I got the privilege to interview DENNIS MUGAMBI ELEGWA the SAC (Student Affairs Council) Chair Person in USIU-Africa. Words cannot explain how inspired I was by this young gentleman. 10402471_442668572556214_3265771865924060302_n PART ONE “Let me take you back. Dennis is the chair person in USIU-Africa student government. He lived in the streets of NAIROBI. Used to collect plastics and sell as a way of earning a living. He got the opportunity to study criminal justice in USIU-Africa. He only managed to pay school fees for two semesters but by the third semester he DROPPED OUT!” Victoria: Out of school after 1 year experience in 2011. You had all the time in the world, what did you do?
Dennis: I used to come to USIU-Africa, engage in different activities like drama club. I decided to volunteer in the Marketing and Communication office in USIU-Africa. My work was to collect articles that could be published in the Campus This Week magazine. Students used to view it when they need to be updated on the current activities in school. It helped me to become better in marketing and branding. I always want to do something new that is out of my comfort zone. Life is about learning.

Victoria: Wow. Given the fact that you are shy, am impressed at how well you were able to do marketing. Having volunteered for so many months, what did USIU-Africa do to ease your burden of school fees so that you can resume classes?
Dennis: In spring semester 2012, my friend Ian pressured me to go and apply for Financial Aid. I wrote a letter to the school explaining my situation and they said they will get back to me. After a few months, I was called back to school and was granted a partial scholarship. The school was to pay Sh 80,000 and I was to top up with Sh 10,000. This continued and my deficit of Sh 100,000 was cleared: another miracle.

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Victoria: God is truly watching over you. You got a scholarship and you’re deficit was cleared. That’s just but a miracle. What made you want to vie for Chair Person in the student government, the most powerful position in the student government? Dennis: Different politicians started in school government. It was a good platform for me to launch my political career. I had acquired leadership skills, was famous, had new things that I wanted to introduce and opportunities come once. I seized it; came up with an amazing team; had the biggest voter turnout the school has ever seen and all my team members were elected against the 4 strong teams that were contesting.

Selfie with Mr. Manu Chandaria

Selfie with Mr. Manu Chandaria

Victoria: Famous! (laughter). Congratulations on your win. Am sure it was a very hectic time but as always you emerged victorious. Being the new chair person, what developments have you made so far?
Dennis: The school wanted to increases the graduates’ school fees by Sh16, 000 and we were able to convince them to cut it by half, something that has never happened in the history of USIU-Africa. All the event we have organized; Mr. and Miss. USIU-Africa, Campus Award and Graduation Dinner; we made profits. The funds were geared towards empowering the physically challenged students by making sure the school has ramps in all classes for easier access.

Victoria: School fees cut into half, conducive environment for the physically challenged students and profits in all the events you have organized. Tell me more………….

Dennis: Through the help of Kenya Young Parliamentary Association (K.Y.P.A) and other universities, we were able to review the Universities Act and make it more of a Private Institution and more students friendly. Students in private universities were able to get HELB loans which never used to happen in the past; just because a student is in a private university it does not mean they are able, so many USIU-Africa students benefited from it.

Victoria: HELB is finally offered to Students in a Private Higher Education Institution. That is great News. The school offered you a scholarship, what are you doing to help other students who were like you?

Dennis: I try to inform students on the different scholarship we have in USIU-Africa. Information is power. I am in the process of having an Alumni scholarship account where by the USIU-Africa Clubs which are 26 clubs; contribute a certain amount from their budget. The USIU-Africa Alumni association also supports the school by contributing up to Sh 500,000 together with the SAC (Student Affairs Council) office that also contributes towards the course. This will enable us to have more scholarship opportunities for students.

Victoria: I love the way you are trying to make students life easier in your school. What are your future plans?
Dennis: Since am doing criminal justice, I will become a victimologist. This will help me to study political victims, crime victims, war victims. I will be able to talk on behalf of those people so that the government will be able to see their point of view. This will reduce the cases of victimization on the Kenyan people.

During USIU-Africa Graduation Ceremony

During USIU-Africa Graduation Ceremony

Victoria: You are really all about helping your people. That is very selfless of you. What advice would you give to everyone out there who have financial struggles and do not know where to start?

Dennis: All this things come from GOD. Never give up. Everything has its time. Just be determined, persistent and do all you can to achieve your hearts desires. Do your best in everything and you will become successful.

