homestretch One was not satisfactory so here goes nothing…
We were so eager to be done with campus, looking forward to how we’ll reject any jobs with starting salaries of less than 50k a month. We had it all figured out, moving into classy studio apartments in Parklands, owning our first Japanese cars within a year, and setting up big businesses that would shake the economy. We were going to be employers, we would treat our employees exceptionally well and pay our interns. I look back at my naïve younger self and I pity the foolish little bastard. Not because I dreamed, definitely not because I had such a beautiful blueprint for how my life should have turned out. No. It’s because I did my best to not commit to these plans and I always found something better to do. Well better is kind of an overstatement but you get the drift.
I’ll explain. I could have started that kuku business in first year, I even had a yard and a willing + able partner for that pallets business during my final year at the university (sorry I let you down Louisa). I could even have gotten that writing account, or that design company me and the crew had sought to register and get started on. Heck, I was even going to venture into the fashion industry. Well, to be fair to myself, I did try to sell clothes for a bit, but even that I did not commit to. And that tendering company? I really want to cuss right now.
How disappointed are you? Cos I am only getting started. Once I was asked by a friend to do a proposal to get some funding for this venture that would probably change my life. But what did I do? Your guess is as good as mine. Well, I guess I was too busy (I am about to tell a big fat lie) attending Mr. Gichuhi’s classes only for him to make me miss out on my graduation, TWICE!
Anyway, the last day of campus was all sorts of weird, what you’d call a concoction of emotions. But I had failed myself. I did not want to reminisce because I knew that I had blown too many opportunities, too many. Do you ever get mad at yourself? Like really mad you want to throw a fit and fall in it? Yes, I was that angry. Of course this was after we took what were the last group photos of our class and everyone had gone their different directions. We were all smiles and hugs then, after doing the last exam that had royally f*cked most of us. But we did not give half a care. We were done with 8-4-4.
Fast forward to when adulting kicked in, we became busier, we settled for entry level positions with funny salaries. We literally had to adopt to working two or more jobs to make the balance sheets balance. But we encouraged each other, even advised each other to quit shitty jobs that were headed nowhere. I still meet a handful of my classmates on a regular.
There’s Kibet, cool dude, sucks at FIFA but always has the guts to ask me to play on Wednesday and Thursday weeknights (He’ll blame it on the whiskey we always down before we play but it is what is homie) and always has very juicy, interesting girl problems. He is a free spirit and a visionary. Lucy, oh Lucy. You’re my day ones, class rep of the decade. We would literally make classes ‘bounce’ at the comfort of her bedsitter at Gate C cos we wanted to chill. Anyway, you know that one friend who’s always got your back? That’s Lucy. I could go on and on about this one and not even exhaust how good she has been to me. Gaius is reliable and knows how to have a good time. Janine is a cocktail of emotional larva, Einstein and whoever you think is the life of the party in your circle.
Toast to the ones that I lost on the way!
We encourage each other, share shitty interviews’ experiences and tell each other about bad days at work. But we keep going because we still need to be model employers, do those interstate road trips, make big money moves and well..make it.