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Blind girl chasing journalism dream

Hellen Wanjiru Mwangi secured a chance to pursue radio and television production course at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication last month but is yet to join the institution



Hellen Wanjiru arrives at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication on September 22 in the company of her mother Mary Chesire. The family has appealed to well wishers to help them raise her fees amounting to Sh 151, 000 to enable her pursue a course in Radio and Television Production. The institution allowed her until end of September to report back for admission, but until now, she has not reported. Photo Credit: KNA

A family of a visually impaired girl, who wants to pursue a mass communication course, is appealing to well-wishers to help her raise funds towards her dream.

Hellen Wanjiru Mwangi, 22, secured a chance to pursue radio and television production course at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) last month but has not joined because her parents cannot afford the college fees.

The residents of the Seventeen village in Tuiyobei sub location of Marigat in Baringo County have also in extension appealed to Kenyans of good will to come to her aid after efforts to fundraise her fees bore no fruit. “I am determined to go to school and pursue journalism despite the impediments. I appeal to Kenyans to help me raise my tuition fees amounting to Ksh 151, 000 a year,” noted the jovial Wanjiru.

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READ: Budding journalist grapples with reality of losing his sight

Wanjiru, who has been blind since birth and depended on well-wishers to pursue her primary and secondary school education, had at first struggled to get an institution that would offer a conducive environment for her learning until she landed a chance at KIMC.

The alumni of Thika Integrated School for the Blind told KNA that huge fees arrears at the school were her village’s first hurdle, pooling resources that allowed the girl access her result slip and certificate.

Her mother, Mary Chesire noted that the family struggled to even raise Sh10, 000 for her accommodation at the institution and hopes that help would get to the aid of her second born child whom she described as “the family’s hope.”

“We are working hard to secure a Brail Machine for her, but the ongoing drought offers no hope, as most of us are farmers expecting a meager harvest.

Related: Registration of disabled persons kicks off

“Wanjiru has the will power, I am certain that our efforts as a village will not go to waste, she is brilliant and has proved that,” noted Josephine Chebii, a community social worker, who is mobilising the community to pool resources towards her education.

KIMC had given her until end of September to take up the offer, an opportunity she feels will be lost.

She has also applied for a loan with the Higher Education Loans Board to help her ease the family’s burden but it is yet to be disbursed.

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Ngugi wa Thiong’o misses out on Nobel Prize again

The 2017 prize was awarded to British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro for his emotionally impactful novels



It was another year of disappointment for the African favourite for the Nobel Prize in Literature, Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o who has been tipped to win the prestigious prize since 2010.

The 2017 prize was awarded to British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro for his emotionally impactful novels, the Nobel Foundation announced on Thursday.

He was selected out of the about 350 nominations made by literary experts and former Nobel laureates from around the world.

79-year-old Ngugi published his first book in English in 1964, which is the first by a writer from East Africa. He later changed his language of writing to his native Gikuyu language.

He set up a revolutionary theatre in the 1970s that provoked the authoritarian regime at the time, leading to his arrest and imprisonment for over a year over his 1977 play Ngaahika Ndeenda (I Will Marry When I Want) that bore a political message.

Ngugi continued to write from prison where he wrote his first Gikuyu novel. He later went into exile to the United States after his release and subsequent harassment of his family and loss of his teaching job at Nairobi University.

In the United States, he became a professor of Comparative Literature and Performance Studies at Yale University, New York University and University of California, Irvin where he is currently a Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature, and the Director of the International Center for Writing and Translation.

He has several works including novels – Weep Not, Child, The River Between, A Grain of Wheat – and plays, short stories, children’s literature, memoirs and essays, among others.

Ngugi wa Thiong’o is the founder and editor of the first Gikuyu-language journal.

If he had won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature, he would have been the second African laureate since 1986 when Nigerian writer Professor Wole Soyinka won the prize.

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate gets a citation and an 18-carat gold medal that bears the face of the founder Alfred Nobel at an award ceremony on December 10. The prize includes Ksh 114,551,911 ($1,110,000) which will be paid next year.

The Nobel Prizes have been awarded since 1901 and conferred on top achievers in six fields: Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Physiology or Medicine, Promotion of Peace and Economic Sciences.

Prize-winners are often individuals, teams of two or three and organisations called Nobel Laureates. The laureates are nominated by their peers, including former laureates, politicians, justices and academics among a few others, and then secretly chosen by Nobel Committees and prize-awarding institutions.

