Graduate Spotlight: Osmond Felix – I am Strathmore and Strathmore is Me!


“When you hear about or see Osmond Felex Namayi, you see Strathmore,” he began the interview when I inquired about who he is and his background. He became part of the Strathmore Community in 2017 and his path has been defined by unwavering determination and strong desire to #BeMore and go beyond the ordinary. His journey involved being a Sales Assistant at Fontana Bookshop, switching courses, embarking on a European trip, venturing into entrepreneurship, and ultimately reaching the pinnacle of success; graduating with First Class Honours in Tourism Management.

Where it began…

“While pursuing my CPA Section 2 at Strathmore University in 2018, an intriguing job opportunity came my way through my sister. She informed me of a vacancy at Strathmore University School of Tourism and Hospitality(STH) as an Administrative Assistant intern. I seized the chance to apply, and was honoured to have been recruited. My day-to-day tasks included responding to student issues, course evaluations among many others.

Little did I know that such a job opportunity would have a transformative impact on my life. It was during my time at Strathmore that I had the privilege of crossing paths with Dr. Chiawo, the Dean of STH. His influential contributions to the industry ignited a deep inspiration within me, prompting me to set my sights on pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management at Strathmore University. With conviction in my heart, I wasted no time in submitting my application for the course, and to my delight, I received an acceptance letter. Determined to make it work, I made the decision to enroll in the evening student class, balancing my studies with a full-time job during the day. This arrangement allowed me to fulfill the required number of units while managing my work commitments.

However, financial constraints posed a significant challenge on my educational journey. Nevertheless, I applied for a scholarship through the Financial Aid Office and thankfully, my efforts bore fruit, and I was granted a partial scholarship that alleviated a portion of the financial burden.”

Life of campus

My time on campus has been nothing short of amazing as it has truly been a transformative one. Engaging in the field of tourism management has exposed me to vast knowledge and insights with the guidance and expertise of our exceptional lecturers has been integral in shaping my understanding and passion. Particularly, Dr. Chiawo. He has been instrumental in my personal development as a student and supportive in my career aspirations.

I had the privilege of serving as the Hospitality and Tourism Students of Strathmore (HATTS) Club President since 2021, and I take immense pride in reviving the club to its full potential. It serves as a valuable resource for students interested in the tourism and hospitality industries, to gain exposure to the industry, find practical field experience, and a chance to learn and travel.

Exchange Program – Life in Europe

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” – Edward Hickson’s Moral Song

In 2021, I mustered the courage to apply for an exchange program. The application process proved to be challenging and highly competitive. Fueled by determination and hope, I eagerly anticipated the news of my selection. Unfortunately, my first attempt did not yield the desired outcome as I was not selected. Undeterred by this setback, I gave it another try in 2022. This time, fortune smiled upon me, and I received the long-awaited acceptance letter. It was an exhilarating moment as I had learnt that I had been selected among two other students to study at Saxion University of Applied Science in the Netherlands from September 2022 to February 2023.

The Dutch are renowned for their impeccable timekeeping skills, and this level of precision extends to the punctuality of trains and buses that are the primary mode of transportation in the cities. As the saying goes, “early is on time, on time is late, and late is a disgrace.”  On my very first day of class, I found myself in an intriguing predicament as the train had departed without me, resulting in the unfortunate consequences of missing that class. Can you imagine embarrassment and sheer disbelief of realizing that I had already faltered on my first day. I recall walking into the class when it was about to end and the lecturer shining the spotlight on tardiness. “Your colleagues will fill you in on today’s lecture,” he mentioned, leaving me clueless and disconnected as I had yet to establish any acquaintance among my fellow students.

Nonetheless, I swiftly adapted and gradually found my footing.

Regenerative tourism- today’s buzzword

You probably have come across the phrases “ sustainable tourism” and “ regenerative tourism”. While sustainability is about not making things worse, then regenerative is about making things better, it similarly applies to tourism. How can we consider the local community and environment while ensuring that we grow economically?

Intrigued by that concept, I actively participated in a “Smart Solution Project” that allowed me to delve deep into the concept of making destinations regenerative.

Aside from the educational aspect of the trip, I explored numerous destinations like France, Germany, and several other cities in the Netherlands. It was an amazing experience of fun and adventure as I immersed myself in learning different languages, networking with diverse people of different cultures and not to mention savoring delectable cuisines.

Uni-Weekend! My business startup

Through the partnership between Strathmore University School of Tourism and Hospitality and the British Council, an exciting opportunity presented itself for me and fifteen other students. We were fortunate to be selected as participants in the “Innovation for African Universities (IAU) project, a program that involved intensive training, coaching, and mentorship, all geared towards nurturing our entrepreneurial skills while developing our own Tourism Business Startups.

I emerged as the first runners up winner and I was privileged to receive seed funding! On 31st May 2023, in the presence of the Strathmore University School of Tourism and Hospitality, which had greatly nurtured me from the beginning, I proudly launched “ Uni-Weekend Experiences”, a travel agency that aims to provide unique and memorable experiences. Head over to our Instagram and Facebook pages ( @Uniweekend) to be updated on upcoming trips and exciting offers.

While you read this…

The commencement of a journey, no matter how extensive or bumpy or challenging it is, starts with a single stride. Take that first step with an open mind. Opportunities do manifest themselves in very many ways, all you need to do is seize them and give yourbest and ask for Gods’s grace with the rest of the steps.

Plans after graduation?

I am excited about the prospect of pursuing a master’s degree to deepen my knowledge and expertise in my field. I also look to expand and advance my business and create sustainable impact in the lives of people.

Thank you, Strathmore!” Indeed, I am Strathmore and Strathmore is me!

This article was written by Jemmy Kamau.

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