Seated here, writing this, it is a reflective moment for me in retrospect of my last handing over in the Christian Union as the Vice Chairperson to the fourth year’s fellowship. Serving in the Christian Union throughout my four years in campus, has been a priceless gift that no money can ever buy. The experience of exposure, leadership development among others is a career path I can only accredit to God, something I couldn’t have gained in the degree course I undertook at the University of Nairobi.
When I came to campus, I knew clearly what I wanted; to study and pass. I was determined to invest in my personality and use what I had, to attain what I needed. My pursuit to become a lecturer someday drove me, not realizing God had a better avenue to bring the best out of me.
Leadership in the Chiromo Campus CU made me to not only realize my strengths but also my weaknesses-so very protective of my reputation, the fastidious me was very intentional on guarding my character, lest anyone found anything to say about me. But with many experiences, I came to realize, people need to know who they are following and why they ought to follow you. Leadership is based on one great assumption, ‘that you matter’, hence the need for the people you are leading to know you; to know who you are, what you care about, why you do what you do; to know your key convictions, value systems and aspirations.
Leadership was a journey and every day came with its own challenges, responsibilities and achievements. This reminds me of a time, during my third year in campus when all my SEAS of life (Social, Economic, Academic and Spiritual) were involved, which all needed my attention. My social life was characterized by my family, friends and the fact that I was courting; I was working in a real estate firm for my upkeep; I was also a student who had exams and CATS to think about; at the same time the CU secretary, not to mention the secretary of the Joint Coordinating Council among other sub committees posts at CU level and outside that sought equal attention. This was a season in life that made me realize leadership begins with you; before you can lead others you have to begin with you, lead yourself and believe you can have positive impact on others. I walked through hard moments of burn outs, sleepless nights and pressures of giving up, but God still managed to work out something beautiful and glorious, bringing beauty from ashes, I can only say ‘it was by grace, I can boast about nothing’
By the time the CU’s Annual General Meeting came, it was time for transition, which came with mixed reactions but more of joy and relief. I knew I had no strength to serve again, especially in any Executive Committee. But God had a way of keeping me on course; I thought it was unfair and unnecessary disorientation when I had to again serve in the Finalists Affairs Committee, which involved meetings, planning and projects; and along with it came the pain of losing the relationship (courtship) I had worked so hard towards. The pain of heart break and seeking inner healing will cost me a new article. Why would GOD still choose the ’weak me’? This is where I was reminded of John 6:63, that flesh counts for nothing/ human effort accomplishes nothing, the spirit gives life. Indeed I felt a new aura of life that took me through that phase of life and all I can say is grace took hold of me.
I served God and only He can rate me, by His standards. My greatest key inner conviction is quoted in one of the Swahili songs, sang by one inspired artist Angela Chibalonza, ‘uliniumba nikuabudu bwana’, meaning, you created me to serve/worship you lord. To God be glory, power and majesty
My parting short is inspired by one Dan Kalplan, in one of his sayings, ‘I know who I was, who I am and who I want to be’. Becoming a leader is a process of internal self discovery. In order to become a leader, and even a better leader, it’s important to first define your values and principles. Convey confidence, strong will and empathy amidst the hard pressures of life, inner hurts and experiences of our personal lives. The message is clear; people are admired because of their unwavering commitment to principles. They stand for something. The events that shape you, the beliefs that inform you and the values that guide you.
Article written and compiled by Eunice Awino