Truth be told, When I half heartedly applied for FOKUK, I honestly did not have a clue what it would entail. Day by day I am realising the enormous responsibility and opportunity just being part of the process really is.
I still don't know what the answers to my questions are and the more I think about them, I can't help but feel nervous! I am no spring chicken,as a matter of fact, I am the oldest in the lineup, good or bad, I don't know.
What I know is, Now more than ever, I have a genuine desire to achieve this title. I fully understand and embrace the TWO rules of the FOKUK office, namely;
I think this is the bit I am struggling with a little because having lived abroad for so many years, you inevitably lose touch with the day to day life in Kenya. Of course information is a mouse click away, however living in a country where time is literary money, we can sometimes find ourselves relying on social media for non essential news. This is not to say that we are not interested,but circumstances dictates this!
The thought of me carrying the mantle of representing my country has awakened a very fierce sense of patriotism that I now realise was dormant. I have got this renewed proud sense of belonging, belonging to this beautiful country called Kenya. As I took to the streets on Easter Monday to take photos and fly the Kenyan flag, I can't describe how great I felt. For a moment I thought I was a politician, especially as I explained to the curious onlookers what the shoot was about.
But what nailed it for me was the look on my 8 year old niece's face. I couldn't help notice her little eyes admiring what I was doing .... Representing my country. To me, she embodied the UK, I hoped that seeing me proud to be a Kenyan will instil the same pride in her.. On a bigger picture, FOKUK is looking for a representative that will not just fly the flag on the streets but encapsulate why Kenya is great. Question is, am I up for the challenge? Answer ... Absolutely!!!
This is the second but equally important task for not just whoever gets the crown but all participants. It is also where my pressure and worry lies. I so much, so so much want to make this a huge success. Ask anyone who knows me and they will confirm, I have always pledged that if ever I win the lottery, I will build a hospital(s) that provides 5* care and free medication to all Kenyans. Health, like education to me should be basic human rights.
There are many charities that do some fantastic work and some of them will be represented by other contestants. For me and millions of other families who have been affected by HIV, it really is no surprise why Nyumbani.org is a natural choice for me. I am yet to meet a Kenyan who hasn't lost a relative or friend to the disease or any Kenyan who doesn't appreciate the impact HIV has had on families, labour-market and inevitably the economy. With improved medical practices mother to child infection will hopefully someday soon be a distant memory. In the meantime there is a generation of HIV orphans that need somewhere to belong to and someone to love them.
Under the leadership of Sister Mary Owens, Nyumbani (which literary means Home in Swahili) does exactly what it says on the tin by providing love, support and a future for these orphans. Though run by people of faith, the home is NOT affiliated with any NGOs, Governmental or Church organisations. It relies completely upon donations of PEOPLE OF COMPASSION (you and me) locally and abroad.
I have and I do give to charities but I have NEVER organised a fund raising event, this is all new to me. A skydive is as extreme as it gets, but am praying that those who believe in this course will donate and it will be worth it in the end. Am I scared?Yes! Am I worried and nervous? Yes and Yes! Will I bail out if the going gets tough? Hell NO!!
Please help me raise much needed funds by donating at