By Victor Jawaseda:
At 26 both my role models MLK and TJM were in exponential ascending gear towards what I love: Public Speaking and with a bias to venting on the plight of ordinary citizens!
Martin Luther King Junior (MLK) was the voice of reason in the land of Abraham Lincoln. After the 1955 Rosa Perks incident, King took to Public Speaking and this catapulted quickly to iconic stature. It is easier to type it than to imagine what transpired between 1955 and the fateful 1968 incident. I must admit that I have shed tears several times when my trace of King’s history comes to the bullet.
Thomas Joseph Mboya (TJ) was a Kenyan leader. Remembered for his intellect returned to Kenya in 1956 at the age of 26 and in 1957 he joined active politics. I remember having to browse their joint Speech with MLK. It was sweet especially for the fact that the timing of the historic address. But it sickens me to trace TJ’s life only to end at the point of the bullet.
It is sad to note that my role models’ lives ended a year apart of each other, by the bullet! Both died at 39.
As I joined high school back in 2000 I had no much interest in public speaking. I must admit that by joining drama club in Maranda High School, I gained a lot of confidence in public speaking. I remember participating in weekly class debates, dormitory assemblies and the School barazas. But it is upon joining Egerton University that I developed interest in Public Speaking.
The University organized several Public Addresses. The three memorable ones for me were the ones by Equity CEO, James Mwangi, Youthful Minister for Sports, Ababu Namwamba and the former KACC boss, PLO Lumumba. From the speeches I got a lot of tips both for Public Speaking and Leadership. Perhaps, this was one of the many roles of Universities in shaping lives. As it is widely quoted, Iron sharpens iron!
Afterwards, I got the opportunity to handle a topic in the Y4K meeting in the university. i did not disappoint. I remember when the time was said to be over and the controller was beckoning me to resume my seat, the whole audience shouted in unison, “continue, continue, let him continue!”
That moment was real turning point. I felt that once you begin to align yourself with real issues on the ground and you are able to articulate them in a presentation that reflect the way they are without showing a disrespect for the people causing them, then, you are trusted by your audience to speak on their behalf!
As a young leader, I must say that Public Speaking, Creativity and Honesty are my pillars in Leadership. I am confident that for 2013 I must target at least two Public Lecture sessions to be addressed by myself. I am optimistic that just like my post-humus icons; I will go international if time and space allows!
Victor is a Kenyan writer and one of Kenya’s brightest upcoming leaders. He is currently compiling his autobiography.