“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
To everybody who comes by this page, I hope you have the patience to read this post till the end as it seeks to explain why I started a blog.
Consider the information below:
- Visualize a 6 year old Kenyan boy born in the colonial times learning arithmetic in vernacular in a mud structure. Thereafter, he goes to fetch water with a 20 litre jerry can that he ferries from a river not less than 3km away from his home. In the evening he has dinner with the rest of his family in their two-roomed hut illuminated only by a single paraffin tin-lamp.
- Now imagine a 25 year old Kenyan, who through sheer determination and perhaps a stroke of luck earns a scholarship to pursue a Masters degree in one of the best schools in London. There he fully appreciates that education isn’t only about what he picks up in his classroom sessions. He learns how to wine, dine and speak the Queen’s English. He can’t wait to call his significant other and share his amazing experiences. He also can’t wait to return home despite the fact that London-with regard to socioeconomic development-was everything home could only aspire to be.
- Finally, envision a 60 year old teacher who has dedicated more than half his life to nurturing young minds. This is an educator who informs his students of the limitless possibilities presented by the combination of creativity and education. A man who insists that we can do better, we must do better. A mentor who’s had to continuously reinvent himself and his teaching methods to accommodate the rapid advances in technology and telecommunications. A citizen who believes in tapping into the potential of Kenyan youth to develop homegrown solutions for the challenges faced in Kenya.
Late last year, I listened to one of the most powerful Ted Talks I have watched to date. The title of this piece is borrowed from that talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9Ihs241zeg. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tells a story, in a way only she can, that highlights a real ignorance problem that exists today especially regarding the African continent. Given the fact that in the digital age, information can be obtained at the touch of a button, then indeed, we Africans have a right to be angry, but anger alone isn’t constructive. It is our responsibility to change the narrative. It’s time we all made a concerted effort to tell the African story from an African perspective. Social media is a tool. Use it. Hence, here I am hoping to change the world. Welcome to Shaping African Conversations.