My Transformation Through ABLI

When I joined ABLI I had my expectations. I wanted to grow spiritually and build a strong network of believers across the country. It has been three months since we started the program and truly I can attest the program has exceeded my expectations. I love the partnership between Emerging Leaders Foundation (ELF) and the Bible Society of Kenya (BSK) with the aim of targeting young Christians who need leadership and mentorship training. It is hard to come by such programs that are Christian based.

Our weekly classes are top-notch! The organizers spend quality time coming up with the right content and topics that are relevant in the modern world. There are things that you will rarely learn in higher institutions of learning or even understand how important they are, but through ABLI, I have been able to understand and learn on so many aspects when it comes to leadership and professionalism; Leading with Emotional intelligence, using storytelling skills as a mode to influence people, spending time to write a letter to self and many more exciting topics. At this point, I feel empowered, it is hard to imagine that we are halfway into the program.

I am grateful that I got a chance to be a part of this cohort and I would like to thank the organizers for doing a commendable job. I am also thankful for being able to put into practice all the skills gained in this program at my current workplace. My start-up CBO, Graceway Foundation Africa, has also benefited a great deal and it has experiences a great change in its management, owing to my lessons from ABLI. If there is anyone out there who is looking to improve on their leadership style or you are wondering where to start from, ABLI is here for you!

I am reminded of one topic “Letter to self”. It has changed my perspective and helped me see things differently. I have been holding lots of painful past experiences that I could not bear to share with anyone around because of the memories behind them. The speaker of this session was very engaging, her soothing voice created a comfortable environment for us to speak out. This was the same day when I shared a story that I have never attempted to pass on to anyone, this has since left me with lightness and relief in my heart.

This year has not been an easy one but ABLI has made everything work out. Thank you, Emerging Leaders Foundation and Bible Society of Kenya, for giving me and other fellows hope, courage, strength and power when we were about to give up.

 

By: Emmanuel Opar Osano, ABLI 2020

 

 

Rodgers Omollo: ELF gave me power

Growing up as an orphan is not only a challenge but an opportunity to understand and have a different view of life.  Life presented me with the opportunity to be stronger and a go-getter. My father died before I was born while my mother passed on when I was in class two. My grandmother took me in and instilled in me Christian values and how to be contented with the little.

ELF has given me the power to influence and serve my community

I always knew that in me there was passion for leadership and service, but I doubted myself based on the kind of work that life presented me including being a fishmonger and hawker. I latter landed on an NGO job which led to a poor state of mental health and depression. I wanted to quit but I was afraid of surviving without employment. ‘Dying in the line of duty is heroic but dying while unemployed is just stupid.’

Being a young person, I was always looking for networks and opportunities to grow and transform lives, to be a better version of myself.  I came to across ELF on Facebook through their call for mentees. I doubted it and thought it might be a scum having been a victim before. But then I thought, ‘Why not give it a shot, there is nothing to lose.’

Once I was done with my application, I completely forgot about it and continued with my job-search as I needed to work at a place where my mind could be at peace. Moreover, I just made the application with no expectation of feedback. Later in the month, I got a phone call for an interview in Nairobi which I could not manage to physically avail myself to. I requested for a job interview, which I got and went through it. A few days after the interview, I got an email for informing me of admission to cohort 7.

This is when my journey into being a better and a transformative leader begun. A dream fulfilled. That is how the realization to my dreams and unearthing my potentials began. That admission changed my life, entirely. I have learnt a lot; the power of networking, mentorship, and presenting myself. ELF gave me an opportunity to discover my passion and realize my path in life. ELF gave me power!

