ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru flagged-off the nine Kenyan youth nominees, selected to represent the country for the Forty under 40 Awards Africa scheduled to take place on 26th March 2022 in Accra, Ghana.
The nominees, who are among other 63 youths selected from 15 countries in Africa for the Awards ceremony will depart for Ghana today.
Forty Under 40 Awards Africa, organized by a Ghanaian Company seeks to identify, honour and celebrate young people from a cross-section of the continent who have been most influential and accomplished young change makers under the age of forty, who are committed to business growth, professional excellence and community development and have risen up the ranks of their companies or industries.
The 9 nominees include Ruth Mueni, Robert Belle, Maryben Omollo, Joan Musumba, Christine Agola, Toseef Din, Rose Ronoh, Antony Gacheru and Sosthen Eugine.
Speaking to the nominees before flagging them off at his Telposta Boardroom, Mucheru encouraged the young nominees to grab the opportunities in Ghana to come up with interesting ideas that would bear fruits in future.
He reminded them that the title youth is perishable and urged the beneficiaries to utilise the nomination opportunity and recognition to build themselves to achieve more for future success.
“Don’t hold in youth so much because it will perish, but hold on to where you are headed, your vision and your purpose in government and come up with new ways of doing things,” Mucheru advised.
At the same time, the CS told the young leaders to work closely with both the young and elderly, noting the old people have resources and good ideas that can help them and should not see them as a threat or feel that they are against them.
He also cautioned the nominees against seeking fame, noting that the same has destroyed a lot of people and advised them to build on whatever they are doing to make them strong, as their achievement will also help other young Kenyans to rise.
“Do not fall in to the trap of wanting to get rich, invest into businesses that will make you get money and stable income. Where you can sit and take care of people as leaders and not a situation where you will have demeaning feelings and frustrations,” said the CS.
He added, “If you do well, Kenya will also do well, therefore take advantage of this opportunity to help others.”
The group leader, Ruth Mueni, a Public communication and Advocacy practitioner working with the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, nominated for Communications and Advertising category, thanked the Kenyan Government and current administration for supporting and providing a conducive environment for the youth to grow and prosper.
Mueni said that in their representation of Kenya during the awards, the nominees are also on a quest to lobby for the next edition of the African Awards to be held in Kenya and have made significant head ways in this regard.
“We would like the government to support us with our quest of coming up with a Fellowship and Award programme in the Country,” she said, adding that the youth need to have a foundation instead of depending on other global Awards.
The nominees who have received support from the government, lauded the initiative saying the platform is opening and making space for the youth to venture into entrepreneurship and to discover new skills and ideas.
For the other nominees, Robert Belle is an accountant nominated for Professional Services category for focusing and helping small businesses avoid premature failure while Maryben Omollo for Hospitality category was recognized for providing professional cleaning services focused on pest control and supporting women and single mothers with employment.
On the other hand, Joan Musumba, a pageant enthusiast leveraging children’s pageants to raise awareness and increase participation in climate mitigation strategies amongst children was nominated in the category of Theatre and arts, Christine Agola, a youth empowerment and climate change specialist focussing on building community development, was nominated in the Community Development category, while Toseef Din, an accountant working in healthcare management as CEO of MP Shah Hospital was nominated in Health and Wellness Category.
Others are Rose Ronoh an Implementation consultant and advocate of AfCFTA, nominated in the Consultancy category, Antony Gacheru who provides professional printing and branding services that are eco-friendly was nominated in the printing category, while Sosthen Eugine, a youth governance specialist working with various Community Based Organisations in selecting quality public leaders was nominated in the Governance and Government Agencies category.
By Bernadette Khaduli