Saturday, 28 December 2013

The Year That Was: A 2013 Reflection

In April, I had to move from a wonderful place in Limpopo which has very fertile land and lots of fruits. Though the reasons for moving have been unclear, it takes lots of courage and confidence to speak out about the reality. I moved due to Xenophobic attack. This may be a sad thing but the great news is that I survived 2 incidences, one of food poisoning and the other a planned physical attack. This is not an exceptional or isolated case as there have been recurrent incidences to innocent and hardworking Africans and can only hope that one day, it shall come to a complete end. Thanks to my wonderful organization which withdrew me immediately and to my wonderful workmates who continue with the work which we started in supporting communities. It has always been interesting to discover that the people, who commit these heinous acts, do so due to sheer ignorance, lots of insecurity and self-mistrust. For sure what does not kill you, builds you and so I learnt to be more careful and trust my instincts.

Through interaction with a diverse community of people, my patience and viewpoint of so many things changed for the better. I am able to appreciate a lot of things which I had initially taken for granted.
I have come to appreciate and connect more with my family and close friends while blessing and wishing my enemies well. Through-out the years, my family has always been and will still remain my central focus after God. I have very loving Mother, Father, Sisters, Brothers and Partner who have a very special place in my heart. My close friends, mentors, workmates, fellows and other relatives have continued to be wonderful in my 2013 journey. All these have been a great blessing to me.

Young people in the wonderful Itaava Development Youth Group (IDYG) supported each other and took up its leadership to continue with the great vision of developing each other and the community as well. These are upcoming great leaders in 4-5 years time. IDYG is a youth group I established in my rural community in the year 2009 after University. Thanks to another organization I co-founded with a wonderful team of top-notch professions, the Partnership for Growth Foundation (PFGF).The team has been supporting the young people from the youth group & the community by offering them jobs and to the schools (students / learners and teachers) by offering academic reading material and space through a community Library which they direly needed.  

Lastly, we lost Nelson R. Mandela, a great son of Africa and world Icon. He was a great inspiration to many generations and will remain so forever. Seeing him as he lay peacefully in Union buildings on December 12, 2013 was a proof that everyone is a mortal being and must play his/her role in this world. My prayers are with his widow Graca Machel who really has had a difficult time in mourning and to the rest of his family as well.

As a parting shot, I would like to share Robin Sharma’s 53 greatest Lessons of 2013. My Top 10 that resonated with me this year were:
  1. Why resist change when it’s the main source of your growth?
  2. Adore your parents. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.
  3. Have the discipline to clean out all the energy-draining people in your life. You really do rise or fall to the level of your associations.
  4. Talk less. Do more.
  5. Model Mandela and you’ll find at the end of your life you lived an awesome one.
  6. Money invested in personal development and professional growth generally has a 30X plus return on investment.   
  7. Self-belief and self- trust is so incredibly important.
  8. Spend time in nature to renew and refuel.
  9. The more you serve, the more joyful you’ll become.
  10. Life’s short. Have fun.
As the year 2013 comes to an end, I appreciate you very much and pray that all your wishes for 2014 are granted. I believe you will be an outstanding person in the coming year.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Life - Created for God's Purpose

Over the years, I have been doing community service work in the social and economic development with all ranges of generations. Along the way, I have met and worked with great people who drew me closer to God; some by leaving and others by sticking by my side. Some chose to walk the journey with me, others threw stones at me. One thing that I promised God is to pick up those stones and build staircases, bridges and pillars so that His work could continue shining even brighter.

Many questions have been asked about how its been possible. Most of these questions are challenging to answer directly (Yes/No) because one thing I am sure about is that I found my purpose in life and I am fulfilling the requirements that God had and still has when He brought me to this earth and continues to keep me alive. I have passion for it and most of all the drive and energy keeps on increasing. Whoever has worked with me, through me or been following me will attest to this. If you are still struggling with discovering your forte, please read The monk who sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma.This guy has been a great friend of mine and this book is an ICON.

One amazing thing about what I do is that it just flows naturally. I always pray and thank God that He uses me as His instrument of development and for sure He always does. I dream dreams, some of which are amazing other so big that I get scared. As Robin Sharma advises in his book “Who will cry when you die” that your fears are your limits, so I set to surpass those limits by conquering my fears no matter how big or small they are. 

The beauty of it all is that most of them come to reality. I remember one of my nieces coming to ask me a question while I was deep asleep and I just woke up and started sharing about my dream into the future that there shall be a community resource center with a mega Library where all people could access. Also about how young vulnerable people would create jobs and develop my village and largely my country,  Kenya. After telling her the whole dream, I went back to sleep. This amazed her and she only told me about it after about 3 weeks. A year down the line, this dream came to reality. Many more still come and pass and I thank God for all this. 

