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I grew up in the eastern suburbs of Nairobi called Dandora. Due to my humble background, I experienced a myriad of challenges in my literary journey. However, today I attribute my strength and growth to the continuous effort and struggle that I went through in my early life. As a child who loved to take initiative, during school holidays I would organize my friends into clusters of four or five. We would then head into a nearby landfill, (which is now Nairobi’s principal dumping site) and scavenge for items that we thought were worth a penny or two.
We used the money collected to buy niceties such as sweets or cheap toys. At primary school level, I was mostly a class representative. I ensured that the classroom was neatly organized, and the pupils were well-behaved. I was beyond myself with euphoria after I got admitted to my dream high school. Here, I undertook various leadership responsibilities that later propelled me into being chosen as the school prefect by our principal. My duties included ensuring that hygiene of the students’ sleeping quarters was maintained, handling minor disciplinary matters amongst students and basically acted as the link between the school administration and the student body. I was also the Chair-Person for French Club where I made certain that students had a serene and laid-back environment for learning French and understanding its culture.
As the Assistant Secretary General of PMSA, Project Management Students’ Association at Moi University, my duties ranged from helping prepare the agenda for the club, representing the group in association meetings to collecting and integrating reports from other office bearers. Guided by its mission, we provided mentorship, support to students seeking internship opportunities and sharpened their oratory and leadership skills. Its vision was to offer a leadership incubator that would nurture a generation of men and women who would courageously and effectively take on leading roles in managing projects at both national and international levels. In addition, I participated in tree-planting exercises, organized numerous training workshops and information sessions in diverse counties, under the Albinism Foundation of East Africa (AFEA) in conjunction with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
At a time when Persons with Albinism or PWA were targets of cultural killings under a wide-spread belief that their body parts can bring great wealth when used in occult practices, I partook in various protest marches and helped advocate to have the Persons with Disability Act (2003) include Persons with Albinism. I am confident that this award will enable me to advance my intellectual odyssey and furnish me with leadership competence and capacity needed in my home-country when I come back. As a scholar, it’s my strong belief that it’s not just about getting good grades or getting admitted into an exalted institution, it is also about fitting into a role that will impact society positively. As John Maxwell quipped, “the true measure of leadership is influence, nothing more nothing less.”
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