2017 is off to a great start. The hardships of January have passed and thank God, we all survived it! Right?
But just before we go jumping into the rest of the year, have you taken the time to review how your last year was? Most of us I know took time and have already set the new year’s resolutions. I know, I know… that same old “New year, New Me” stuff. Don’t get me wrong, setting targets for yourself is always welcome, but understanding where you’re from is always a good place to begin when focusing on the future.
Last year saw a lot of things coming my way. More than I could mention. That’s why I’ll only focus on a few that were either a new beginning for me or a cumulation of what I had been working on for some time.
Hosting the Bits Graduation Event.
This was a milestone for me. Being a trainer for 4 years has given me the opportunity to shape my persona and build on my skills. Standing on a stage in front of an audience of 600+ people, was a symbol of how far those skills had taken me. When I think about this moment, Patience, consistency and a willingness to face the challenge ahead are what came to my mind.
The day symbolized a new dawn for me as an individual and I couldn’t help but ask, “where do I go from here?”
1st Place: The Bits Academy App Challenge
We all know by now; that technology is growing at a rate that not even we could have imagined. In the last 20 years, we have gained the ability to send and receive money through our phones, to literally everyone having a phone, to begin with and that’s without even mentioning the apps. Yes, Those glorious and helpful apps. Think about it; can you even remember how life was without WhatsApp? What about Facebook, twitter, Instagram, angry birds, Pokémon Go, Uber? One thing we can all agree is that we are happy they are all here. Well, most of us.
Having the opportunity to participate and put my skills to the test in such an environment, could only be described as mind-blowing. From conceptualization, wireframing, prototyping, the app development and the opportunity to make my first pitch to an audience at the NaiLab in Nairobi. I’m honored to have been part of a great team that was dedicated to learning and building an awesome product.
Design for Inspiration Project
During the last few years, I have been asked myself how I can use my creativity to make people’s life better. Other than creating products that solve specific people problems for my clientele, I wanted to do more. And after taking a creative class, I finally understood how I could do this.
I thought to myself; what do people like? And it dawned on me. People always appreciate being encouraged or motivated, so I started using my creative skills to inspire people. And thus, the Design for inspiration project started. I decided that every day on my way home from work, I would make a sketch and give it to whoever I met.
It was difficult at first, but I slowly got the hang of it. I received both positive and negative feedback from people. I had people downright refusing to take the sketches, to having very long and interesting conversations with people who wanted to know more about it.
My target was to do it for a year, which is 365 days. I was only 40 sketches in when I stopped by the end of October. This is due to the security reasons that the project posed for me. However, I enjoyed every single step of the way and was an honor sharing with so many people.
A Fight with Cancer.
2016 was a year that a lot of good things come my way. However, I also had my fair share of challenges. Out of all the challenges that came my way, none was as emotion as watching a person I hold dear to me fight cancer.
Sometimes we tend to look at people in the world like we are immune to what they go through. Then reality knocks on your door and you’re left thinking, “why me?”. Despite what happens, One thing is for sure, Life will always be life and we can never be certain of what’s coming, but we can be certain about what we have now; A beautiful new day that we can create, love and share together. No matter what comes, good or bad, we have each other. This moment taught me that; That we can do anything, if we are willing to stick together and pray.
Cancer is only one of the many things that people go through out there. Depression, divorce, Aids, Loss, poverty etc. you name it and I bet that someone is going through it. All of us, in our own unique way have to keep going and more importantly, it’s our duty to keep fighting. Not just for ourselves, but for those who we love. Who need us to tell them that we are together, no matter what.
That, my good friends, is the beginning of the cure.
It’s was an enjoyable and graceful year. But like all things, it came to an end. Now we look to the new one. To a year with endless possibilities and opportunities for all of us; and so, I ask again, “where do I go from here?”