There are moments so iconic, that writing about them feels like a robbery of their gallant glory. That is the beauty of history makers. They remained greatly oblivious that their decisions that were so seemingly fleeting would ripple onto momentous events. That they'd be legends in champoining movements that would live on in service of humanity for eons on. That is the fate of these incredible men and women of the Kenya Model United Nations. Truly, "people are trapped in history and history is trapped in them," James Baldwin.
In the year 2001, Mr. Ronald Osumba, a student of Moi University majoring on a degree in Business Management founded the Kenya Model United Nations (KenyaMUN). Mr. Osumba then served as the first Secretary General of the organisation from 2001-2003. His tenure is remembered in 2002, to have yielded the first conference held at the United Nations head office in Gigiri, Nairobi, which later paved a clear path for annual conferences in the very head office, every February. Mr. Osumba is lucky enough to be the only Secretary General to have held that office for more than a year.
The out turn on the rise to that seat after Mr. Ronald, took a very nationalistic and merit-based approach. After Mr. Osumba, Mr. Gicheo Bosco of Moi University rose to power in 2003, to spearhead the 2003-2004 session. Mr. Gicheo was majory concerned with the maintenance and growth of KenyaMUN. His tenure is remembered to have had started to instill a KenyaMUN culture and to have created a surge in numbers to KenyaMUN membership from the previous years.
Not long after, Ms. Nyakario Njuguna, a student from Daystar University, in the year 2004-2005, broke record to be the first female student to hold the highest office in KenyaMUN.
Ms. Njuguna, as the Secretary General in the third session ensured that the growth of KenyaMUN was done at a pace to keep up with a culture that Mr. Bosco and his team had set. She also stood out to be the role model and pacesetter for the young female students who were then members of KenyaMUN. Her session equipped fully for the 4th Session.
The year 2005-2006 brought with it a session that saw a Deputy Secretary General rise to the very position. Mr. Allan Rutambo, who was then a student at The University of Nairobi and had previously served as a deputy to Ms. Nyakario took up the mantle for the prestigious role to spearhead the 4th session. Mr. Allan is remembered to have frequently urged people to aim, holding the positions they deputise.
In 2006, Kenyatta University celebrated. It was a first for them.
Mr. Charles Kyalo Munyau from Kenyatta University chapter was appointed the Secretary General of the 5th session. This was the first in Kenyatta University and Mr. Munyau upheld the University's pride in dispensing his roles as KenyaMUN's Secretary General in the years 2006-2007.
Mr. Brian Makokha having taken over from Mr. Charles, skillfully maintained the KenyaMUN culture during his tenure, the 6th session. after his 2007-2008 period in office, he handed over the power to the second female Secretary General of the organisation.
So 3 years had elapsed. The ladies in the house had waited for too long, hadn't they? Ms. Brenda Malowa breaks the dominance in 2008 when she rose to power. For the second time since inception, KenyaMUN's secretariat was yet a queen's throne. By this time KenyaMUN had instilled it's roots, it had gained dominance. Information about this youth-led, student run organisation were spreading in universities' corridors like bushfire, and Ms. Brenda and her team worked across the clock to increase membership.
There was, however an interesting turn of events in the secretariat in the year 2009. Mr. Paul Gathara having taken over from
Ms. Malowa, got overwhelmed with duties amidst the trail. Hardly a year ended when he handed over power to Ms. Mwambingu.
Ms. Ivy Mwambingu ran the entire remaining part of the year working very hard towards the goal of ensuring that KenyaMUN grew country-wide.
Ms. Ivy handed over to Mr. Billy Kanyi who was appointed on merit basis to spearhead the 2010-2011 session. He ensured that the organisation brought together students with interests in diplomacy, debating and mooting. Mr. Kanyi, with extension, ensured that students also got the chance to learn other skills such as public speaking, research and academic writing.
2011 was a very important year for KenyaMUN. It was the year when the organisation turned 10. This session, a decade later, after an instrumental 10 years, was graced by Mr. Abdalla Salm. In his 2011-2012 tenure, Salim rallied the rooting of KenyaMUN presence in several universities all over the country.
The following year Ms. Nasra Nandha took over, fiercely and very determined, Ms. Nasra followed in the footsteps of Mr. Salim to ensure that the 2012-2013 session recorded a wider following from different schools all over the country than where Mr. Salim had left. During her tenure, Ms. Nasra ensured that the culture of debates and conferences was still dearly upheld. Additionally, she will always be remembered with her contributions towards growth and enrollment of members to KenyaMUN.
A repeat of 2005-2006 session occured in 2013-2014 session, as a deputy was taking over power again. Mr. Githua Martin, having served as a deputy in the previous session, was well conversant with the secretariat roles, under his watch, the 12th KenyaMUN session became a smooth ride.
It is very interesting how shifts occured on the KenyaMUN top office from its inception because in the 13th session (2014-2015), another first happened. A bureau member, for the first time rose to power. Former Finance Director, Ms. Edna Fayande, became the predecessor to Mr. Martin Githua, and a very big pacesetter for bureau members eyeing the Secretary General's office.
Ms. Leila Shukri, who was later to be famously known as "delegates' favourite" rose up the ladder in 2015. This session marked the beginning of the sleekness in dresscode of KenyaMUN delegates. Ms. Leila ensured that delegates mastered the rules of procedure, obeyed the code of dressing and conduct, used official languages for debates and in her own style kept the interests of delegates for the Warm-Up Challenge and Mock Debates each after the other.
Now for the third year in a row, the top office was being led by female students. This was a new positive wave for the lady members of KenyaMUN. The office gave them room to grow, as people, as leaders, and as women in power. faced with a hard task to play role models on one hand and a big challenge to face the hurdles that came with women leadership (mostly that time) on another hand. And such was what the office did for Ms. Anita Vitisia between 2016-2017. She recognises her tenure as a chance of growth, and while in her growth bid, Ms. Anita ensured a larger extent of growth for KenyaMUN. she made it possible for a variety of students' areas of interest to be accomodated under KenyaMUN.
Mr. Richard Muraya then regained the boychild glory in 2018.
Mr. Richard is said to have had a way of keeping a positive attitude among the delegates. He spearheaded the 2017-2018 session diligently before handing over to yet another phenomenal lady!
In 2018, KenyaMUN's most prestigious post landed in Karen! and when it did, it landed on a change-bearer, a mother at heart and a stern law student at her time. 2018-2019 session is very important because it marks the basis of the most current KenyaMUN members. But more remarkably it marked the beginning of holding the out of town mock debates in a different environment.
Ms. Grace Maina's tenure will be remembered with the motivation of the out of town debates for the chapters out of Nairobi, bringing together students from different campuses nationwide.
The more recent session, 2019-2020 saw the Under Secretary General of The University of Nairobi, Main Campus,
Mr. Alpha Gitonga take the mantle and steer the session so successfully and with passion, until the most recently held conference in February 2020, when Mr. Jeff Kiprop took over, bearing all the stress brought about by the Corona Virus.
In conclusion, since the exit of Mr. Ronald Osumba 20 years ago, the highest office in KenyaMUN has gone through shifts numerously, falling in each campus one at a time, or repeatedly in one, not based on gender, tribe or colour, and not limited to anyone, but based on merit. You might be next!