Salim Mariaka is one of the 52 students of the pioneer class of the MKU School of Medicine. An ‘A’ student who loves salsa and swimming, he tells Solomon Kahiga why joining the School is the best decision he has ever made.
What attracted you to the MKU School of Medicine?
Actually I had applied for a Statistics and Computer Science course at another institution but when I heard that MKU is offering the MBChB programme, I changed my mind. Surgery and medicine are my passion.
How was the selection process like?
Very competitive. I had an A-(minus) KCSE mean grade and wasn’t quite sure I’d be among the chosen ones.
Best and worst subjects at KCSE?
My best subject was Biology, in which I scored an A. Worst? Kiswahili. I scored a C+(plus)
Has the MBChB training met your expectations?
Yes. Actually, the training is very intense and focused. Our classes start at 8.00am and end at 5.00 pm, although there are some lecturers who prefer to start their classes as early as 7.00am. The training involves both practical and theory. The lecturers are wonderful because they ensure that we totally understand what they are teaching us. Am enjoying every bit of it. We have all the necessary facilities and the laboratories are very well equipped. (The lecture rooms are located at the ultra-modern General Kago Road Anatomy Lab neighbouring Thika Main Campus).
You’ve to endure this 8am – 5pm routine for almost six years……
Yes, and I’m prepared. I had always yearned for this opportunity to help my fellow human beings by becoming a medical doctor.
Tell us about your family?
I’m the first born in a family of six of us. My twin sister is studying Communication at Daystar University.
What challenges have faced so far?
There is a lot of noise especially in the hostels. I’m not used to noisy places.
What do you do at your leisure time?
I joined the Salsa dancing group because dancing is my hobby. On weekends, I hang out with my friends at the villas and also swim at the university swimming pool.