Majority vote

For the peace prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee composed of five members is appointed by the Norwegian parliament.

The Committee chooses the laureates through a majority vote before the winner is announced in October.

The awards were created by Swedish scientist and philanthropist Alfred Nobel who bequeathed most of his fortune to the establishment of the prize upon his passing in 1896.

The first prizes were presented in 1901 and since then, over 900 people have been awarded.

Related: Free video recordings of Nobel Laureate lectures now available online

Details of the selection process and nominees can only be revealed until after 50 years.

Despite the Nobel Foundation’s requirement that prizes be awarded only to living recipients, Canadian immunologist Ralph M. Steinman was awarded a 2011 Nobel for medicine posthumously. The committee did not know he had died three days prior.

The winners receive their prizes at a ceremony on December 10th – the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel.

All the prizes except the peace prize are presented in Stockholm by the King of Sweden. The peace prize is awarded in Oslo by the Norwegian Nobel Committee with the King of Norway.

The prize includes a sum of money, a citation and an 18-carat gold medal that bears the face of the founder Alfred Nobel. The money is received after a year.

Credit: Africanews. 

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Colgate provides kids with a future to smile about

Colgate launched the scholarship campaign in June, giving Kenyan families the opportunity to win a scholarship to help ease the financial costs of educating children



Colgate East Africa General Manager, BV Ramana (right) and Colgate Brand Manager, Yonela Motloung, with the Colgate Scholarship beneficiaries.

Sixteen learners have received Ksh 1.28 million in scholarship prize money courtesy of Colgate-Palmolive. The money will go towards tuition fees, stationery and textbooks in all schooling phases for the children aged seven to 18 years.

The scholarship campaign is part of Colgate’s ongoing Bright Smiles, Bright Futures programme, which has been reaching millions of children around the world with oral health education for the past 25 years.

Colgate launched the scholarship campaign in June 2017, giving Kenyan families the opportunity to win a scholarship to help ease the financial costs of educating children. To enter, consumers had to purchase any Colgate toothpaste and SMS the last four digits of the barcode to the number, 20332. More than 21,000 entries were recorded during the campaign that ended in July, 2017.

The scholarship winners are Jane Wanjiku,  Sylvia Namukana, Naomi Mungundu, Felider Kwamboka, Victoriah Mbatha Musila,  Maurine Obaye, Racheal Ouma, Mary Gathoni,  Esther Kulei,   Laura Alisha Malala, Nancy Wairimu Irungu, Leonard Mulangai, Francis Githinji, Magdalene Wairimu Murungu, Hussein Otieno and  Julius Odhiambo.

Related: Wings to Fly alumni lands top UK scholarship

Through long-standing partnerships with governments, schools and communities, Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures is among the most far-reaching, successful children’s oral health initiatives in the world.

The initiative has reached more than 900 million children and their families across 80 countries. The programmes delivers oral health education and will continue to do so in the future.

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8th Kenya Mathematical Olympiad set for next month

Competition is an annual outreach programme of  the School of Mathematics, University of Nairobi that targets high school students



The first round of the 8th edition of the Kenya mathematical Olympiad will be held on October 5 at the various participating high schools. The top 150 students will then be invited for the second round at the University of Nairobi on October 14.

The top 20 from the  second round will be undergo a selection  test  from which two teams  will be chosen to represent Kenya at the International Mathematical Olympiad and the Pan African Mathematical Olympiad in 2018.   Registration is currently ongoing and the deadline is on October 4.

The Kenya Mathematics Olympiad is  an annual outreach programme of  the School of Mathematics, University of Nairobi that targets high school students. Teams are then selected represent Kenya at the Pan African Mathematical Olympiad and the International Mathematical Olympiad.   .

In July this year, Kenya participated in the 25th Pan African mathematical Olympiad held in Rabat Morocco which was  hosted by Mohamed V University.

The Kenyan team comprises of Ben Kyalo and Brian Kirui (Nairobi School), Beracah Nyangor (Alliance Girls High School), Demetrius Sarrin Chisombe (Alliance High school), Isha Khapre (Rosslyn Academy) and Njeri Ndungu (Moi Girls High School Nairobi).

