It’s rare for students taking science and mathematics related courses to embrace the literary world. The old argument that their courses are way too demanding for them to engage in much extracurricular activities stands.
Abok Isaac Kiche joins the few who have gone against the grain. In spite of taking Bachelor of Science in Applied Statistics at Maseno University, the fourth year student has penned a book titled, ‘Climbing the Mountain of Success.’
“The mountain represents the challenges we face, climbing-are the steps we take to walk over these challenges, ” he explains.
The book highlights hindrances to academic excellence. Using real life examples interspersed with relevant quotes, Kiche compellingly sets out valuable tips on how students can easily leap over hurdles in their academic journey.
The fruits of his labour haven’t gone unappreciated. The book, published by Benchmark Education Publishers and retailing at Ksh.300 has earned him fame and recognition. Recently, it was reviewed by The Standard.
The former Director Academics admits that authoring the book gave him an edge in campus politics, “We told freshmen that traditionally the Director Academics has to be a writer,” He quickly notes, “this was positive propaganda.”
As a young boy in class eight studying the Bible, the Yala primary school alumnus had no idea that he was developing his writing skills.
“I would read the book of Proverbs so many times. I was keen on the wisdom that Solomon wanted to pass across. I was not just reading but trying to interpret it,” he reflects.
Kiche can now bask in this early taste of success but his upward trajectory has not been smooth sailing. The book is reminiscent to his early life. The last born in a family of 6, Kiche describes his background as average saying his parents have never failed to raise school fees.
However, he would walk for three kilometers to Yala primary school. Since he was a chronic latecomer he would face a butter of canes every morning. Unlike some of his classmates, he says, he did not drop out of school.
“Irrespective of the challenges we face, our focus and determination propels us to the top,” he says.
Kiche, a motivational speaker schooled at Kabianga High in Kericho County where he nurtured his oratory skills. He was exposed to dozens of leadership forums. He would represent the school in public speaking competitions at regional and national level.
During the 2011 national public speaking competition, Kiche says he was excited to rub shoulders with the then cabinet secretary for Education, the late Mutula Kilonzo who presented him with an award. He had come 5th in the competition where he had given a talk on ‘The Kenya We Want.”
The achievement would earn him a scholarship at Mind grow Institute of leadership in Nairobi. As soon as he finished his high school exit exams, he enrolled at the institution where he acquired leadership and guidance and counseling skills.
In his gap year, he served as an untrained teacher at Yala high school. His interaction with students and the challenges he had experienced in school prompted him to put pen on paper.
“I got a better understanding of the psychology that drives a student particularly at high school level. All that knowledge and experience inspired me to write the book,” he says.
He began writing in September, 2013 on joining Maseno as a freshman. However, when he told the dean of his school about it, he advised him to put his plans on hold saying he needed to prioritize his studies.
“I saw that as a mountain” Kiche quips.
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His desire to write was unwavering, much to the disappointment of his girlfriend. Furious because he had devoted more of his time to writing than the relationship, she broke up with him.
Surprisingly, one and a half years later, the dean would give a moving speech at the book’s launch and the estranged girlfriend would try to make a comeback.
“She called me several times,” Kiche says with a wry grin. Resounding laughter fills the room, breaking the silence across the neighborhood.
Kiche looks forward to serving in a political position. He has leapt into writing and he isn’t turning back. He is currently working on his second book, ‘ On the Road to Success.’
“Never give up when you have the ability, never give up when you have the potential, never give up,” Kiche says with finality, with a voice soaked in conviction.