After the mentorship, I was bold enough to quit my job and start my own initiative.  I founded a youth-led organization in Homabay town by the name Activate Action (https://activateaction.org/), where am currently serving as the director and youth program officer.  The organization works with young people living with HIV, disability, and gender minority to overcome day to day challenges including g; unemployment, crime, HIV/AIDS, unhealthy relationships, mental health, and gambling. We seek to ensure that there is meaningful engagement of young people through life skills training and mentorship on Sexual reproductive health, leadership, and entrepreneurship. Currently, we are running the following programs and services:

  1. Mentorship on Sexual Reproductive Health, Mental Health, Relationships, Online Child Protection
  2. Feeding Program for Orphaned Children and Child-Headed Families
  3. Environmental conversations
  4. Online sessions on leadership, HIV management, and leadership
  5. Car wash
  6. Small scale agribusiness for the youth living with disabilities

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give, ELF has given me the power to influence and serve my community. Through ELF Staff members, trainers and fellow leaders, I learnt a lot on brotherhood and my network has really grown due to exposure and openings presented by ELF through events and forums.  One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone, that is what ELF taught me. I plan to plant the same seed that ELF planted in me to other young people in my community through activate action.

 

By Rodgers Omollo, LDP Cohort 7

NEVER DESPISE HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

I left my previous job back in 2015 because I felt like I was struggling in it. Like any other young and ambitious person, I was pretty sure beyond a doubt that I would secure yet another opportunity of choice in the soonest time possible. Turns out I was wrong! Three years went by and nothing came forth, even after making numerous applications. Out of the hundreds of applications I made, only less than five invited me for an interview and the results, negative. The quest for a job drained me and I became so desperate that at that time, I was willing to do anything to survive. I regretted my decision to quit.

It is not wrong to be ambitious; but in your ambitions, be humble.

My world was falling apart; life was getting tough each and every day; the struggle was too much and almost crushing, that I lost my sense of self. I significantly lost confidence and self-esteem and this made me shy away from people close to me. I was not the same person. I couldn’t face anyone or anything anymore. I felt like my life was doomed. At this point I thought of going back to the village (home) than to stay and languish in the city. I was convinced beyond a doubt that the city life was not for me. I fixed dates to travel to the village but as the day drew closer, I kept on shifting it, over and over again. My heart couldn’t let me leave the city. Looking back, I realize that God was preparing me for a breakthrough.

One evening while pondering on my next move, it hit me that I needed to find a ‘small job’ that would help me fend for myself. Out of all the job hunts I did; I attached my certificates and put my best foot forward but that didn’t work. I re-thought my strategy. This time, I opted to try using my driver’s license as a brokering bridge for a job. I looked around and saw an opportunity in the taxi industry. After availing all the necessary documents at small fee, it did not take long before I secured a job as a driver. The job was not easy at the beginning though, but it being the only job available, I had to do it to my very best and passionately. I thought to myself, ‘Is God giving me a chance to reinvent myself?’ I gave the job my all and served all my clients in the most professional way. In my trips, I got to meet different kind of people and every time we interacted, a fresh energy rejuvenated my spirit bringing me confidence and hope yet again. At this juncture, more questions than answers filled me. I began having dissenting opinions on everything I believed was impossible. My eyes finally opened I started looking at things differently. A new ray of light started to shine my way.

Executing my taxi work, was the most fascinating thing for me, it gave me a chance to meet new friends to whom I learnt a lot from. It is during this period that I learnt about ELF and the good work they were doing to inspire and give hope to young people like me. Initially, I joined ELF as a service provider of the taxi service to the staff. In the course of the service and during our numerous conversations on the journey to various destinations, I got an opportunity to learn more about the mentorship program, this created an interest in me to be part of the program. Later, I joined The ABLI mentorship program offered by the Bible Society of Kenya in collaboration with ELF. The training was so amazing that it changed everything for me. It is through the program that I discovered who I really was, and what I could do. I discovered my strengths and weakness and learnt to align them for a successful living.

