Stephen Riungu: I Earned First-Class Honors in Bachelor of Education (Arts), Only for TSC to Disqualify My Documents; Now Selling Chang’aa in Uganda

by Paul Nyongesa

Upon completing their university studies, graduates typically harbor optimistic expectations of landing gainful employment, envisioning a life somewhat more manageable than the rigorous years spent pursuing education.

However, for Stephen Riungu Mukindia, a graduate with first-class honors in English literature from the Catholic University of East Africa, the post-graduation reality proved to be a formidable challenge.

As relayed by Kenyan Report, Stephen’s journey took an unexpected turn following his proud graduation in 2014. Armed with a degree in English and literature in English, he found himself confronted with a series of uphill battles.

Despite his academic prowess, Stephen confronted the harsh truth of unemployment. The Teaching Service Commission (TSC) exacerbated his predicament by withholding a job opportunity, citing bureaucratic entanglements related to his prior enrollment in a diploma program at Tangaza College.

“TSC couldn’t provide me with the number after I applied, submitted my documents, and paid the fee. This was because I had been admitted for a diploma at Tangaza College with an aggregate of C- in KCSE,” lamented Stephen.

Life took an unjust turn as Stephen, who had diligently pursued both a diploma and a bachelor’s degree, grappled with a system that failed to acknowledge his qualifications.

“I am wondering how life is unfair since I was legally admitted and completed my three-year diploma program before enrolling in a bachelor’s degree in education where I graduated with First-Class Honors,” he expressed.

Undeterred by these setbacks, Stephen embarked on an arduous quest for employment, traversing various territories in search of stability. “I have been struggling up and down, even teaching in Tanzania. However, the working conditions weren’t favorable because of the requirement to pay for the work permit. This circumstance led me to work as a volunteer without pay,” he recounted.

As life’s challenges mounted, Stephen found himself in Uganda, where he embraced an unexpected occupation—selling local brew, waragi, often associated with Chang’aa. Armed with a degree that seemed to offer little solace in the job market, he faced the harsh realities of existence.

“I have made several attempts to apply for jobs, but I haven’t received any response. I am kindly requesting that if a good Samaritan comes across this, they can hire me for any work, even if it means menial work,” he pleaded.

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