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Shebesh sharpens Eve Sisters

WOMAN'S INSTINCT
By | December 3rd 2011

Last week's Eve Sisters-Campus Edition at Daystar University was an afternoon to remember. From Rachel Shebesh to Tichi Nyasani-Sitati to Standard Group's divas, the students learnt from their big sisters, writes WINFRED GATWIRI and NJOKI CHEGE

Did you know that women are the influencers of society? Well, no matter how you interpret this reality, whichever inspirational book you read to confirm your speculation, the answer is one. They are.

Eve Sisters, the mentorship programme initiated by The Standard Group to lobby the next generation of influencers of society, is indeed a force to reckon with. We were part of the mentees during the recent Daystar University Edition and it was one powerful session.

Nominated MP Rachel Shebesh, the key speaker. [PHOTOS: JOSEPH KIPTARUS/ AGNES RUBE/STANDARD]

Women from Daystar University, the University of Nairobi, employees from Resolution Health, zumba dancers and renowned media personalities graced this event. We sat in round tables discussing life-changing issues.

The simplicity

The simplicity of the setting threw away all the inhibitions.

We was inspired at how great women put aside their titles, age, ranks, races, depth of make up, the height of their heels… to sharpen the leaders of tomorrow.

Nominated Member of Parliament, Rachel Shebesh arrived at the venue from the ODM grassroot elections in style. At hand to receive her was the Eve Sisters moderator Njoki Karuoya. Shebesh looked sharp and confident in her blue jeans, glamorous top and yellow wedged shoes.

This was clearly not a political meeting. We kept looking around for guards, personal assistants, scriptwriters… but there were none. A real leader was in control. Despite her busy schedule, the gospel of up-coming influencers of society had to get to the right people. Her phone kept ringing but she was not bothered.

This was a challenge to us as we sometimes leave class to receive calls to organise parties, get the latest gossip or simply because it rang. Shebesh had dedicated this time for the young women that she believes will revolutionise Kenya. Basing her teachings on the late Nobel Laurete Wangari Maathai’s life she challenged women to follow in her footsteps.

Great mission

"We have the duty to give this great woman the commemoration she requires even in her death by continuing her great mission," she said.

Shebesh asked women to embrace Mathai’s ‘Hummingbird philosophy’.

She said: "We need to embrace Maathai’s values by planting seeds of good governance within our society, hoping that it blossoms into something big and influential," said the legislator.

She said women in Kenya have the responsibility to ‘Knight’ great influencers of society and let the mantle pass down hierarchically with no discrimination of colour, race or religion.

She expressed her joy at the idea of mentoring young women and said that the Kenyan Women’s Parliamentarians Association would partner with the Eve Sisters programme.

Former media personality Nyatichi Nyasani-Sitati shared her personal experience on relationships, which inspired the girls.

"Guard your hearts young ladies... protect and shelter yourselves to avoid any emotional turmoil and heartbreak," she advised.

Tichi also encouraged the girls to be wary of their actions in campus because the consequences would follow them throughout their lives.

"Whatever actions you engage in while in campus will never leave you. That will be your reputation and you should guard it with your life," Tichi stressed.

"When you get to your 30s you will realise your 15 friends are reduced to only two. To prosper it is important to surround yourself with people who add value to your life and not people who want to compete with you," said Tichi.

She also emphasised on the importance of nourishing our bodies.

"Always nourish your bodies at this age and they will thank you for it. Feed your minds with positive things and you will grow. In this era of the Internet, you have no excuse to be ignorant," she concluded.

Standard Group’s Dorcas Odumbe, also got the sisters thinking.

Without mincing her words, Dorcas — a widow and a mother of two — challenged the young women to rise and take up their rightful positions in the society.

"Laziness in the name of rich husbands should not be heard among women in this era," said the hard hitting Dorcas.

Your own bestfriend

Dorcas, a former teacher, went on; "When my husband passed on I knew I had a life to live, children to educate and bills to pay."

Her husband’s death did not kill her spirit. Instead it made her stronger.

Tazim Elkington, a paradigm shifter and motivational speaker encouraged the young women to socialise men in their lives and build a great country together.

Other mentors present were KTN’s Anne Ngugi and Mwanaisha Chidzuga, Radio Maisha’s Esther Ingolo and Eve Woman’s Lynete Otieno.

The session as always, was moderated by the ever-bubbly Njoki Karuoya.

Mwanaisha inspired the girls with her story.

Said Mwanaisha: "It is important to be your own best friend. Trust, believe and love yourself. Feel good about yourself and work hard in life."

Anne spoke about being confident and avoiding grudges.

Said Anne: "Learn to forgive, don’t hold grudges and ask God for the grace to forgive others. Build relationships and network with each other because you will need each other in the future."

The session ended on a high note with presentation of gifts to the students courtesy of Coca Cola.

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