Kyalo received a certificate of honorable mention which is an award given to contestants who score full marks in at least one question but do not get a medal. He was also the best student in the 7th Kenya Mathematics Olympiad. In the PAMO 2016 held last year in Senegal, Cynthia Migika of Alliance Girls  High School got the first ever silver medal for Kenya

Five of the team members in PAMO 2017, along with Charles Opiyo from Maranda School, also participated in the 58th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO 2017) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from July 13- 23 this year. The host institution was IMPA. The team did not get a medal at IMO 2017 but the experience was very enlightening.

The Students also had a chance to tour the city and meet with other students from 110 countries.

The teams was led by  Dr James Katende, a Lecturer at the School of Mathematics University of Nairobi and deputized by Dr Jared Ong’aro in 2017 and Mrs Ruth Oliech of Moi Girls High School Nairobi in 2016, while  Mr Silas Wafula of Makini School was an observer. Mathematics Association of Kenya also supports this endeavour.

This was the second appearance for Kenya at International mathematical Olympiad  after the maiden appearance in 2016 in Hong Kong.

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The teams for IMO 2017 and PAMO 2017 were selected after participating in the third and final round of the 7th Kenya Mathematics Olympiad which was held on the 18th of March 2017 at Alliance Girls High School.

The third round of the KMO was conducted by Dr Katende,  Charles Ondunga, Dr Benjamin Kikwai and assisted by Mathematics Students from the school of Mathematics, University of Nairobi.

The team members then attended a two week training camp from April 17-282017 hosted by Alliance Girls High School. The training was conducted by Dr James Katende and Dr Jared Ongaro from the School of Mathematics, University of Nairobi.

The air tickets of the team for the two events were sponsored by BDO East Africa, Haco Tiger brands, and CEMASTEA.

“The Kenya Mathematics Olympiad provides an ideal opportunity for interaction between the University lecturers and High School students and teachers and also helps to promote and improve performance in mathematics at the High School Level.  It is worth noting that in KCSE 2016, Alliance girls high School had a record 214 students scoring grade A in mathematics after One of their students got a silver medal at the 24th Pan African Mathematics Olympiad held in Senegal in 2016. More support is required from corporate sponsors to keep the KMO alive and sustainable,” said Katende.

Kenya will be hosting the 26th Pan African Mathematical Olympiad in 2018 and the host institution will be the School of Mathematics, University of Nairobi. Over 20 countries will be participating and it will be an excellent opportunity for the East African countries that have not participated in PAMO before.

Information on how to register the students is available on

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University of Nairobi shut over protests

Students have been asked to vacate the halls of residence with immediate effect but not later than 9.00am



University of Nairobi students depart for home after the institution was indefinitely shut down following protests over police brutality

The University of Nairobi was Tuesday morning closed for an unspecified period of time by the school’s Senate. All students were asked to evacuate their residence by 9.00 am.

The move comes a day after the students protested against police brutality that left 27 of their colleagues injured. The students blocked parts of Mamlaka Road and State House Road overnight burnt down security offices saying that the officials had failed to stop the police invasion.

They blocked a fire engine from reaching the  area but were finally dispersed by the police who fired gunshots into the air.

SEE: Why many Kenyan students are getting depressed

The 27 students they were protesting over had been clobbered by the police who had invaded their halls and estates in an effort to stop an ongoing riot on Thursday last week.

In relation to the invasion of the police, another protest was reported along Lower Kabete Road whereby students closed down the roads in a bid to have Vice Chancellor Prof Peter Mbithi removed from the institution alleging that he had a hand in it.

student-protests University of Nairobi shut over protests

Students protested overnight demanding the resignation of Vice Chancellor Prof Peter Mbithi.

Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i on Monday met with Mbithi, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and student union leaders to deliberate on the matter, which  has been placed under investigation.

The students had taken to the streets to protest the rearrest of Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, a former students union chairman.

ALSO SEE: NTV anchor threatens to resign over police brutality

Also in the meeting was Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) chairman Macharia Njeru. IPOA says it is seized of the matter, though it says prelimimary investigations have revealed that some of the videos and photos circulating on social media were doctored.

There is still tension at the institution with more protests planned for today. Anti-riot police were put on standby. In a communication to students, the university senate said it took the decision to shut down the university due to the deteriorating security situation.

“UON senate has today closed the University with immediate effect due to the deteriorating security situation. Students have been asked to vacate the halls of residence with immediate effect but not later than 9.00am,” it said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Reports indicate that at least 34 students behind the protests have been expelled.

READ: Politics finally killing brand Kenya

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