After graduating from the program in August 2018, I maintained contact with ELF and every time an opportunity arose, they could always call me for my services. Around February 2019, a senior ELF staff called me and asked whether I was willing to take up a job, as an assistant to one of her friends.I looked at the requirements for the job and saw that I was qualified. So I made the decision to take the offer. The job entailed driving kids to school and later the mzee to work. In addition, I acted as an office messenger and secretary at my boss’s office. To most graduates, this wouldn’t be a job they run to take. But my mentor encouraged me to take it and give it my all.

I gave it my best shot in every way – I kept time, I was disciplined, I was honest, I delivered within the required deadlines and learnt very fast in the job. One thing led to another, and within no time, on Dec 4th, 2019, I was introduced to British Engineering Services (BES) Group as a project support officer. Currently am a supervisor at the same company working in nine counties.

In a nutshell, my journey has been a good one. I am not yet done; I am just hitting the midway mark. On my way to this point, I have encountered challenges that have enabled me to learn lessons and be strong.

One key lesson I wish to give young people is this –  it is not wrong to be ambitious; but in your ambitions, be humble. Utilize small opportunities that come your way and ensure that you play a great role in preparing yourself for the future. When you keep the focus, you will get to your dream destination.

Never ever despise a humble beginnings.  Everything happens for a reason. When I left my job, it sounded crazy, but had I not taken that step of faith, maybe I wouldn’t be where I am now. I kick-started my journey as a driver and now I am a Supervisor at an international company. What if I had turned down the offer?

 

By Elijah Kipkurui- ABLI 2018

Mirror on the wall……..

How many times have you wronged yourself by lying to yourself? How many times have you robbed yourself of peace, just because you were not honest with yourself?

I would say that I have been guilty for a very long time. I had always disqualified myself even before anyone did. I would always shy away from taking responsibilities because I didn’t want to let anyone down. Little did I know that I was not doing anyone a favor but I was missing out on opportunities to learn and grow.

Life is about iterating. Executing all ideas you have and moving forward. Playing small does no one a favor.

I wanted to impact lives but I was afraid of the actual reality which didn’t look rosy. As we all know, reading books to learn how to ride a bicycle is impossible. You have to fall a few times as you ride it. I am a first born in a family of four children. One would think that since I am a firstborn I would naturally want to be a leader everywhere. Well that was not my case. Nothing pained me more than knowing at a certain instance I might have failed as a big sister.

I wish I would have refocused my attitude and learnt from those situations to inspire myself and my brothers. I missed out on so much that I would tell my younger 10 year old self to take the risk and explore leadership opportunities. I wish I was not ashamed of my situation and was bold enough to ask questions of where I felt inadequate. Wishes are not horses so I can’t ride them.

Thank God for chances. Now I know better and that is why I won’t waste any more chances. That is how I decided to vie for Vice President ABLI 2020 Class, evening Cohort. In my case, whether I won or lost the election, it would still be a win for me. This candidacy for me is a sign of taking risk by putting myself out there to serve and be held accountable.

Life is about iterating. Executing all ideas you have and moving forward. Playing small does no one a favor. Go big or go home. It is time we start living our best lives as we make other people’s lives better and worth living just like ELF and BSK are doing.

In the poem Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson, there is a line that states, “As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

We can lie to everyone. We even might think that we can lie to God. But one person you can never lie to is yourself no matter how much you try. So fellow leaders look at the mirror and tell yourself sorry for not being honest with yourself. Look at the mirror and see the greatness in you. Look at the mirror and say, “Mirror mirror on the wall I see a bold, beautiful/handsome and legendary lady/Gentleman.”

Step up and Stand Out. Just Do it!

