Continued from Climbing Mt. Kenya. Part One.
Aiming for Resilience.
The chairman Climb to Educate Charity Campaign, Mr Brian Manana must have read Climbing Mt. Kenya. Part One. To the very best of luck he granted me a chance to interview him on a documentary about this event and shed some light on this trending topic. So on Thursday afternoon I get all my questions right, make sure my dressing code is alright and movement is that of Jeff Koinange and coolness such as that of Julie Gichuru with definitely nothing from Larry Madowo except his amenability which is a usual character of mine.
Mr Sam Kairu, the guy with the big cameras prepares me to go on air. Mr Sam Kairu is one of those people that amuses me each day I get a chance to work with him. He has this cool demeanour and responsiveness to ideas. Whenever he airs out his ideas they are well thought, all variables contemplated with profound wisdom and experience. So on Thursday he suggests where the interview should be held. It happens also that from Dedan Kimathi University’s graduation square you get a perfect view of the intrepid symbol of our nation Mt. Kenya. On this Thursday however the mountain’s peak is hidden behind the clouds so Sam is confounded, nevertheless as he sets up his big machines he ensures he captures the mountain. Concurrently he tells us tales about the beauty of Central Kenya.
Mr Anthony Oroko, my boss, and I listen intently as Sam describes the sunset behind the mountain, about some none-locals who come to the country for vacation or simply work and had got obsessed about the view of the mountain. This often sends me to shame for the utmost fact that even on a clear sky when the mountain offers itself willing I obstinately fail to acknowledge its beauty but I give myself justification on the base of numbers, multitudes who often fail to notice the beauty of nature. Anthony feels the same way I suppose but that does not show on his face. Anthony is one of those conventional leaders bestowed with intrepidity whereby you are not supposed to show any indication of weakness in public (hehe, wonder what he will say about this).
I went off topic, so we get the interview ready the perfect view of the mountain according to Sam and as soon as we are done, the chairman Climb to Educate Charity Campaign joins us. So Sam counts one, two, three and we are on air.
Before I tell you what happens, I have always wondered how it feels like to be on air. I mean since I watched my very first movie in the 90s which was Sarafina and re-watched a hundred times after that I always wondered if you should be the real you when the spot light is on you to just find some cool guy to impersonate. Now here I was cameras on me as if the whole world expected me to say something smart so they would give me a standing ovation and applaud and then I would scream my name, Njenga, and feel that I made it in life. Well, a lot of things happen this Thursday Evening but that is not one of them.
My name is Dennis Peters, with BAKE DeKUT, am joined here today by the chairman Climb to Educate Charity Campaign who is going to introduce himself and enlighten us to depths of this nationally trending topic of a student and administration excursion trip intended to build an endowment fund for needy students as well as promote growth of Dedan Kimathi University’s family where staff, students and stakeholders engage positively.
That becomes my introduction. By the way BAKE stands for Bloggers Association of Kenya and DeKUT stands for Dedan Kimathi University of Technology. Just thought I should clarify but if you guys have any other question I will gladly answer on the comment box or email you. That besides my point, am trying to do an interview. Brian’s answers are cut to precision.
Me: Hello sir, thank you very much for coming (doing that professional handshake you see on TV). Please tells us you name and a brief description about the Climb to Educate Charity Campaign.
Mr Manana: Thank you very much Dennis, my name is Brian Manana, chairman of The Climb to Educate Charity Campaign. Now Climb to Educate just as you said is a cultural and technological expedition intended to build a DeKUT endowment fund for our needy students, promote social growth amongst staff, students and stakeholders and lastly aid in harnessing useful energy from the students make them shine all the way from the mountain top.
Me: How did this idea come to be? Has it been done before? and was there some challenges in making the administration fall in line with you?
Mr Manana: Yeah, convincing the administration about this was a bit of an uphill considering we intend to take three hundred students up 5199 meters above sea level but working together brought about a common ground which was the endowment fund which was a mutual concern. This idea is original and has never been implemented elsewhere but now it is an annual occasion in Dedan Kimathi University.
Me: Indeed that’s something that deserves applauding. Will you be going up the mountain yourself?
Mr Manana: I wouldn’t miss it.
Me: By the end of this campaign how much money do you target to have collected for the fund?
Mr Manana: One hundred million is our target. Sponsors are coming in and according to me this is an achievable dream that will soon be a reality.
Me: One hundred million!
Mr Manana: Yes, One hundred million.
Me: About this trip, could you hint us of its budget now that we understand that the students are not been charged anything?
Mr Manana: The budget is about nine million for three hundred students and staff. This includes camping tents and sleeping bags, food, entrance charges and other miscellaneous expenditures.
Me: Last weekend you were at Narumoru caves and this weekend we head to the Aberdare Ranges, what is the purpose of these trips?
Mr Manana: These pre-trips aim for resilience in the participants. Mt. Kenya is going to be tough and we might as well be ready for it.
Me: Finally Mr Manana, how does it make you feel to be the initiator of such a noble idea?
Mr Manana: To be candid, am honored to lead people I can call my family to a new beginning. A time we can solve our problems by helping each other and dialogue instead of taking it to the streets, before us we have a chance to be the voice of Central Kenya and express its beauty in our endeavors.
Me: Am glad to be in Dedan Kimathi University at such a time. Thank you Mr Chairman and gratitude for showing up for this interview beside your busy schedule now that 16th February approaches fast.
You heard it all from the president Mr Brian Manana. Thank you for watching.
(Sam screams ‘CUT’ and we are off air)
Apart from this interview, I also did one with the trainer who revealed to me the set gear the participants are supposed to carry. Which includes water proof boots, a backpack, very warm dressing and appropriate for movement, a rain coat among others. He also warned that the temperatures could go up to negative ten so we had to be ready. (See what I did there? I said ‘WE’ yeah am going too, am so thrilled). I interviewed Mr Anthony Oroko, the head publicists and my boss who emphasized on #Climb2Educate on twitter. Amongst the three hundred I sampled out a few participants too who all showed enthusiasm towards this expedition with their main point being raising funds for the needy, one of them gave an example of a fellow student who had dropped out of campus for such reasons.
By the time we called it a day, Sam, Anthony and I were exhausted. Sam still went ahead to take pictures of the participants training though. If only there was a way I could show passion to my studies like Sam does for his work then… (This statement has no second part).
So i hope all of you will check out for that documentary, once its out on YouTube and Climbing Mt. Kenya. Part Three. ‘The Final Account’ that will come soon covering the entire trip.
Sam Kairu. Arts & Event Coordinator.
Miss Tabitha Wanyoike.
Audio/Visual Equipment courtesy of Zawadi Society.
Photography By Anthony Oroko/ Sam Kairu.