Giving up is Easy; so is Forging Ahead

22nd February, 2017, it was a normal day in the office. I didn’t know that this ordinary day will be marked differently in my calendar by a message on one of my telegram groups. The message was a banner calling for applications for the Social Media and Digital Marketing program by Kuza Biashara in partnership with SITA, ITC, and UKaid. I decided to go to the link which led me to a questionnaire which I started filling and giving up somewhere in the middle; I was doing this using my phone so you can imagine how it was going back and I have to go through the questions but this did not deter me.

After I was done with that I did not give it much thought and life went back to normal until about four weeks later when I received a text from Kuza Biashara inviting me for an orientation. I doubted the authenticity of the text so I share it with my friend, who I had asked that we both apply for the program, but she just told me give it a shot you never know what will come out of it. Remember, I am still employed there for I needed permission to attend the orientation. Lucky enough on that Friday we did not have any event or any upcoming event so that I was given a go ahead.

An orientation is supposed to make you familiar with a program or the environment well this one had a little twist. The orientation, we later came to learn was actually a group interview and an opportunity for the Kuza team to know us better. The orientation was further meant to help the team to know who their ideal candidate is and who is likely to be considered. After the orientation we were informed that out of 600 applicants; 76 were selected but they needed only 50 to proceed. For most of us this was a point of anxiety especially for the two days of waiting. Now if you were in the group that I was in you would understand why the anxiety, I mean the reasons and the drive that these ladies had made me look like I do not even stand a chance. So when I got the text Sunday evening telling me that I had qualified made me ecstatic and I went to bed looking forward to Monday, March 27th, 2017.

A picture taken during the photography session at Kuza Biashara

That morning I made sure that I made it on time for the introductory class and meeting the guest from ITC. During the orientation it was mentioned that we are going to have sessions from Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm for 45 days now this was a challenge being in employment. I thank God for an understanding employer who we came up with some sort of agreement whereby I would attend the sessions unless we have an event or otherwise. This too was a challenge because I did miss some classes. I thank God for wonderful classmates who I created a rapport with and became friends with; I would like to make a special mention to Olivia who at any point when I missed a class she would fill me in on what they did on that day and even share the notes with me.

The program did give me a chance to redefine myself not only by encouraging my skills in Social Media and Digital Marketing. The mentorship from various guests made me rethink the direction I would like to take. The NLP sessions with Avni Shah has taught me a lot about understanding not only other people but also myself; these skills will not only go a long way in my professional life but my personal life. Actually in one session with Avni I came to terms with a personal crisis I was dealing with and I did make peace with myself and the situation.

During a session an Idea was born and now I am on my way to working towards getting it from my mind to paper, to actualizing it. After this program I would like to have a mentor. Before joining this program I was good at giving up on projects that I had in mind but, during this program I have learnt to take steps towards not just having dreams but making them come true.

Trying to juggle between the training and work was not a walk in the park more of a walk in the forest where I could easily get lost. But, somewhere in between I did find my way. On most days giving up looked like an easy option but I chose to forge ahead. For now I do not know what the future holds but am sure it has something if not so much to do with my “newly” acquired skills which include photography.

With the end of the program; comes growth not just in employable skills but or personal growth but also growth in friendships. Yes, I did make friends and some business contacts. Thanks to this program a lot is going to change it may not be immediate but in future it will have an impact and I am sure many of the ladies in this pioneering class do share my sentiments.