Written by Nicholas Wekesa, a student of MultiMedia University of Kenya
The last six months of my life have been a moment of great transformation. I have seen myself undergo a lot of positive changes that have been of great significance to me. I feel completely different. My life feels refreshing. All these owing to the Lapid Leaders Africa program. It is the story behind every new positive aspect in my life and I am deeply grateful to God for giving me this wonderful opportunity to be part of the program.
When I started the program, I didn’t expect much from it. To me, I was on an adventurous journey to just have fun and meet new people.
However, I latter learned that the program was full of learning. Learning, in fact, is the pinnacle of the program. I remember during our first meeting when we were handed the leadership manual we were going to be using during the program, a 222 page book to be precise, a look of disgust spread across my face and I was sure I will never finish reading it. However, I did and I discovered it was a very good insightful book that’s enjoyable and easy to ready. However, this manual was a small percentage of what the program had to offer. We also had amazing classes where we learnt a lot.
The classes were structured in such a way that in the morning we had leadership classes while in the afternoon we had entrepreneurship classes. During these classes we had speakers who came to talk to us, speakers who started from humble beginnings and later made it in life because of their determination. They were a great source of inspiration and hope to me, encouraging me that I can also make it to the top if I dream big, believe and work hard towards achieving my dreams.
Apart from the great speakers, another aspect I loved about the program was that it not only offered theoretical lessons but also practical ones. This was to ensure that whatever we learnt was put into good use and applied in our lives to our benefit and not discarded or simply stored in our memory.
This was done through the presentations we did in class, reports we had to write on our progress and how we had applied whatever we had learnt, doing activities in groups to enhance team work and business ideas we had to come up with, to be used as objects practically during our entrepreneurship classes, by noticing a gap in the society and filling it. All these not only enhanced our understanding of what we were learning but also made the program fun.
In addition to the Lapid program instilling a lot of wisdom in me, it also built my character greatly. One of the greatest traits I have learnt in Lapid is the trait of team work. For a very long time, I have never been a fan or a supporter of team work. I have always been striving to do every task by myself. This is because I always value my opinions very much and I don’t like tolerating other people’s opinions especially when they are different from my own.
Lapid however has taught me the value of being a team player and over time I have learn to appreciate this trait. It has taught me that ‘if I want to go fast, I should go alone but if you want to go far, I should go with others’. In school nowadays, whenever we are given a group assignment, I am always at the fore front initiating my group and bringing them together so that we can do the assignment together. After all, two heads are better than one, isn’t it?
Courage to be self
Another value Lapid has also instilled in me is courage, courage to be myself. Before Lapid, I was a person who was always a slave to others. I let other people control me by caring about their opinions on me and living according to the labels they had given me. This culminated in me living not to satisfy myself but others, striving to please them sometimes even at the expense of my joy and values. However, when I joined Lapid, all these changed and I learnt how to be free to be myself and not be apologetic about it. I am not completely free but at least Lapid set the pace for me. I am now on that journey of being free, free to be myself and be a man God created me to be.
In my entire lifetime, this has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
I know it wasn’t a coincidence that a friend invited me to attend the open day of the Lapid Leaders Africa program which later made me to be oriented into the program. This was God’s plan. A plan for me to be better. A plan for me to prosper. A plan for me to be the man he created me to be. In Lapid I have found friends from various spheres of life I would probably never have met. I have learnt lessons I would probably never have learnt elsewhere. That is why I am proud to be a LAPID LEADER.