The Kisumu National Polytechnic (TKNP) conducted a two-day leadership seminar for its staff and student leaders at the Hillside Villa Hotel on February 17, 2017, a day after the Students’ Association by-elections.

Experts in communication, leadership, education and psychology facilitated the training that covered topics on leadership and communication skills, stress management, alcohol and drug abuse management and how to relate with local security agencies.

In the keynote address Professor Okumu Bigambo dwelled on effective communication skills, underscoring the importance of communication in professional life. “Communication is fundamental in all faculties of learning and personal development. Without effective communication, it is impossible to progress in any career or even in life,” he explained.

Prof Bigambo also explained that a leader takes interest in his colleagues ‘feeling their temperatures’ and getting to know their disposition, abilities and challenges. “In understanding colleagues, leaders become ‘hope mates, tasks mates and research mates’, sharing skills and tasks while raising hope in their team”, he explained.

In attendance was TKNP Principal Joyce Nyanjom who was keen to encourage the students and staff to embrace hands-on leadership. In her address, she clearly stated the need to support team members and collaborate in the pursuit of organizational and individual goals. “We are all capable as leaders if we receive the necessary support. It was very challenging when I was appointed to this position because I met a lot of obstacles but I overcame them and I have been successful. You need not lose your focus in the face of adversity,” she said.

Mr Majiwa explained in his presentation that TKNP is an all-inclusive institution and provides equal opportunities to all without any discrimination. He sensitized the attendants on how to handle people with disability to help them adapt without stereotyping, “It is important to understand the various forms of disabilities. We commonly relate disability to physical aspects only yet there are so many people in our midst who have other forms of disability and equally need our understanding and support,” said Dr Nyangara, the Registrar.

Representing the security agencies was Kondele Police Station Deputy OCS Zakayo Ekirapa who focused on the general role of the police and their functions at the local level vis a vis relating with leaders. He also sought to demystify the organs of the police force, “the police force is there to protect and support you, not to fight you, there’s really no need of antagonism or confrontations,” he said. The lively session captured the attention of those present, stimulating several pertinent issues regarding the relationship between the police and the institution.

KINAPOSA Chairman Francis Ouma had a chance to pass a vote of thanks on behalf of the student leaders in attendance, “The leadership training refreshed and energized us and came at an opportune time. It is really crucial for our success as leaders”, he said.

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