Elites of the Society
The degree you earn or deserve is not a meal ticket in life, rather a licence to hunt – Mr Polycarp Igathe.(The Managing Director Vivo Energy Kenya)
On Friday afternoon, I had the opportunity to witness the flagging off of the campaign, Climbing Mt. Kenya, which was done the customary way, Deputy Governor Nyeri County comes to school, students make a play, politicians give speeches, camera people take photos and all that. I found none of this amusing but through the camera pinhole something caught my eye.
Mr Sam Kairu has been teaching me basic photography with big cameras, considering the only photography I know is my Nokia Lumia camera and Instagram filters. Currently I can power on a real camera, focus and press the button but that besides my point, photography and I are going to be real friends and this is a premonition. Perhaps it’s the beauty of nature that pulls me closer to photography, the fact that all these beautiful escarpments, dazzling vegetation, uncharted country and human splendor that attritions after a while from the memory can be captured, zoomed and stored in my hard disk for reference any time. Or maybe it is just my natural fetish for machines but either way this is a new path I intend to reconnoitre.
Our Vice Chancellor, two meters away, is giving a speech I am about three meters across his position with a camera alongside KTN media, and other media people I never took enough time to fathom their attributes like where they come from or the kind of story they are looking for. Sam told me to be creative with photography so I am all about novelty. Just about when the V.C. is about to hand the microphone to the governor, that is when I head on with this anathema. A camera man, let’s call him Guy X, brushes against me roughly and jumps ahead to take a picture of the handshake. For a moment I am unperturbed by this ordeal as am also busy taking photos even though my focus is totally different, remember Sam told me to be creative. I let that go.
So after reading his written speech the governor is to be handed the flag by the scout to officially flag off the campaign and that’s when Guy X decides to extend his discourtesy to a whole another level, he heads back with his video camera in his arms, large canon camera on his shoulder and forces himself between me and yet another media guy hitting me with his camera on the process. At this moment I am infuriated and unduly optimistic Guy X is going to act contrite but none of this happen. All am saying is, you got to be kind out there, feel me? doesn’t cost you nothing! feel me?
That besides my point, finally on Friday 13th the first group leaves the school in two buses towards Mt. Kenya 5199 meters above sea level. I catch up with our sports coordinator who is dressed tooth and nail ready for the below -15 degrees temperature. With him two backpacks, one at the front the other on the back. He explains that the front one has cookies for energy supply in the body but refuses to hand me any. The large bag on the back he says contains the hiking gear, a self-contained means for the five day trip. Further still Mr Benson explains that on Friday they spend the night at the foot of the mountain where they will be doing bonfires and talents. On Saturday morning however they would rise at 5.55am start working out before beginning the climb later on. Mr Benson says he is not as excited having been working as a professional at the mountain. The second group is to join them on 18th February while the last and third group which is going to be most fun because, you know, I will be there, head off on 23rd February.
Vivo Energy Kenya, the guys behind the Shell Company brand are among the sponsors of Climb to Educate Charity Campaign. On Friday 6th of February, the MD Mr Polycarp Igathe joined us during training with some very wise words to say. So for the first time ever am uploading an audio, his speech have a look at it. Mr Igathe arrived late however and I couldn’t quite capture him on camera but on his defence he said that he had been stuck in traffic for quite a while, a good indication that his business which is fuel was booming. He was very interested in working with academics referring to us often as elites of the society. Mr Polycarp created quite an impression especially his choice of words and pronunciation of English terms. Listen to the speech guys.
Further into development of this #Climb2Educate trending topic on Thursday 12th February a day before the flagging off ceremony, Mr Sam Kairu and I managed to capture very perfect shots of the mountain on a clear sky. On this line of thought, we had interviews with some of the participants with the background being the mountain which you could easily spot the three peaks. The Tourism and Hospitality department expressed their support of Climbing Mt. Kenya. Miss Schola Gacheri told us of events they had held so far to raise funds for the endowment fund with the most recent one being a bush dinner at Dedan Kimathi University conservancy. They did not disclose how much money they had raised but that’s just because I was not persuasive enough. The Dedan Kimathi University Salsa team had the same story with their own ways of raising funds for the endowment fund.
Honestly, I have never felt so close to a hundred million Kenya shillings as I do now.
Finally, I know I said this would have been the last article of this series but am not up the mountain yet, so part four “The Final Account” still in the wind which is going to be the most exciting. These photos were done by me and any criticism is welcome. It was my first time with a professional camera so help me help me. Thanks for clicking in.
Art and Equipment by Zawadi Society.
Miss Everlyne Kimando (BAKE)
Sam Kairu (Art and Events Coordinator)
The writer and photographer:
Dennis Peters (BAKE).