Guest Post By Winfred Wambui Nduati - Emerging Leaders Workshop 2016

“It has never been easy to take a leap of faith and leave everything else behind just to go for a seminar.”

I softly say to myself as I know that I have attended many other seminars before and nothing really fruitful ever comes out of it. Yes I was entitled to my own opinion and as I board the Kawangware bus at Kencom, “ I hope this will be different.” I say to myself.

A lot of thoughts cross my mind as I listen to the bus tout call out for passengers going towards our route, “Kaangare, Hurlingham” he looks collected and calm, not minding if he utters Kawangware the right way or not. Traffic isn’t that bad and within no time I alight at First Assurance. I walk past the gate along Jacaranda Avenue and into Lenana House conference. I am not really good with directions but in the company of my friend Catherine Kerubo, and the directions sent on email by Jennifer, getting lost was unlikely.

The reception is calm and the environment homely. The room is neat with duvets immaculately dressing the bed and silence ruling the environment. “This is going to be a long journey.” At the dinner table the mood is all silent “Why did I come here, will Friday ever reach?” I am not the talkative type among people I don’t really know. For some reason I found this boring and odd.

From left: Winfred Wambui Nduati, with fellow Emerging Leaders Catherine Kerubo, Maimuna Mohammed at a just concluded training session.

From left: Winfred Wambui Nduati, with fellow Emerging Leaders Catherine Kerubo, Maimuna Mohammed at a just concluded training session.

The alarm faithfully rings at 6:45 am sharp. Getting out of bed is a heavy task as the bed is really warm and comforting. In the conference room, Joyce the Director of the Akili Dada Innovation In Leadership Programme is all calm and collected assuring us of heaven on earth during our stay.

She constantly keeps reminding us on the importance of keeping time. Serah from the Uungwana Initiative walks in, comfortably states her reasons for being against the ‘ushenzi’ type. She strongly insists on the three pillars of life: Jijue, Jifahamu and Jitolee. Her speech makes great sense especially when it comes to knowing me and understanding who I am. Networking among the people in the room is really fun…"I am never leaving this place.” I thought.

It’s now Wednesday in the morning and the buffet table has a variety of food to pick from. I wear a unique smile as I enter the conference room. I am not late as usual. Dr.  Kisato from Kenyatta University is the facilitator of the day. I have never heard of a business model canvas and this lady is not reluctant in teaching us. This seemed interesting and at the same time fun. We come up with great ideas of different topics.  My group; the fantastic four composed of Euphy, Josephine, Doreen and I is determined to come up with an idea that will take over the media world.

Its lunch time and the food at the dining possess a welcoming aroma. “This people are great,” I whisper to my friend. As we head back to the conference hall, Minky and Purity encourage us especially those among us aspiring political seats in their campuses.

 “Avoid fear” Purity states as Minky beckons, “Get out of your comfort zone!”

“You are all going to Safaricom House at 5:15 p.m.,” Jennifer starts off Thursday.

The whole day we are all restless and we can’t wait to go. The main topic it’s just Safaricom. Mucha Mulingo walks and her specialty is in leadership training and the need for one to understand her own values. We speak out our destinations and some to me are really new: St. Barts by Doreen.

 “Travel around the world girls.” Mucha stresses out and makes it all clear.

It’s now 5 p.m. A spritz of perfume, heels and a bit of lipstick…. We are now ready to go. At Safaricom the mood is all exceptional. The M.C Nancy is all lively. Galgalo’s story is touching and very comforting. Susan Muthune whom I would consider as someone who has made it in life, encourages on the need to be our sister’s keeper as she did with her friend Susan.  Fully re-energized on leadership skills, we head back to Lenana House conference for our last supper. Yes indeed the week is almost over.

The 2016 Emerging Leaders at an talk by women in technology at Safaricom House

The 2016 Emerging Leaders at an talk by women in technology at Safaricom House

Nilikunywa madawa ya kulevya na sikujali maisha yangu,” I am woken up by Omae’s counterpart on KBC good morning news.  “Oh no! It’s Friday” I can’t quite get myself out of bed. It’s sad really sad. Mucha notices the sad faces and tells us it will be well.

“It’s been worth it!” I say this as I get my transport reimbursement back.

I board the KBS bus back to town and the traffic is just hectic. “I am happy I got a new circle of friends.”

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