About My Week's Invisible Mentors

From Arik

A month ago, i had this enlightning conference call with Avil Beckford  about mentoring, and among the things that inspired me most about her work was the invisible mentoring. Although the call was intended for my set of research i am currently undertaking, i personally benefited from the fact that i realized the need to pay more attention to people in my life i would call  insible menter. They are there all through my life, but i do think this week has been a highlight for me.

The first one i landed on earlier this week was the Liberian Kimmie Weeks.  I am sure i was in search of something in Liberia when i stumbled on him! I should have known this guy like 5 years years ago when i started working with youth movements. But somehow, until now, i have got no chance to meet him or have a conversation with him. I have started following him on Twitter and reading his speeches, listening to his podcats and watching the videos of his accomplishments. Its one of my targets the next two years to work with Kimmie Weeks for the good of the african youth. To help the African youth unleash their potential, and engage the governments to provide more support to youth policy strategy implementation. We got to get serious about the half population of the developing world that is young and will remain young for the next two decades- we got to do something. Thats why working with Kimmie Weeks matters to me.

Then came @kahonge, some investment expert i met through the social media. I follow him (or he started following me and i responded by #nf ). Recently, or rather, this week, i took ample time to read and synthesis the information from his blog, and realized that it was quite important for my youth work. I have for the whole of this year been thinking of how to seriously revitalize and rebrand my youth engagements, and the issue of Social entreprenuership has always popped up again and again. @kahonge blog, is helping me out some of these ideas into shape, and i should share a concrete idea soon.

Some good news is that last week, i just hooked up with Christian Busch the Co- founder of Sandbox and a lectuer at the London School   of Economics. I still remember his words about his passion to connect inspirers and help them realize their ideas, the reason for which he was in Nairobi to join the Nairobi Sandboxers . So i am actually part of this great move in Africa!

A few hours ago, Martha Karua  formally launched her bid for Kenya's presidency in 2012. Seems like quite early, but its not. So why? Why am i following her on twitter, why do i get interested with every word that she says? Martha speaks to me, in my language, i dont mean a tribal language, but one which enables me understand our role in growing Kenya our country. She helps me think like a Kenya. She supports my pride for being Kenyan, and makes me realize that i got a role to play if i have to continue being proud of Kenya. Most importantly, she tells me the reality of being a Kenyan, the critical issues that what we ought to do and not do. It makes me get up and do something worth for Kenya. I cant wait to rea her Autobiography.

On the other hand, my book just got interesting this week, and i cant get it off my hands when not in the office. I chose to read the Autobiography of Hillary Rodham Clinton for two reasons: She is the wife of a Rhodes Scholar (and the expectations behind every rhodes scholar); and is serving in the US government as the Secretary of State. She campaigned for her Husband Bill Clinton and supported him in his political life, as a colleague, a partner and a wife and mother to their child- at the same time she had her own career goals! I think that can be too much! She is one of the people whom i have always wanted to know how they managed to have a public life as wives, mothers, and professional political figures ( for me professional political figures are those that dont urter words aimlessly). Probably its absolutely wrong to put Hillary and Martha in the same category, or in the same basket- but to my assessment,  these two women hold  very strong values that i strongly believe in:
  1. They are human
  2. They have guts
  3. They connect with me
  4. They stand out, where men think women can't stand out
  5. They are professionally concious (if such a phrase exists!)
This is a very important week in my life.Its the first week after my most celebrated birthday in life! Together with my peer @savvykenya, we had our birthday on the 23rd April. We both had a blast- she turned 23, i turned 25. We both inspire each other online- LOL we have only met once (according to her) and twice (according to me). In one of her blogs she brings into my mind how dynamic one's life can be. Once you thought of being a pilot, but later when you learnt that blogging can be part of your career, and before you knew it, the President of another country (where you were volunteering) attended an event you were participating in because you tweeted him. Then through your online networks international agencies are hunting for you- thinking hard of how to engage this innovatinve mind, and all of a sudden, because you dont rest, an education institution decides to sponsor you to further your studies in innovations technology. I just cant fill in the gap of what i expect from you next becasue you have allowed yourself to be think and live life outside and even without the BOX!!! Thats how best i can describe Savvykenya.

The week is still young, and i am sure my list will continue growing.
Get to know who is your invisible mentor and emulate that good thing you see in each of them. Try get in touch with each of them, and see what you two can accomplish.

You learn something new everyday!