SI Graduate Spotlight: Sarijore Parashina – 4th generation – What is in a name?


4th generation – What is in a name?

 “You can call me Sari,” he tells me. That was after I butchered his name a few times in my effort to pronounce it right. “Not to worry” he continues, “many do so and for that I routinely introduce myself as Sari.”

So, I had to ask, what nationality are you?

With a smile on his face, he says Kenyan,  Maasai to be specific (I bet I am the only one who did not know that his is a local name). I was named after both my great grandfather and my grandfather. I believe these great men in my family are part of the reason my dad named me after them. The answer to why a name matters. I see them as the links in the chain that constantly inspires me to keep trying and venturing into the unknown terrains, embracing all the possibilities in life.

How, then, are you leaving up to the name?

Firstly I am a first born – definitely a pressure in itself. But I have gotten a hang of it. It just means I am the first to do it among my siblings and my decisions will somehow  affect their choices, directly or indirectly. For example, my younger brothers are constantly asking me to tell them what it is like to be in a “big people school”. The idea that I have the liberty to attend classes with no bells ringing to signal the end of one class and the beginning of another intrigues them. Their curiosity to join uni is brewing , and I hope when their time to join comes, they will have had some pre qualification skills of “campus life 101”. With that said, I believe I am who I am because of my family – the chain link that propels me to strive, because with them I know I have the support I need.

What do you have in common with the great men in your life,

Ha! Sari exclaims in delight, “the love for  politics”. It is an icebreaker for many conversations with them. Whether we agree or not, we challenge each other. It is always interesting to listen in as we engage, especially when the conversation shifts to history and how the decisions of past leaders affect the lives of the generations they live behind. Without knowing, the question of how my studies are coming along arises and a lesson on why it is important to find a balance in life begins another conversation.

Knowing what you know now, what would you tell “Freshman Sari”

To take it a day at a time, to always show up for classes, to ask for help when in a fix and to appreciate the dress code.

What do you mean by “appreciate the dress code”?

I can only talk for myself, though a challenge at the beginning, I now appreciate being well dressed when I come to campus because it builds my confidence. In a more subtle way, I tend to pay more attention to what I do and how I do things. One thing that always makes me smile is the reaction of my parents, relatives, and family friends when we meet during the week. I like to tell them, “your businesses are safe in my hands”. First impressions can be the last impressions that earn you a great deal. A well-groomed person is never outdated but always remains classic.

My name is Sarijore Parashina – I did my Diploma in Business Management at the Strathmore Institute and I am now pursuing a Bachelors of Commerce at the University.  Football and rugby are my favorite sports. And I enjoy reading and  listening to works by Dan Peña.


This article was written by Annete Karanja.

What’s your story? We’d like to hear it. Contact us via