The Nakuru Town Campus College (NTCC) of Egerton University is celebrating cultural diversity among different Kenyan communities this week in an event aimed at promoting cohesion and integration among students and staff.
The event which is usually held annually will be marked under the theme ‘cultural diversity for intellectual and talent development.’ Its climax will be on Friday and it will see two students crowned with the title of Mr. and Miss Egerton University Nakuru Town Campus.
Matata Muthoka a Counselor in the Dean of Students Office who is the Chairman for this year’s organizing committee is optimistic that the event will go a long way in instilling tolerance in cultural diversity among students and staff. “Through the event you come to appreciate the different cultures and ultimately it creates cohesion and unity,” he said.
Last week NTCC’s mother campus, Njoro, also held a similar event in which students and staff showcased cultural artifacts, traditional foods and dresses among other items exhibiting cultural identities among the different communities in Kenya.
During the event students from the Maasai community performed a cultural wedding to the excitement of many of their fellow students as they showed how marriage vows are usually tied in their community which is usually hailed for remaining true to its culture.
Public institutions among them universities have a responsibility to ensure that they create working environments that promote cohesion and integration. For that reason some universities in Kenya been on the spot on allegations of employing only specific tribes and thus going against the spirit of cohesion.
In addition there is always a tendency among university students to form tribal and regional groups in order to push for their political interests at the university. This pattern which seems difficult to stem out has been pulling down efforts to create cohesion.
While agreeing to this fact Matata Muthoka says that students usually follow the national political terrain.
“Students want a clout and they are copying from the national landscape,” he says.
Fredrick Juma the Acting Students Chairman at the Njoro Campus also agrees that this pattern has been countering cohesion and integration. “Even down here our politics is divided along Jubilee and CORD (Coalition for Reforms and Democracy) factions,” says the Engineering student.
He adds that changing the trend will be difficult and will take time. “May be if we do awareness just before elections.”
One can only hope that with more of these activities students will learn to appreciate each others culture which will go along way in ensuring cohesion and tranquility among the students. This could then be translated in them being champions of national cohesion when they graduate and join the larger community, when working.