 

Written by; Mutethya Mutweko, ABLI 2020

Looking Back, I have no Regrets

God indeed is at work in our lives, it’s just that it doesn’t always look or feel like it. Or even worse, he is not physical enough for us to directly interact with him.  I have always been seeking clarity and direction from God as I felt my life was a little bit off and I want pursuing my passion enough. I needed a change on my career path, it was one of those roller-coaster seasons that we are all encounter at some point of our lives.,

It was one those casual moments when you lazily spend time scrolling your phone and switching from one social media site to the other -just to pass time- when I bumped into a poster on the African Biblical Leadership Initiative (ABLI). After a close look at it, I thought “Why not give it a shot, who knows.” I had previously made so many applications without response, in my hazy thoughts, I expected the same with this one. I did fill the application form, I do not remember the exact details, but the form required a bunch of details.

Once done, my life continued normally (nomaree 😉) I forgot the application and moved on with my daily activities. Furthermore, I just made the application with no expectation of feedback.

Alas! The unexpected happened. I got a call from one of the ELF staff members informing me that he had called in regards to my ABLI application that they had received. He took me through a brief interviewing process over the call. At this point, everything else picked up fast, I got an email informing me that I was one of the successful applicants. I cannot explain the emotions that I went through in that moment, but I can tell one thing, I was excited and expectant of the unknown that awaited.

This is when my journey into being a better and transformative leader begun. Dreams fulfilled. My dreams for becoming a better and transformative leader begun. That phone call and the email changed my life. In that moment, I knew God had answered my prayer. Thank God for people amazing  people like ELF staff members who were always calling to encourage and push me into not letting this opportunity go at the beginning of the program when I was facing challenges with the whole idea of online sessions. Well, they were right on this as it is by far one of the best decisions of my life. I was also so surprised that my one of my close friends and church mate Florence, was also enrolled in the program. This made me feel much at home.

ABLI has taught me a lot, it has been a mind-changer.  The first module, self-awareness has helped me become more aware of who I am as a person. It has also helped me understand my emotions better, be more in tune with my emotions and know how to relate with different people. To seek to understand rather than being understood.

This training has helped me deal with my own fears and allow myself to be vulnerable to growth. I have also learnt to tell my story without guilt and shame and be proud of the baby steps I am making in pursuit of my dreams.

That you to Emerging Leaders Foundation and the Bible Society of Kenya for giving us an opportunity learn, unlearn, grow and sharpen our skills in order to be effective, relevant and enlightened even as we fulfill our God given mandates in life.

 

Written by; Jess Kaurie, ABLI 2020

“We all have to strive for the Best and Be Positive,” Tamara

As we have all witnessed, these turbulent times brought forth by the onset of the novel coronavirus have led to significant changes in our lives. We went from enjoying social interactions, freely attending social events over the weekends, and generally having great times with our friends, to barely being able to step outside our own homes out of fear that we might become part of the daily stats that are given by the Ministry of Health.

These changes have been so consequential, they have also affected the school lives of not only me but millions of students around the world. Some haven’t, and perhaps will never get to truly experience the culmination of education for a high school student. Some will never get to celebrate their hard work and accomplishments along with their parents, teachers, and fellow students. Although most, I included, were fortunate enough to participate in some sort of makeup online graduation ceremony, majority will agree that it was a subpar substitute for the real deal. As though being denied graduation by the pandemic wasn’t cruel enough, some of us might not be attending university in-person this year. Currently, it seems like we might never free ourselves from the thralls of the coronavirus.

In these unprecedented times, feeling bad about the past doesn’t help to solve anything.

Okay, let’s pause from Corona for a minute, I can say I was one of probably thousands or millions of first-year university students who were looking forward to orientation week and making new friends. The adrenaline rush and anxiety of saying the right thing to create the perfect impression, the fear of rejection, not fitting in, or maybe even fitting into the wrong groups. It could have been quite the experience, one that I had been anticipating for approximately 547 days (yes, there had been a countdown).  I can only imagine what it would have been like.

One of my personal habits that more than often works to my detriment is that I like to please people and while that’s fitting in a new environment, it sometimes means I create this impressionable persona that’s not a true reflection of who I am. I suppose we’ve all been in such situations, many times in an elevator pitch where you can only hope that the right side of the coin lands facing upwards by the end of the coin toss.

