Fitting in to Strathmore
He was the best male student at King’s College, Budo in the 2017 national exams and was counted among the best in the entire country. In individual subjects, he was the best arts student, and among the few who passed Geography. Vianney Sebayiga, a third-year Strathmore Law School (SLS) student, has now settled in and found his place at Strathmore so much so til he is currently holding several leadership positions. He is a class representative, the Male Executive, Academic Representative, at the Student Council, the governing body representing the students at the University; he recently completed his term as a senior editor at the Strathmore Law Review (SLR), an annual peer-reviewed, student-edited academic law journal published by the SLS in conjunction with the Strathmore University Press. “The beauty of Strathmore is that it is open to everyone as long as you have what it takes and you are willing as a person to take part in its social life. What you have to offer is what matters.”
Vianney was born in Kireka, Kampala, and is the first of two children. Leaving Uganda to study in Kenya was tough but adventurous for him. He was going to a new town, a new country, away from family. Strathmore first came into his radar during a math contest held at his high school, a contest that opened the doors to the University. “I was impressed by what I heard about it and decided to take a shot at it.”
On arrival to Kenya, any anxiety about the admission process was relieved when he met Fenuel Kalulu, Strathmore Admissions Manager, with whom he had been communicating throughout the application process. “I found my way around the country – I now have Sukuma wiki with every meal, but githeri (a traditional meal of maize and beans) is yet to appeal to me. Having been in contact with Kalulu and the financial aid team greatly assisted me with settling in.”
Strathmore Law Review
His Strathmore experience has been enriched by the various opportunities at hand. Within one academic year, he joined the Strathmore Law Review (SLR). “Being at SLR has horned my writing and analytical skills. I was part of a team that reviewed the second edition of the book ‘The Constitution of Kenya: A Commentary’ by Prof. Luis Franceschi, founding Dean at SLS, and now Senior Director of Governance & Peace at the Commonwealth and Prof. PLO Lumumba.”
He continued adding extracurricular activities to his plate while maintain high grades. “Research is one of the areas that Strathmore has set its sight on. There are numerous research institutions and initiatives that one can be a part of. I was recently selected to be part of the Africa Petroleum Legislation Atlas (APLA); we are consolidating laws relating to petroleum all over Africa and creating a free online one –stop platform where people can access these laws with the aim of supporting African countries to maximize petroleum resource benefits.”
Translating law into layman’s language
Apart from time spent at SLR, APLA and the Student Council, he is also a member of the Strathmore Law Clinic, a programme providing hands-on-legal experience to law students and providing pro bono services to clients and is an intern at the Strathmore Dispute Resolution Centre (SDRC). “I am a senior clinician at the Law Clinic. Last year we had an outreach programme, Sheria Mashinani in Kibra. We went to schools in Kibra to translate the law into a simpler language and to lessen the gap between the legal practitioners and Kibra residents.”
Service to Society
And through the Service Based Learning programme which each Strathmore student is required to fulfil, he has begun giving back to his country. Starting April 2018, he spent 225 hours at Reach One Touch One Ministries (ROTOM) in Mukono, Uganda, a non-profit, non-denominational, international, Christian organization dedicated to equipping impoverished, senior adults in Uganda and Ethiopia.
“When I am home, I often go and check on the elderly friends I made. In one case, we visited a lady who had complained of termite infestation. Our task was to build another house for her using clay and strong reeds. In future after graduation, I would like to provide them with pro bono legal representation to assist them solve their land tussles.”
This article was written by Wambui Gachari.
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