Our fruitless trip to campus in search of university degree
Monday, November 30th, 2020
Whenever people want to think I am full of wisdom, I agree with them. So when fellow MCA Makayoyo came to me for advice, I was willing to dispense it. Little did I know I was about to waste my time and energy.
I was busy in the office scrutinising the BBI document to find out whether a lady too could become an Ombudsman, as Mama Hiro, my mum-in-law’s daughter, had insisted.
“Bw Gwinso,” came Makayoyo’s voice, startling me. “You have to help me.” (He looked disturbed).
“What is it?”
“I fear I may be a one-term MCA,”
“Why?” I asked.
“Si it is this degree requirement. These people are now serious that you can’t be an MCA in 2022 unless you have it. At least you have it, na mimi je? What will I do?”
Although I sympathised with my friend, I could see the difficulty in his case. With elections less than two years away, and given it takes at least four years to complete a degree course, his fate seemed sealed.
But as you are aware, it is in such moments of crisis that I get sudden attacks of genius.
“I think there are universities that offer accelerated programmes. You can get a degree in about two years as long as you are willing to pay extra fees,” I said.
My friend jumped up and down in excitement, well, almost.
“Gwinso, money is not a problem. I am even willing to pay as much as they want if they can give me that paper in one year!” he declared.
I advised him to go to a few university campuses to inquire about the accelerated programmes.
“Gwinso, you are the one who knows these things. I can’t go alone. Please accompany me,” he told me.
We agreed to visit one of the campuses in town the following day.
Friday morning found us at the campus gate.
“Who do you want to see,?” the security officer asked.
“The vice-councillor,” Makayoyo blurted out.
I gave him a shut-that-mouth look. I then explained our mission and we were directed to the registrar’s office. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the occupant of the office was someone I knew.
“Gwinso, what brings you here,?” he asked, rising to usher us in.
“I want to become a professor.”
“Ah, don’t amuse me. Why on earth would anybody leave such a lucrative post as MCA only to come and earn peanuts here,?” he asked and let out loud laugh.
“Anyway, Sir, this is my colleague MCA Makayoyo,” I pointed to my friend who had all along been smiling sheepishly. “He wants to do a degree course.”
“That is very good of him. Welcome to our university,” he said.
“Thank you,” beamed the MCA.
“But Sir, there is a small hitch,” I said. “He wants to finish the course by August 2022.”
The registrar looked at Makayoyo incredulously. “Oolisikia wapi,?” he asked and laughed mirthlessly. “A bachelor’s degree takes at least four academic years.”
“I don’t want the one for bachelors. I am married,” he declared.
The registrar and I scrutinised his face to trace any signs of sarcasm. To my shock, the ward rep was serious!
The registrar let out a sigh and said, “Bw MCA, you cannot get a degree after studying for only two years. Unless you do a diploma.”
“Then I’ll be a diplomat?” Makayoyo asked, to my embarrassment.
The registrar gave me a where-did-you-pick-this-one-from look. After a thoughtful silence, he asked for Makayoyo’s high school exam results slip.
“Er…er..I did not carry it.”
“But you have the minimum qualifications to do a degree?”
“I think so,” said the MCA.
The registrar advised him to fill the application forms and attach the relevant documents.
“We will then look at your results and place you in a relevant course. Come 2022, we will give you a letter showing you are working towards getting a degree. That letter should help you vie for a seat.”
As we left the office, I noticed Makayoyo did not look happy.
“What is the matter?” I asked.
“Sioni nikitoboa,” he said sounding dejected.
“I don’t have the qualifications to do a degree course.”
“But then how did you expect to join the university?” I asked feeling exasperated.
“Si I thought we’d just talk to the VC vizuri anipe hiyo kitu!” Well, you now agree I had wasted my time and energy, sindio? – [email protected]