By Habiba Wakio
Ms Flora’s face brightened as she looked through the album on her newly furnished office table. Her chest squeezed with delight as she thought of all the effort her team had put into doing all the completed projects. Looking back at all the hurdles she had tackled, she was proud of how far she and her team had come. Indeed, success does not come on a silver platter. The members of her organization were very dedicated and cooperative, and that had contributed to their success. They were known far and wide.
Initially, she struggled to be heard. With no financial aid, she had to use her savings to run her projects. She wrote an article related to politics and posted it online. Luckily, she got invited to a television station and was brought to the limelight. That marked the beginning of her blessings. She received several invitations to interviews soon afterward. She was truly thankful to the Almighty.
The purpose of her organization was to ensure that the members of the community were aware of the responsibilities of their leaders so that they could hold them accountable. It was important for citizens to understand the roles that their leaders played so they may know whom to approach with their grievances. Her organization, in association with local organizations, organized barazas that engaged the community members. At one point, they even brought a political leader so that he could listen to his people and provide them with possible solutions.
After a while, Ms Flora decided it was time to support young artists. Her team organized an online competition where artists could send their work. Those who won would get a chance to upskill. The selected artists were from the categories of writer, spoken word, and cartoonist. The mentorship program was very enlightening, and it sharpened the artists’ skills. They were encouraged to use their skills to bring change in their communities.
The organization provided a platform for the mentees to showcase their work and tell stories of what was happening in society, without any restrictions. Their online website was more like a safe space for artists to voice their opinions. The artists used their talents to bring change to society by pointing out what needed to be rectified and ridiculing the vices practiced by those in authority. During barazas, the young artists who were taken in as mentees presented their works of art to address issues under the thematic areas: of human rights, democracy, gender equity, and gender-based violence. They also got to learn about the various communities they visited.
Ms Flora heard a soft knock and allowed the person in. Miss Shalenter stood in the doorway holding a cake. She entered, followed by several mentees. Miss Shalenter placed the cake on the table and stepped back to watch Ms Flora as her eyes widened, jaw dropped and lips broke into a smile. Ms Flora read the writings on the cake and tears welled into her eyes.
“A Remarkable Woman,” it read.
“Congratulations for coming this far,” said Ms Silenter. “You deserve this and more. Happy Mashujaa Day and much more!”
“Happy Mashujaa Day, our Heroine,” the mentees chimed.