Now back to the elephant in the room, the pandemic. It has been a time of self-reflection and many, including myself, are now focusing on what character we would like to present after this and which is our best foot to put forward. It’s quite a challenge when we don’t really know what ‘new normal’ really means. Will we have to embody strength, courage, adaptability, unfamiliar compassion for some of us? So, what does this mean for me in my next steps?

Despite all that has happened during these past months, I can’t continue to allow it to harm my life and my mindset. The pandemic has left the world reeling and desperately searching for any sense of normalcy and with this comes new opportunities to thrive. I may not start university on campus but, this comes with the new experience of being part of the first cohort to start university online. Admittedly, while this may not be the most appealing introduction to such a vital chapter in my life, it’s quite extraordinary to begin this journey in a way nobody has ever done.

To conclude, I know I can’t reverse the flow of time. I can’t miraculously prevent the disease from infecting so many people worldwide and I definitely can’t forbid the virus from existing in the first place. What I can do is accept all that has happened, pray for the best, and move forward. In these unprecedented times, feeling bad about the past doesn’t help to solve anything. Instead, I chose to take this opportunity to find some good and look forward to what the future may hold. We all have to continue to strive for the best, despite the situations we might find ourselves in. Wouldn’t you agree?

 

Submitted by:
Tamara Lugonzo- Communications Volunteer, ELF

When the Goal is Bigger than the Odds; My Journey so Far

If you are like me, you most likely spend significant time on social media, whether for news, entertainment or just catching up with friends and family. The weekly screen time report I get on my phone has consistently shown that social media is the third most time-consuming activity on my phone after productivity and reading. The report indicates that I spend an average of twenty-two hours a week on social media via the phone.

This was the case early in the year when I stumbled upon a Facebook post calling for applications for the 2020 African Bible Leadership Initiative (ABLI). Having missed a similar opportunity in 2019, I was keen to sign up for this one and in no time, my application was complete. A fortnight later, I received the news I had been waiting for- I had been accepted to be part of the 2020 cohort.

We are encouraged, challenged, motivated and inspired by men and women who have a mastery of their respective subjects and deliver with great humility.

Then came the unprecedented and unexpected, Covid-19. The pandemic hit our nation and its effects were slowly being felt in every home, office, school and church. Soon after, all forms of public gatherings were suspended, throwing our planned classes in disarray. Traditionally, ABLI sessions would be held in a brick-and-mortar location with all participants physical present but with the preceding situations, we had to go virtual, the digital shift triumphed.

This is the sixth week of the program, and it feels like I have been at it for months. The infill of knowledge, self-discoveries, eye-opening interactions and invaluable networks are what makes ABLI the best thing for anyone to invest their time in. It has been said numerous times ‘You cannot lead others if you can’t lead yourself.’ This underscores the reason why personality types had to be the first of the eighteen sessions wrapped in seven modules.

Thanks to the session on emotional intelligence, my group members and I now understand that our own feelings and the feelings of others affect and contribute to effective management of our emotions in the different relationships we all have.

Everyone has a story and it is important to own your story. Heal from its pains, forgive the wrongdoers therein, learn from it and as you rise from the ashes, cast your vision. The session of storytelling and life mapping has helped me look back at my past with nothing to regret but great pride about how far I each have come from, the many mountains I’ve surmounted and the successes within. Through storytelling and life mapping, I can now pour out my life into the younger generation in fifteen minutes or less. I also can now clearly see the patterns and influences of the decisions I make today. What this means is that I am at a better position to know what to avoid, embrace and chase.

When was the last time you wrote yourself a letter? Whether you wrote it to your younger self or future self is still worth applauding. I personally was taken decades back to my sixteen-year-old self. I was just joining high school, and behind me, I was leaving a tainted reputation. A reputation characterised by dropping out of school countless times, gambling and general lawlessness. This came with shame, scorn and alienation. However, looking back, I realise that age sixteen was my turning point, hence the reason I wrote a letter my younger self. In that letter, I encouraged myself to forgive myself for my juvenile errors, forgive my foes, reconcile with the distant and face forward with readiness to conquer the next decade.

