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Thursday, 7 April 2011


I can vividly remember when my two lectures of communication and culture, Mrs. Anne David and Mrs. Awiti, taught me about culture shock but I never paid much attention to it, not because I was not interested. This is because I never guessed that I would come to experience it personally.
                        Communication and culture is a requirement for the students of Daystar University, it was unnecessary for most of us, so we thought but as I think back and remember what I learnt I could now testify and say that it is one of the greatest things that daystar could have offered me as an institution.
           You see I had always thought that I would never experience culture shock but now that I am. I can smile and say I am not surprised not because I had seen this coming but because I am in a strange land. All my life I thought that I would finish graduate school and get my internship at one of the media stations in the big city, which would later lead to my job. Never had I sat and thought that I would one day be in a land like Laikipia living among them and working in their environment. So it was a shocker when I got the opportunity to go to Laikipia but then again it was one adventure that I couldn’t afford to miss.
So now that I am here, I am experiencing culture shock. I cannot understand their language and at times it causes frustration and then I go back to the reasons why I came to Laikipia. Not only is language a problem, which presents a huge problem when I want to get some information from them but the environment at large. Laikipia is a dry land, according to its residents it hasn’t rained since last year November but then again they have plenty of food, shocker isn’t it. Don’t be that much because I am the one that is experiencing all that and each time I walk past the market place I tend to ask myself the same question over and over, how do they manage to produce this plenty of food.
The other shock that I am experiencing is the number of donkeys this people have. Hey, I am coastal do not blame me if I say that I am shocked to see many donkeys. In our culture we still use human labor to do chores but in Laikipia the donkeys do it for them, they fetch water, carry their grass for them, and also carry goods for them.
           I am not a tribalist but when I decided to come to Laikipia I expected it to be a land populated by Maasai but the shock was on me when I walked into a land full of Kikuyu speaking people.  Not that I don’t have any kikuyu friends I do, but then again I remember what people say, the Kikuyu’s are everywhere. I asked myself why that is. And my answer was because maybe they are among the few that we can really call Kenyans’, because they are ready to live anywhere and work with others for the good of the society.
Well I may write all day and all night but my shock, and denial won’t end today but maybe someday when I have fully accepted the environment I will look around and laugh. Laugh because my teachers did there best and now maybe when am done, I will walk to these two lecturers, holding my head up high and thank them for the great work that they do each day.


 Farming has being sidelined for such a long time now but it is contrary to Laikipia west residents. Being a semi-arid area, you would expect them to have given up long time ago but instead they have taken the liberty to form groups such as Lackin to be able to farm and grow as a community. The most interesting part about the group is that it did not wait for the government to reach out to them but instead went out and found a way for the government to come and help them. Through the NMK (Njaa Marufuku Kenya) initiative, they were able to meet there goal.
            Lackin (Laikipia Centre for Knowledge and Information Network) is a group of the community. Composed of 42 members, they aim to promote cassava multiplication, value addition and marketing. There plan is to be able to make cassava there staple food and a product they can sell to other people. Marketing of there products is done through a social network known as Sokopepe thus eradicating the exploitation that had been bestowed upon them by the middlemen. When I asked them why they chose to grow cassava, they said because cassava is able to handle the harsh conditions of the semi arid area.
            After choosing the crop, the group sat down and decided to write a proposal and forward it to the government for their project. When approved the government rewarded them the amount of one hundred and twenty thousand shillings (ksh.120, 000) on the 30 /June /2010. The group grows three varieties of cassava, which are, KMU-1, EKNDORO, and MUCHERICHERI.
            They not only farm but also, have the FFS (field farmers’ school) that they attend and are able to learn about different issues. So far, they have been able to learn about poultry keeping, sorghum farming and currently made soup they can use. FFS has norms followed by the members to be able to promote core values among them.
            Today, the people were fortunate enough to receive the government officials who were able to evaluate them. The officials headed by Mister Njiru, interviewed them concerning different matters, such as; their group progress, challenges that they are facing and he also highly advised them to promote gender equality by choosing more women in their committees which comprised of chairman, assistant chairman, secretary and treasurer because they had one out of  four in the group. Later he gave Mister Methuselah, the government’s internal audit a chance to question them on matters concerning the groups’ funds.
            When all was said and done, they were encouraged to continue with there good work, with the same communal spirit so that they could not only grow cassava but also promote unity among them.

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