WHAT IF COVID NEVER HAPPENED?

This year, I had several goals that I wanted to accomplish, breaking them down, they were a total of thirty-six (36) Goals. A month into the year I had already accomplished two goals, and the rest were a work in progress. When Covid-19 struck Kenya in March, most people across my circle started blaming everything on Covid19 and due to this, they did not put much effort on the goals.

This pandemic brought a first-time experience for most of us. Most of us had to work from home, institutions had to switch to online learning, a move that most were not ready for. Nonetheless, I finished the syllabus and did my university exams.

Lately, I have found myself thinking ‘What if Covid19 never happened?’  Would our country’s economy be better? Would people be happier? Would there be minimal unemployment for the youth and more opportunities available? Would people save and invest more? Would I have fully achieved on my goals?

We have individuals who have the gift of making the most out of every situation in life and find a way to thrive, these are the positive thinkers. There is a group of people who find something and someone to blame for every wrong decision made, or bad happenings in their lives. I challenge you to practice positive thinking and surround yourself with positive vibes and see what happens. While at this, here are a few questions to ponder on.

  1. How have you used your year? Have you learnt something new?
  2. To what extent have you blamed your current situation on the pandemic?
  3. In future, how can you make the best out of tough situations and continue dancing to the music like no one is watching?

I must admit that I did well on some aspects this year, and not so well in others. I did a good job blaming Covid-19 until I took time to do personal reflections. My accountability partners, mentors and coaches could not hear any of my excuses about Covid-19. This in turn triggered redirection and restructuring of some of my 2020 goals

Think of your 2020 goals and strike out what you managed to achieve. Have a personal reflection on the goals you did not manage to achieve and the hinderances that stood on the way. Take note of the lessons and use them as you prepare for the new year. This will help you plan better for next year.

The pandemic stroke hard, leading to job losses, pay-cuts, frustrations, and loss of loved ones. Despite all this, I tried to stand strong and maintain focus, Thanks to the peoole who journeyed with me. To my mentors, my Coach and my accountability partners, Cheers! I could not have done this without you.

As we step into the new year, here are a few tips on how we all can maintain focus and withstand all forces:

  1. Have accountability partners – Once you have a list of goals you would like to achieve in 2021, select a few individuals and share your goals with them for the sole purpose of holding you accountable (These should be individuals who believe in the beauty of your dreams and are not afraid to call you out or tell you the bitter truth if need be)
  2. Have a mentor – A mentor is someone who sees potential in you, and is willing to share their experience, skills, and life lessons to points you to the right direction. They cheer you on and have your best interest at heart
  3. Take an audit of your friends – Evaluate your friendships and let go of those that do not add value to your life, and as you do that, think of the kind of friend you as well. Are you good enough for those who associate with you?

Once this is done, analyse your wheel of life to have a quick check on how you balanced your life is, and pick lessons and list action points that will enable you live a more balanced, healthy, and fulfilling life in the year ahead.

As you close the year, exercise gratitude for life, health, love and always celebrate your small wins and milestones. This was a tough year, but here we are, full of energy, belief, positive and optimistic of the year 2021.

Happy New Year 2021!

Written By: Cheboi Cheboi, Programmes Officer at Emerging Leaders Foundation

Impact,Inspiration and Intentional Virtual learning during the pandemic

Have you ever been sleep deprived? Wondering what’s stressing or eating you up? That was me in March, wondering what to do since schools were closed and the virus was quickly spreading throughout the country. I tossed on my bed as my hand quickly reached out to my phone under my pillow. As I was browsing through Facebook posts, I came across a call for application.

I quickly started the process, in between the application I realised I was giving out too much information and then a voice at the back of my mind said ‘you have applied for many of these with no reply so why should you continue’. Then my friend’s voice came in again to interrupt my voice by saying, ‘Gloria, you always don’t finish these applications, so you end up not being proactive.’ I immediately convinced myself to finish the application in the middle of the night.

Days passed and I forgot all about the application until one day, when someone called to introduce themselves as Jim India from Emerging Leaders Foundation Africa.  I had already read that name on my True Caller app and over-ruled it as a scam, (India is a place not a name, hahaaa). Since I could not remember the application and being preoccupied with other duties at our farm, I asked the speaker if it was okay for him to call the next day around 9am for the interview, he agreed and the interview was set.

I rushed home, prepared myself (goggling) what ABLI was, what I had applied for and what would be expected of me. As agreed, Jim India again called at 9am and from the corner of my bed I replied to each and every question that he asked of me. At the end of the interview, I had to go back through my emails to check the specific advert for the application.

I confirmed that Stella Cheboi had sent me an email; unfortunately, I thought it was another scam. I dismissed it as a result of fraudulent activities and scams that continue to flood the internet.

Surprise! Surprise! ABLI was not a joke or a scam, it was legit!

The African Biblical Leadership initiative is a youth program under the Bible Society of Kenya in partnership with Emerging Leaders Foundation that aspires to equip youth with biblical leadership skills that enables them to address contemporary issues and exhibit Christian values in their day- to- day activities.

The lessons I undertook have helped me to understand my personality type, tell my story in a structured way, and to write my own stories.  I have come to a better understanding of the use of hashtags, using my social media accounts wisely and refining my leadership skills in order to create a strong brand as a young pan-Africanist. Now I know how to spend my time while online wisely, sell value for my products or services and voice up as a Youth.

ABLI has not only honed and added valuable skills to my life; it has enabled me to meet friends, network with them and most importantly I gained a mentor to walk with me along this journey. I have also been able to participate in community service in the beautiful city of Nairobi, Mathare where we equipped class 8 pupils with writing materials to use as the prepare for their exams, facemasks to protect them from the virus ravaging the whole country and encouraging them to do their very best.

During one of the virtual meetings Caren Wakoli mentioned, “When the world sits down, STAND UP, when the world stands up, STAND OUT, when the world stands out, BE OUTSTANDING. When the world becomes outstanding, be THE STANDARD.”

I am truly blessed.

Asante Sana ABLI, Mungu Awabariki.

 

By: Gloria Hlontsatsa Musau, #ABLI2020 fellow.