“WRITING KEEPS ME CREATIVE. WRITING EARNS ME A LIVING. EARNING FROM MY PASSION HAS BEEN AN EXHILARATING EXPERIENCE.”
Meet Stephen Muchiri Kinyua – A Student Nurse Making it in the World of Online Writing
“I grew up in a family of five. A family that was plagued by domestic violence, financial hardships and a plethora of other debilitating challenges. I am proud to have learnt important life lessons from those painful childhood experiences; this is part of the reason I chose Nursing as a career. Nursing provides me with an opportunity to directly alleviate pain and walk with people in their time of need; my childhood experiences and those along this journey have humbled me. I am happy I decided to pursue my studies here at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (DeKUT). I have had the opportunity to receive quality training and go for my clinical rotations in different hospitals. I have also had the opportunity to interact with students and staff across the institution. I have been a peer counselor for the last two years, a member of the IAESTE club, not to mention the recently nominated position of Interim Chairperson for the recently launched DeKUT Ajira Digital Club. DeKUT has a great reputation. The institution is also, by far, student-friendly compared to other higher institutions of learning and with a well implemented holistic education model that allows students opportunities to learn and grow holistically. My experience here so far has been pure bliss. ” - Stephen Muchiri Kinyua.
Muchiri is our student in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing programme and is expected to graduate in 2023. While pursuing his studies, he has taken time to explore the world of writing which he recalls is a passion that clicked in him when he was a child. He has not only pursued this line, which he says has helped him take himself through school, but he has also helped several other students discover it, understand it and start earning from it to meet their various financial needs. When DeKUT Office of Career Services started working with Ajira Digital Program to train students on online work and earning, Muchiri played a key role in mobilization of students to take advantage of this opportunity and was key in the formation of DeKUT Ajira Digital Club which was launched on 24th June, 2022 by the Chief Administrative Secretary, ICT & Innovation, Ms. Maureen Mbaka. The club is a community of online workers and will create an environment for work generation and skills development to meet the demand and supply side of job creation.
“My journey as a writer didn't start last night. I have always been someone who loved to learn and express my ideas and since talking was not always my strong suit, I resorted to writing my feelings and thoughts on paper. The first genre of writing I ventured in in my tender years was creative writing. It started after I read a story that my friend wrote back in primary school. After reading her wonderful work of imagination, I said to myself, "hey, I can write this too" and almost immediately, I bought a notebook and started my own story. It was very similar to hers and I have to admit that I did steal a few ideas from her book, nonetheless, a lot of people read it and loved it which made me proud of myself and encouraged me to write more.
By the beginning of class 8, I had written quite a lot of fictional stories and had become known among my mates for my awesome stories. While in form 2, I came across blogging while browsing online. I created my blog: poetrystories.wordpress.blog. Shortly after, I got accepted into a Kenya - Canada cultural exchange programme at my highschool (The Thome School Nanyuki). This is what paved a path for me to travel abroad to Canada for the first time in my life. While in Canada, I published my daily experiences in a blog (You can read more on the same here https://kenyastephencanada.wordpress.com/. I also began publishing articles on my Facebook page (Changing the Perception of Africa) in a bid to show the world the side of Africa often left out by the media. So far, I've learnt a lot by writing and I am still learning because I believe that learning the art of writing is a continuous process. I have also found ways to integrate my nursing profession into writing. As obvious as it sounds, writing is making me even a better writer and I cannot deny the fact that it has and is changing my life” - Muchiri narrates.
Asked what inspires him, Muchiri says that more than anything else, he wants to make the most of his life and that's why he writes instead of simply being a student of nursing. “That is why I have chosen a life of opportunity exploration. Away from the comfort and security of friends and family. I want to free up time, push myself, and focus on projects and ventures that bring me joy. I see this as my macro-level inspiration. That’s what inspiration means to me and where I get my inspiration from” he adds. He considers some of his achievements thus far as: recently winning the runners up position for the Tertiary Category National Giraffe Center Essay competition organized by African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) this year (not to mention his win in 2017 and 2018), being nominated the chairperson of the DeKUT Ajira Digital Club, being a founder and President of the start-up company Tale-Pro Writing Group through which he has mentored over 300 students in different institutions of higher learning across the country on online freelancing opportunities, being a representative of the Kenya-Canada Cultural Exchange Program known as PA-MOJA (https://pa-moja.com/). Muchiri is also working on a fiction novel which he hopes to publish this year.
What Muchiri is doing is a demonstration and evidence of the possibility of achieving what the Vice Chancellor DeKUT, Prof. Ndirangu Kioni, has been emphasizing on; that no DeKUT student should graduate and lack a job or an opportunity to build a career and earn a living. The University has and continues to create an ecosystem that assures this.