SI Graduate Spotlight: John Marol Kuch – From South Sudan to the world


You might wonder, “What’s a South Sudanese lad who doesn’t speak a lick of Swahili doing at Strathmore University in Kenya?” Quite a tale it is, laced with laughter, academic triumph, and the kind of personal growth that makes for irresistible storytelling!

 Meet John  Marol Kuch,- the charismatic student who swapped his ‘webale’ for ‘asante’, storming the corridors of Strathmore University’s International Relations department like a seasoned diplomat in a freshly laundered suit. John arrived at Strathmore armed with mostly English vocabulary, a courageous spirit, and a wonderfully baffling disregard for language barriers. In no time, he found himself effortlessly juggling between the complexities of International Relations terminology and the nuances of  Swahili, mastering both with enthusiasm.

John quickly discovered that Strathmore exceeded its academic reputation. It was a melting pot of diverse cultures and ideas, a microcosm of the world outside. And here he was, a raw piece of clay ready to be molded by the whirlwind of diverse experiences.

His days at Strathmore weren’t just about sitting in lecture halls, no sir! He stumbled upon a welcoming tribe – his peers and university staff, each giving him a puzzle piece to acclimate to his new home. Studying at Strathmore felt like navigating through a whirlwind of events, people, and experiences – and John found pockets of friendships, bonds that transcended classroom hustles. He built relationships as diverse as campus food menus, each interaction adding another layer to his understanding of the world and, of course, his Swahili vocabulary.

He  embarked on his academic journey with nothing more than curiosity and a profound desire to unravel the intricate mechanisms that bind our world. Fuelled by dreams of decoding complex global dynamics, he jumped into lectures and tutorials, drinking from the fountain of knowledge and grasping the nuances of geopolitical alliances, diplomacy, international law, global finance, and socio-cultural interactions.

The essence of his studies went beyond the immediacy of classroom sessions or readings. Like a seasoned diplomat, he juggled multiple roles, diving into an array of current affairs that spun the globe. No subject was immune to his tenacious inquiries. He embraced each assignment  not just as an academic obligation, but as an opportunity to explore possible solutions to the looming challenges threatening our global peace and prosperity.

His days at Strathmore were spent learning from incredibly talented classmates and connected faculty who backed his dream to build an inclusive future. The encouraging environment nurtured  John’s interest in extracurricular activities, with a notable highlight being his participation in the Kenya Model United Nations.

His voyage in the Kenya Model United Nations marked his mileage into the practical world outside his textbooks. Between handshakes, speeches, and coffee rounds, John found himself treading the path of a true diplomat, bolstering his abilities significantly. The experience expanded his understanding of world matters, preparing him for a complex, yet promising real-world. He credits it as having transformed him  into this articulate spokesperson often found broker-shaking hands and soothing ruffled feathers. Similarly, participating in AIESEC afforded him both professional and personal growth.

John aspires for more than just personal success. His mission is to motivate South Sudanese youth, using his personal life as an inspiring testament, a clarion call for them to dream, dare, and do. He intends to employ his enriching experiences to empower his peers, fostering a culture of hard work and relentless pursuit of goals.

Balancing his serious scholastic side, he sports a tongue-in-cheek humor that adds a dash of charm to the intense, pulse-pounding environment of international politics. The reality of balancing an intense academic life and some healthy comic relief? That’s John’s cup of, well – mostly coffee.

Graduation caps are soon to fly, So, what’s next for John?  A strong believer in the power of youthful energy, John desires to set the wheels in motion by motivating his fellow young minds. Having basked in the warm embrace of his supportive peers and mentors throughout this journey, he yearns to share his enlightening experiences, inspiring others to embark on their quest for knowledge. He hopes to inspire fellow youths to envision a world that prioritizes peace, cooperation, and values such as hard work. The goal is to fuel them with his enriching experiences, to kindle dreams, nurture hopes, and ignite a fire of endless possibilities.

Cap on, certificate in hand, John gears up for his biggest leap yet – carrying Strathmore’s legacy and his striking tale of transformation back home. The journey at Strathmore for those he leaves behind  will indeed seem a bit too quiet without John’s contagious laughter and tenacious debates.

A beacon of resilience, creativity, and empowerment, he’s a testament to qualifying ‘the place’ doesn’t make ‘the person,’ but ‘the person’ indeed makes ‘the place.’ And as for his future endeavors in South Sudan, we cannot contain the excitement that lies ahead. Here’s raising our cups to John — A trailblazing Strathmore star soon to shine on the African horizons.


This article was written by Keith Albert. 

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