They are young, they are fresh, they are talented, they are innovative and independent..call them #CampusIconOnKUfm. In a time where youth empowerment is the talk of the day and university is viewed as a rite of passage towards the job market, these young men are on the verge of a revolution. A revolution, not yet as big as Martin Luther King’s but it’s headed there real fast. Having seen the obvious deficiency of mentors and role models in campus, Campus Icon was conceived in the mind of one Amos Njeru (@amos_njeru), a radio presenter at KU FM and a fourth year finance student at Kenyatta University. He pitched his idea to his friends: Moses Kilonzo(@Tafari254) who is a graphic designer at Stafrica Designs( which he founded) and a Bachelor of Pharmacy student and Victor Mateso Tupu (@Victormatara) who is a radio presenter at KU FM, blogger(Victor254.com),a social media strategist and an Analytical Chemistry student also at KUFm. Finally there is Kinanga Davis alias (@TopBlogger_KE) a social media strategist as well. The show which now airs every weekday from 11-1 and receives ample social media attention is more than enough evidence that the icon effect is inevitable. Hell it even caught the attention of the one and only Mzazi Willy M Tuva and here is how part of the interview went down.
Mzazi: One would wonder, how do you manage school work and being in the studio? Perhaps my brother Tafari could answer that.
Tafari: The fact that we already know that we love what we do makes it possible for us to make time for both class and studio. Simply put, when it is time to study, we do that when it’s time to be in the studio we go there ready to unwind and have fun.
Mzazi: so does that mean that you do not have classes during the time you have the show? Doesn’t it affect your classes?
Amos: No it doesn’t. But then again we know, when we have the show, it is something of utmost importance to us so we take it very seriously.
Mzazi: By the way why do you call yourself Mateso Tupu?
Mateso: Kwa sababu kila kitu mimi hutesa!(all laugh)
Mzazi: Explain a bit more
Mateso: From self motivation and drive, reading and even radio presenting like you.
Mzazi: speaking of self-drive, what exactly have you driven yourself into doing?
Mateso: first of all, I am a blogger, I have my own website (www.victor254.com) I keep people informed about the current news and trends. I am also a farmer at Bobaracho in Kisii near Kisii High School.
Mzazi: So what do you grow there?
Mateso: I rear chicken and I am also a cabbage farmer.
Mzazi: I see you are one very realistic young man! So why do you farm? For fun or for the financial benefits?
Mateso: I do it for the financial benefits. I use the money I get from this venture to pay for my school fees and sustain myself in school.
Mzazi: huh? You mean you pay your own school fees? Don’t your parents do that for you?
Mateso: No.. I fancy being independent
Mzazi: That is what I’m talking about! Learning from the young fellows of this generation; believe that you can and you will. I see you are outliving the stereotype that the soil is dirty and you are a young person in university and educating yourself this is amazing. For how long have you been into the farming business?
Mateso: I started it in form two. Back then I would go to school and it would reach a point I would be so broke. Then I got this brilliant idea, why not do farming? My mum used to give me like 3000 shillings, I would set aside like 1000 shillings to buy three or so chickens and leave them at home to grow and procreate. I sold them and kept on saving the money I got.
Mzazi: Enyewe wewe ni Mateso! I admire what you do. It is totally amazing. It is very admirable. You know that a lot of youth are tuned in so what can you tell them that they can learn from you as someone who is doing all these great things?
Mateso: well right now, most of the youth in high school are on holiday as we speak. I would like to tell them not to involve themselves in social evils like petty theft. Be innovative and self-driven. If you have a piece of land that you can cultivate anything, go for it, it will get you some good money. You can also rear chickens and rabbits. They wreck in a good amount too. Stop idling in your neighborhood it will do you no good. Drug and substance abuse is a no no too. You just end up ruining your life.
Mzazi: We have learnt a lot from this young man here, mark you he doesn’t have any grey hair yet! So Amos now unto you, I would like you to shed some light on a totally different issue. There are a lot of different things that happen in campus. What is the greatest misconception about campus students?
Amos: Me thinks that the greatest misconception is that there are no good people in campus. As in there are no self-driven youth, those who take their education seriously. They think that the life of a campus student especially one in Nairobi is all about partying, getting high and womanizing. However, that is not entirely true. We want to tell a different story. In campus there are students who have their own companies like Mateso here and those who make their own money like Tafari here.
Mzazi: Tafari, you to be self-driven, tell us exactly what you do in your sector.
Tafari: I am a Pharmacy student so I am always busy. But at the same time I have Stafrica designs. I deal in posters, logos, flyers, etc. I use the money I get from that to sustain myself. I aslo have a foundation, The Stafrica Foundation. We visit children’s homes. The little that God has given me I share with the less fortunate.
Mzazi: So Amos tell me more about Campus stories.
Amos: As I had said earlier there are those who are lost but there are also those who are straightforward. So far the greatest problem we have seen is drug abuse. It is an issue we are trying to address as Campus Icon because we have realized most of us have friends or know someone who is addicted to at least one drug. We bring mentors to the show to address such issues.
Mzazi: So what do you think is the primary cause of drug abuse among campus students?
Mateso: I think peer pressure is the greatest contributor of all .One joins campus so innocent but they meet peers who influence them negatively and they end up using drugs. Also lack of mentorship can lead one into such.
Mzazi: So how can one avoid this or if one is already in such a situation what can they do?
Tafari: Personally I think we all have a religion. If you find yourself in such a situation, pray to your God. Associate yourself with people who are clean because let’s face it, you can’t tell a fellow alcoholic to stop drinking; you really can’t help each other.
Amos: it is also important for you to know yourself well. Don’t do something because someone else is doing it. Be true to yourself. Have your own values.
Mzazi: This is real talk from young people who witness these things happening on a daily basis. So Amos have you ever experienced any addiction?
Amos: addiction..No. I have been brought up in a religious home; my mum is very religious so I was lucky not to be exposed to that.
Mzazi: So does that mean you have never tried any drug? Even a little smoke?
Amos: To be honest I tried it once.
Mzazi: How was the experience?
Amos: It was not something I enjoyed at all..in fact I don’t even understand why people smoke..I mean,I don’t get it.
Mzazi: Mateso what is your addiction? It does not necessarily have to be a drug addiction.
Mateso: I don’t have an addiction. I am only addicted to doing good things like motivating other people. What I would like to tell people is that look at your back ground. Know where you are from and where you are going and life will be good for you.
Mzazi: So do you drink? As in alcohol?
Mateso: (laughs) No..I only drink water.
Mzazi: Big man Tafari,in your life’s journey, what has been your addiction?
Tafari: Food. (all laugh)
Mzazi: This is the guy who loves food but is so thin he doesn’t even have a pot belly.
Tafari: Personally when I get annoyed I eat. The hotel and kitchen are definitely my favorite places especially when I am annoyed.
Finally, the brains behind Campus Icon had a few words of encouragement for our youth in campus: Success depends on the its second letter i.e you, invest while still in campus and be patient in waiting for the returns. Surely, Rome was not build in a day why would you want to be a millionaire in a day? The interview was completed in the typical Kenyan way by sending salaamz!
In other news, Campus Icon on Ku fm is expected to be in the list of nominees for the OLX SOMA awards 2015. We at the KU Comrades forum wish them well!
And now a picture or two for the Campus Icon Archives
Otherwise tune in to Campus Icon every weekday from 11 a.m to 1 p.m exclusively on 99.9 KUFm!