Today, I am glad I joined ABLI. Even with the disruption caused by the global pandemic, we are moving on as if nothing happened. The sessions on Zoom are just as lively and meaningful as though we were meeting physically. I must commend the ELF team for convening such a resourceful faculty. Week after week, we are encouraged, challenged, motivated and inspired by men and women who have a mastery of their respective subjects and deliver with great humility. Their preparedness shows in every slide and sentence.

On our WhatsApp group, we’re family. Though we’ve never met physically, we already have such great bonds. We discuss everything, from the sessions we’re having to current affairs to common leadership pitfalls.

I thank God for granting me this opportunity. Now I pray that you too will be led to grab it in the next calling.

Do not be afraid to take up leadership training and positions. As John C. Maxwell said, “Everything rises and rests on leadership.”

Submitted by:
James Sakwa, ABLI 2020

What if I embraced myself earlier on?

What if I believed?

What if I stepped out boldly, unafraid, and just launched out?

What if I stopped falling into a comparison trap?

What if I embraced myself?

I do not know about you, but I have asked myself such questions. As a young girl, I have felt not good enough and trapped in the prison of self-doubt. Guess what happened? Self-esteem hit the bottom sea; fear choked my every being; self-doubt curled my heart and mind into shambles. I admired to be another. I felt others were always better than myself. Even after knowing how I am shaped differently, I still hid in the cocoon of, ‘They are always better than me.’

My story has an influence, I should own it, embrace it, and share it proudly, it might inspire someone

Well, this year something happened.

After vehemently praying for a spirit of boldness, I resolved to BE ME and unapologetically explore opportunities and dive in with a committed and intentional heart. I was convinced and convicted of taking charge of my life, take it by its horns, in faith, and keep moving forward. Do you know what? We do not become by feeling sorry about ourselves. We become by taking responsibility for every minute of our lives and making it count. I am glad I chose this path. I have made my youthful life count by joining ELF’s program African Biblical Leadership Initiative (ABLI). Here, Emerging Leaders are discovered and trained to be responsible changemakers in their personal lives and in the society.

As an emerging leader, I am uniquely designed to effect and affect my spheres. Since God has specially crafted me to fulfill certain purposes, I can only realize them when I get to know myself. Self-awareness is a doorway to unraveling all that I am intended to be in this life. Through this lesson, I understood my personality, embraced it and right now, I am more aware of myself and actuating ME in my passion and work. I am different amazingly. Notably, I have intentionally decided to embrace people and not disregard them because of our differing personalities. We are molded differently and the best we can do is accommodate and learn from our amazing divergent personalities.

I love stories, more-so analogies that make a write up interesting and easy to understand. Well, thinking through my life story, sharing it, and retelling it to a close buddy is relieving. I am more grateful for every season of my life, something I couldn’t even think of a while back. The beautiful, the not so good to mention, the highs and lows moments, they all make your story beautiful. This has enabled me to look back, reflect on past life happenings and reminded me of how my journey Iis this far. My story has an influence, I should own it, embrace it, and share it proudly, it might inspire someone. That makes an Impactful leader!

Every lesson has made sense. Writing letters to self has reminded me of my passion, my strengths, the bold girl from the village who is fearless and against all odds has scaled heights in the most unlikely environments. “How could that be princess? Through the difficulties, you have conquered. You have made it over time because God’s wall has continuously shielded you from storms. Keep conquering, won’t you?” I wrote to my 12-year-old-self.

These reflections have kept my heart tuned to whom I have always been. Reminded me of how much potential I have and how much I’m yet to achieve.

I am BECOMING.

