Ms. President: APT senior trailblazes on all-female reality show

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Applied Computer Technology Senior Ms. Umulkheir Harun Mohamed, is a participant in the Ms. President weekly reality show airing on local television station channel - KTN Home. PHOTO: COURTESY

Ms. President - a local reality television show airing on KTN, has attracted a lot of attention due to its all-female contestant lineup. The show which aims to “groom women to be better leaders” airs every Wednesday on KTN Home between 8pm and 9pm.

Ms. Taigu Muchiri interviewed Applied Computer Technology Senior Ms. Umulkheir Harun Mohamed, on her participation in the show and what the future holds for her.

Campus This Week: Give us a brief background of yourself.

UmulkheIr: I am a Senior studying Applied Computer Technology at USIU-Africa. I also run Kesho Alliance which is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that has been fighting for quality education, especially for the girl child in Garissa County.

The organization has pioneered student-to- student sponsorships that provide financial aid and mentorship to students in need. The goal is to offer bursaries to girls from low-income families so that that they can further the education. I am also involved in youth initiatives that touch on peace and coalition-building in Garissa.

Campus This Week: Why did you choose to apply as a contestant on the show?

UmulkheIr: I am interested in leadership at the grassroots level and passionate about youth leadership in the community. This is an opportunity to showcase my work and show the impact of my work in the community. Youth look up to young leaders, so we have to be a model for them and show them that we need to take positions of leadership in order to see change in our communities.

Campus This Week: How is your experience so far?

UmulkheIr: It has been a challenge but I am growing every day. The show received over 1000 applicants and only 70 participants were picked to take part in the weekly activities to determine if they stay on the show or if they are eliminated. The selection team will select the final 16 who will compete for the top three positions left and will finally pick a winner.

Though it has been a rigorous selection process, I am glad to still be in the race and determined to reach the final, which is 26 episodes from now.

Each morning begins with training, where we are assigned several tasks to implement. Our evaluation on those tasks determines who gets to be eliminated.

The experience has allowed me to meet different leaders from different parts of the country and engage them on how to impact the society.

Consequently, I have been pushed to do better for my community - especially the girls who are facing significant challenges. My community is patriarchal and most families do not allow girls to go to school, to the extent of marrying them off even before they become adults.

The outlawed Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is also still widely practised. I want to rescue as many girls from these challenges as I can, and give them hope for the future.

Insecurity is also a very sensitive issue in Garrisa. My work involves equipping the youth to preach peace through information technology, by partnering with several companies to train the youth on IT skills. I am also challenge my peers to spread peace to combat youth radicalization in the county.

Campus This Week: What do you hope to achieve by participating on the show?

UmulkheIr: My very participation in the show means so much to the girls I mentor, because I now can demonstrate to them that they can be whatever they want to be and can do so much for their community in order to improve the situation in their families.

Most young people from my community believe that they cannot be able to achieve much because they come from a disadvantaged background. This show is a demonstration that they can open their minds to different opportunities available to them. I also want young people to know that they can work hard and achieve their dreams.

I believe their mentality will change when they see what I have achieved.

Campus This Week: What would you tell a younger Umulkher?

UmulkheIr: That she can be a change agent and make a difference in our society no matter how small the act.

She should also understand that the focus should be on the impact her actions make, not the recognition that comes with them.

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