Victoria: I am so honored to have interviewed you. Thank you so much for sharing your life story. 10 years to come, you will be a great man.
Dennis: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to inspire people with my life. Its’ been an honor.

There you have it. Dennis Mugambi, an exceptional student. Determined, hard working and has the peoples best interest I mind. Leave comments…… Follow…….



I got the privilege to interview DENNIS MUGAMBI ELEGWA the SAC (Student Affairs Council) Chair Person in USIU-Africa. Words cannot explain how inspired I was by this young gentleman

Victoria: Hello, how are you?

Dennis: Am good Victoria, it’s a pleasure to be here.

Victoria: Well thank you! So tell me about yourself, who you are and what you do?

Dennis: I am Dennis Mugambi, the Chair person of SAC in USIU. I am a senior student doing criminal justice.

Victoria:  That is great; tell me, did you see yourself being the Chairperson of Sac? I mean, how has your journey been?

Dennis: Well it’s been quite long but successful one. I come from a family of 5 children, 3 girls and 2 boys. My mother was and still is the bread winner. It is embarrassing to say but, my Father he is a live but does not provide for the family. This caused us to live in Dandora while we were growing up. I ended up on the streets collecting plastics that I would sell so that I could get some money for basic needs like food.

Victoria: Just from what you said, how were you able to finish high school and join university?

Dennis: All my siblings went to school but none of them went to university. This made my mother struggle a lot because she had sacrificed so much to pay their fees and none of them wanted to attain higher education. I wanted to make her proud. I decided to leave the streets and start haunting for a university, although, my grades were not good and the only place that could accommodate me was a private university.

Victoria: what did you want to study and why?

Dennis: I wanted to do criminal justice or human rights. I am interested in victims and wanted to be a victimologist (study victim behavior) .I went to Nazarene University to get the academic schedule. I had to walk all the way from Buruburu to Ongata Rongai to pick up the registration forms because I did not have enough bus fare. I decided to walk to the venue then when I come back in the evening I could be able to afford bus fare to go home.

Victoria: (surprised look) You mean you walked all the way to Ongata Rongai? Did you succeed in getting registered?

Dennis: I will not say it was easy but it was the only way. I was so determined to get my life together such that walking for approximately 40 km was not an issue. By coincidence, USIU-AFRICA had just started Criminal Justice program. Since USIU-Africa was closer to home, I decided that was the school for me.

Victoria: keeping in mind that USIU-Africa is a very prestigious school, how were you able to pay the fees?

Dennis:  I saw the program on the newspaper and I wanted to join but my financial capacities become a problem. I decided to apply because I got help from a friend who gave me Sh 3,000 to pay for the application fee (2010). After my application, I had to start looking for the Sh 87,000 so that I could pay my fees. I went to my church and formed a committee to help me raise the school fees but since it was December holiday, everyone was busy with their family, so, the committee could not raise the money hence being disbanded.

This was a major setback for me but my Mother was there for me. We prayed and as always God answered. A percentage of my mother’s salary used to be deducted for the last 10 years. She had been trying to recover it but it was in vain. It’s true when they say, miracles happen. Luck was on her side this time round and I used it all to pay for my 1st semester (spring semester) school fees, 2011.

Victoria: That is good news. Finally you are in the school that would enable you fulfill your dreams and study criminal justice. How were you able to come up with the rest of the school fees?

Dennis: The 1st semester (spring semester) comes to an end and I had to start looking for the next batch of money to pay for the next semester but had no luck. If you had cleared the fees for the last semester you could register. I just registered for one course then I joined Michezo Africa, a drama club in USIU. This helped me to fill my spare time and also act. I am generally a shy person. I am only loud to people I know and this club helped me build my confidence and enjoy life a little bit by travelling to Mombasa and Nyeri for Drama festivals.

Victoria: (Laughter) only loud to people that you know. That is a view many introverts share. Michezo Africa helped you to widen your spectrum. The second semester (summer semester) ended and you had just done one course, how did you fair on?

Dennis: My mother took a loan to pay the fees deficit for the summer semester and the extra cash she used it to pay for 3rd semester (fall semester) and that is how my 2011 ended.  The spring semester of 2012 came and I was not able to pay my fees because my mother was paying back the loan she took. She still remained the breadwinner of the house because I have so many siblings. I had no choice but to stop school for a while. I owed the school a total of Sh100000.

Part One…………………………………..

Part Two coming up soon……………….

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