A man from Kisumu who slid past the security men to have a handshake with President Uhuru received the most striking gesture for his predicament.
The Kisumu man apparently understands the true meaning of seizing the slightest opportunity and using it to advantage. And so, he took one of the boldest steps in his career.
The local, knowing he had been on a job hunt for more than a year after graduating from St Paul’s University, took his chances when the president was not on the podium addressing the public.
He drove speedily ahead of the tight security that guards the president to get him to listen to the difficulty he had had in finding a job placement.
Getting very close to the president, the man called out to the president in a loud voice to draw his attention saying,
Rais, rais (Mr President, Mr President).
The brave move of the 28 year-old Philemon Awande yielded the result he might have anticipated. The president beckoned to him, commanded the security team to let the man come closer, and then both men shared a handshake.
According to Awande, who hails from the Obunga slums in Kisumu Central, he didn’t allow it end at handshake. He quickly begged the president to lend him a hand in securing a job as he narrated how tough life can be when one has no source of income.
Awande, one of six children from Gem, Siaya county, schooled at St Paul’s University. While in school he had pursued community development and did an industrial attachment at Kisumu county government office.
During the Saturday visit by the president, the president got his phone number and assured to get back to him later.
Amazingly, he did keep his word. Like a dream, Awande’s phone rang later in the evening. Lo and behold, it was a woman’s voice who verified his identity before passing the phone to the president.
President Uhuru queried for detail of his plight once more. After listening for a while, the president told the man that someone will handle that.
As the evening was almost draining away, another woman, who identified herself as Patricia Waweru, called from the office of the presidency.
This time she demanded that he forward his Curriculum Vitae (CV) and school certificates to an email address she dropped.
She said she was given directives from Public Service CS Sicily Kariuki.
Awande thought it had ended there. But another buzz in his phone was from a director at the National Youth Service who told him to ensure he comes to Nairobi on Thursday.
He revealed that Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura promised that President Uhuru would ensure he gets fixed up somewhere soon.
The man took the chance of having president Uhuru in his county where he visited for the launch of Western regional headquarters of the Seventh Day Adventist Church at Mamboleo.
The man is yet to know his fate, but he is already thankful that President Uhuru took his problems seriously and personally.