I appreciate what God has granted me so far. I love competition but with only one person-ME. I set and signed an agreement that I shall not compete with anyone else in the world and that agreement stays put. Through this, I have seen limits/ problems become challenges which I have tackled bravely and surpassed them. Some comrades have tried competing with me and I always sit back, watch them struggle very hard. This is usually very comical and I always pray that they discover sooner than later what it is costing them given that I am not a competitor to them. In a game, you can only win if you have a competitor or more. Have seen people get frustrated due to this, some, on discovering have become great comrades and we work together towards a common goal while others get frustrated and start fighting only to realize that I am not wiling and ready to do so. Others have used cunning ways through innocent people but God has been so kind to them and to me that I discover and withdraw. I pray for such people that they find their true purpose in life.The beauty of all this is that there is continued growth and development. 

The big challenge to you my friend is: Have you found your purpose in life?

Monday, 18 March 2013

10 Reasons Why I Believe in & Happy Kivutha Kibwana is My Governor

  1.  He loves God;
  2. He is an enlightened professional, IT savvy and a person of high   integrity; This makes him a good manager of the county resources;
  3.  He is reality Driven: focuses on here and now most and into the   future with little attention of the past. This, I believe will transform Makueni County into the “Asia” of Kenya;
  4. He has the ‘feel’ of the youth and women;
  5. He is calm, collected, intelligent;
  6. He has great knowledge and has good land policies: This will help in cushioning Makueni county from issues of boundaries both county level (Konza and Voi) and local level;
  7. He is warm to people and connects with all levels of people; He has great networks;  His poetic skills are excellent and always have a message. I remember his poem in Kikumini Parish in 2006 which was very touching;
  8. He is passionate about his work;
  9. He is aware of sustainable development strategies for Makueni County;
  10. He is a team player and believes in people.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Operation Vote 2013 - A Message to My Kenyan Colleagues

 It was supposed to be operation 2012 but it moved to 2013. How longer can/could we wait? 

No more, time should be taken, we should act now. I am acting now? Are you? This is my country…. My country, my pride. I shall be responsible for the positive growth, development and addressing challenges facing my country because I own a stake of it. 

The battle is here, who will win? The best battles are collective, coordinated ones and they bear much more impact as compared single-handed battles. 

Kina dada na kaka, je tuko tayari? Maisha ya leo na kesho yadumu juu yako na mimi. Je, ndugu na dada zangu, vijana/watoto walio wachanga watasemaje juu yetu maka ijayo? Tutakuwa mashujaa au vipi? Kenya ni yako, Kenya ni yangu. Mwaka ndo huo; Katiba tuliyoipigania pamoja na dada na kaka zetu walio umri mkuu ipo na ni wajibu wetu kuitimiza ndoto. 

Chukua hatua sasa. Elimisha mkenya mwenzako kuhusu uchaguzi bora, kiongozi bora kwa maisha bora yatakayodumu. Himiza wakenya kupiga kura.  This is the time my dear sisters and brother to enlighten fellow Kenyans and engage actively in election of a suitable, reliable and responsible leadership for a sustainable positive future of our great country. Let us be heroes of the world. 

Kenya is known for its greatness and fellow Africans are hoping that we can put our leadership in good order. Quoting Prof. Darkoh of Botswana in a discussion here in South Africa 2 months ago (November 29, 2012 during GIS day), he said  “Kenya is a great and an iconic country in Africa and it can lead Africa to greater heights if only you got good and responsible leadership. This ethnic divisions and fights are really working against your country and we hope that it shall be addressed soon”  The challenge to me and you my fellow Kenyan is “can we unite on issue based politics and issue based leadership as opposed to person and ethnic based leadership?” 

We are unique in our own right and we need to explore our potential in 2013 and beyond. You may ask what my role is while I am so far (In South Africa)? Though far, I am so much in Kenya. I offer guidance and advises to my mentees who are running for office; most of whom are older than me. I offer advisory services to the electorate as well. My emails and facebook inbox are usually so full of mails and messages requesting for clarification, advise and views on various political issues. In as much as I would have loved to ignore all these given my tight “official” schedules, I feel very much obligated and responsible to respond to matters concerning my country’s development and also my County, Makueni. 
Every action counts no matter how small. Your action counts no matter your age, color, race, orientation, height, status, distance from home country or county. 

The real scorers of a goal in any game are the players in the field and not the spectators or cheerleaders. The big question for each of us as the youth and professional is “will you be a spectator or a player in the political game?” Let us actively participate in all ways possible and take good advantage of the opportunities right now for a better tomorrow.  

As we get to the ballot box, let us get be conscious and vote in leaders who understand and act on inclusive & friendly policy issues, development issues and defend our country. Let us start engaging early, plan early, work harder than before to get the best leadership and work towards proper implementation of the constitution. 
This is a litmus test my dear sisters and brothers. Proper and quality leadership should be our goal and vision 2020. Let us start now towards 2013. 

N/B: This is an edited version of my winning blog  in the "Akina dada, operation Vote 2013" blogging competition by Young Women Leadership Institute.