The news of an actuarial science, first-class honours student who is jobless and homeless shocked the country but Kelvin Ochieng’is not the first or the last student whose brilliancr has become a millstone around their neck. Every village and university has one such student who was bright, with a promising future, only for them to be wasted by alcohol, drugs or in this case plain bad luck.
The real reason bright students are in such an unenviable state is that theu have single-track minds. Their minds are dedicated to books and being bright. They believe in a gospel sold to them that education is the key to prosperity. Nobody has told them that a degree alone is no longer a guarantee to a good job.
Many focus on academia and go on to earn their PhDs before embaeking on a life of teaching. This, unfortunately, is not always a fulfilling path or one that milks their potential. Those who fall off the path of academia find it difficult fitting into society’s high expectations, their ego and the limited ‘good’ jobs available. Many people have chided them for being too choosy without stopping to think what many years of being conditioned that you are destined for the greatness can do to an individual. The best way to help is to encourage to be versatile; help them know that there is life beyond school grades. They should be athletic, outgoing, sociable and ready to network. It is alalso wise not to be picky at the start of one’s career. We should also paint a realistic picture of the job market so that theu can make timely decisions. If all falls, they should consider life outside Kenya.