 

Submitted by:

Susan Ndiangui-ABLI 2020

5 Tips You Need for Successful Personal Development

Sometimes, I wonder why some of us go through life without a plan. Would you have a tailor do your outfit without a plan? Or a contractor build your house without a plan and figuring it out as they go on? I bet you wouldn’t. Why then do you then fumble in life without stopping to think on where you’re headed? You need to plan on where you want to be clearly and make deliberate decisions on the direction you want to follow. The journey to personal development begins with self-awareness. Self-awareness is the ability to understand one’s thoughts, behaviors, motivations, weaknesses and reactions and everything else that makes us unique. You must actively seek to understand your strengths, weaknesses, emotions, motivations and your reactions to various situations. According to Maslow (1970), people have an inbuilt need for personal development which occurs through self-actualization.

For you to be successful you have to study what successful people do and apply it.

Life is competitive and unless we become tougher, we won’t be able to achieve anything.

  1. Set Goals

Personal development is interesting. Having a clear plan of where you want to be in future is part of personal development. It is easier to improve when you have a purpose of doing so.  Write down your goals in order of their importance and constantly review them.

  1. Assess Your Skills

You now have a clear vision of where you want to go but do you have the necessary means to take you there? First, you need to assess your skills to see whether they are in line with your dream. Constantly work on the skills you have to master the unique ones. Then list all the skills you should improve in order to realize your goals. Do whatever it takes to acquire the skills you are lacking.

  1. Discipline

After you have assessed your skills and acquired new ones, it’s now time to hit the road to your destination. Discipline is the ability of getting started regardless of your emotional state. Self-discipline is nothing but empowering your will and training the brain. After drawing your goals and acquiring the necessary skills, set a target and concentrate on it. It’s all about getting out of your comfort zone.

  1. Hard Work

Success doesn’t come on a silver platter, you must work hard. Personal development takes time and hard work. Understand how much work you need to put in in order to fully function. Employ a fixed schedule that you will commit to. Commitment has a positive effect on self-development.

  1. Be Unique

Often in life, we meet people who leave a very deep impression on us and make us admire everything about them. While it is in order to draw inspirations, avoid comparing yourself with them. Ask yourself who you need to be to become in order to be successful. Do what is in line with your vision and avoid the unnecessary pressure that comes from comparing yourself with others.

 

In a nutshell, personal development is a life time investment that seeks to improve your productivity and quality. When you put time and effort in developing yourself, the results are amazing. Personal development helps you manage yourself regardless of the situation you are in. Pick those tips and build on them. Life is competitive and unless we become tougher, we won’t be able to achieve anything.

 

Submitted By:

Shalom Musyoka, Cohort 8.

My Turban and I

Today I wore a headwrap;
A colleague asks me,
Why are you wearing a headscarf,
And yet your hair is so neatly done?
Why are you covering it ?
Because I want to, I said.
Because I can.
Because wearing a headwrap,
Is fashion too.
It’s my Tuesday morning style, is that okay ?
It’s not about bad hair or good hair.
Where do we get these notions from ?
Can’t one just wrap her head ?
Ah, the life of a woman.
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
If I shave, I’m making a statement,
If I straighten, I’m making a statement,
If I leave it in Afro, I’m making a statement,
If I put it in dreads,
Or plait it in braids,
Or have it in corn rows, I’m making a statement.
Well, no, not always,
Sometimes, yes, sure,
But sometimes I do whatever it is because I can.
No need to make assumptions,
And don’t worry about it,
Or about me,
My head and I are okay,
My hair and I, we’re actually just fine.
And the red, it wasn’t to make a statement either.
Later I took it off,
To make a statement,
That I was now ready,
To take off my headwrap,
My headscarf,
My turban,
Because I could,
Because I wanted to.
That’s all.

#IWD2020

Submitted by:
Elishibah Msengeti Poriot
Manager, Leadership Development and Mentorship