Dear Future Self,
You’re 35 already! Goodness, can you believe it? Happy birthday to you my darling. How do you feel today? Excited? Happy? Hopeful? Scared? I really hope you are not growing grey hairs on your head already (laughs). But hey, I’m sure they would still look good on you.
The year is 2020. And I am typing this letter on a friend’s computer – because at 25, I still have many borrowed things. As you can imagine, this hasn’t been your typical year – let’s not even talk about the pandemic, Covid-19. But you see, even amidst all that, God has been so good to me. For starters, I now have a ‘Madam President’ prefix to my good name. Yeah-yeah, it’s just a class leadership title, and nothing close to the grandiose first-female-president dreams you had at 17. But it’s close enough. A mark of possibility, you know.
You have always been passionate about developing young African leaders. Just do it! Pour yourself into the next generation of leaders.
Alright, back to 2020 and the goodness of God.
There is this class I’m taking with the Emerging Leaders Foundation and the Bible Society of Kenya called African Biblical Leadership Initiative (ABLI). Honestly, it’s been one of those things I didn’t know I needed, until we crossed paths. Two months in and my life is revolutionized. I already feel better at leading myself and others. I am finally catching up with my potential and that is exciting! Oh sorry, I don’t mean to bore you with stuff you already know. But allow me to highlight two things out of my ABLI experience so far, as I hope to crown your 35th birthday with delightful reminders (Smiles).
First, I do hope you are where you dreamt you’d be at 35. If you are not yet there – because woman, you have had fierce dreams – I would like you to always remember, as Dr. Funson Somorin would say, “You have enough mass to cause a ripple or domino effect to the world around you.”
Oh yes, you do!
You are an amazing African Woman. An amazing African Christian Woman and there is nothing small about that. I know the years between 25 and 35 have put that to test in unthinkable ways; with a little too many confused moments trying to reconcile your womanhood to your faith and your vision for a better world. Mistakes? I guess those have been there too – all humans have a sprinkle of some. But I would like you, today, to focus on the substance of your identity. You are a woman of conviction, because you are a woman of faith. That has always been your X-Factor. Never lose sight of it. And I pray you won’t ever be ashamed to shine your light. Your world needs it.
You will sit at tables that will have you question your worth as a woman. Demands will be put on you to prove yourself. I hope in those times, you will feel anything but small and insignificant. Because you my darling, are a world changer and pacesetter.
And no, 35 is not late. Please shake off that lie. Wait, you have a family already, right? Is he a fine man? Are you transforming the world together…? I digress. And my time here is running out, unfortunately. What I mean to say is, 35 is just about the right time to start sowing back the good seeds sown into you over the years. You have always been passionate about developing young African leaders. Just do it! Pour yourself into the next generation of leaders. That way, you will live on even beyond 105 years.
I got to go now. But I must say this, I am proud of the woman you are Mutethya.
Agnes Mutethya, ABLI 2020