DRIVEN AND INSPIRED BY THE DESIRE TO PROVIDE SOLUTIONS
Meet Hon. Jades Kalunda Muema– Member of County Assembly, Makueni County
"I wake up every day driven by the desire to improve the living standards of the citizens; especially my constituents who I took an oath to serve. In my constituency, I have worked on basic infrastructure like functional roads, universal access to water to around 80% across the board, youth, women & other vulnerable groups' empowerment with income generating initiatives, access to markets & information, scholarships & bursaries to bright and needy students, welfare support, universal access to healthcare, agricultural & livestock extension services access, land ownership and transfers, sports & talent support, small scale irrigation & advanced agribusiness support, public participations, among others. While doing all this, I credit Dedan Kimathi University of Technology for giving me the best experience; both as a student and employee. The University gave me a chance to interact with the best and exposed me to the real challenges and choices; the Vice Chancellor, Prof Ndirangu Kioni who I consider my second father motivated us a lot and allowed us to participate in all we wanted and neededas a way of holistic development. This experience gave me the foundation of the person I am today.”- Hon. Jades Kalunda Muema
Kalunda studied at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (DeKUT) back when it was Kimathi University College of Technology (KUCT) under Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (JKUAT). He graduated in 2012 with a B. Sc. in Information Technology degree (First Class Honours) and was in the last group to graduate at JKUAT shortly before DeKUT was awarded a charter to run as a fully-fledged University in December 2012. Since graduating, Kalunda has worked with and for several companies in various capacities: Safaricom Ltd (Network Maintenance Centre), IEBC(Current Content ManagementSystem Pioneer Technician), Airport View Plaza (Change Management), CASAMOKO Ltd (Change Management), Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (Teaching Assistant & Assistant Lecturer), Multiple Tech Solutions (Technical Director), Government of Makueni County (MCA-Kikumbulyu South & Minority Party Whip as well as Chairman - Committee on Implementation), Full-time Specialist in Cyber Forensics, Content Management Systems among others in the ICT world.
What inspired you to join the profession you’re in? What drives you to build a career in the field you’re in or look to be in? For Kalunda, it was and still stands as his desire to solve problems. He recalls that when selecting courses to study, he needed a course to help him solve the emerging issues in the ICT industry and make life better through technology; that’s how he landed at DeKUT – then, KUCT. “DeKUT was offering the JKUAT Information Technology programme which seemed as the most dynamic and best customized programme befitting the market demands and at same time, with no congestion of classes as in many university campuses which meant better and closer instructor-student touch” – he adds. That same desire led him to a career in politics where he has great interest in and is committed to giving solutions. “Not many leaders faithfully work towards giving solutions but I'm dedicated to this as I understand the privilege and trust associated with the call to serve”- Kalunda adds as emphasis on his commitment.
Looking back, Kalunda recalls starting his attempts to offer ICT solutions while still at the University by developing some systems for small clients like Schools and SACCO’s; for instance, customizing ERPs (Enterprise Resource Planning Software).While the need to provide solutions is a huge impetus for him, Kalunda considers his peers, mentioning Dr. Kennedy Senagi – a classmate, friend and former colleague as a great inspiration. He also acknowledges and appreciates Dr. Patrick Ndung’u, the then Chairman of the Department, for giving him a recommendation to work at Safaricom Limited; who became his first employer effective 28th December, 2011 upon a successful recruitment process.
Kalunda considers being able to dynamically use professional and social skills to sort matters for his clients, constituents and institutions he works for as his greatest achievement.He has been directly involved in ICT, public affairs and politics. On matters ICT, he takes pridein having overhauled all ICT systems in all institutions he has worked with/for to match mass expectations and to improve access and transparency with their systems, without compromising the integrity and safety of the information.In public affairs and politics, he continues to lobby for projects and programmes to significantly improve the living standards of the citizens with great hope and confidence that much more can be achieved.
Besides being in public service and providing ICT solutions, Kalunda is a husband and a father or two. He says that DeKUT will always be his family for not only studying and working here but for giving him an opportunity to meet his wife (also studied in DeKUT) with whom he has built a family.