My unedited profiled as captured by Mr. Ken Sawe as part of a class project in Daystar University.
When I first joined Daystar about three years ago, I knew very well that this was a great institution of higher learning. Great men and women had passed through the gates of Daystar and become successful in various fields from politics for the likes of Hon. Samuel Poghisio, the late Hon. Lorna Laboso to great media personalities like Lilian Muli, Rama Nyang, Larry Madowo, Johnstone Mwakazi just to mention a few. Comedians in the name of Eric Omondi have also graced this great institution. Abednego Mbindyo Kimanthi is not in the list above but to be honest, this young man is poised for great things in the near future.
It’s Tuesday 2nd November 2009 and we are in for the feature writing class as usual. I immediately notice students talking to Mbindyo in low tones about something although I was not quite sure since he had been away for the last two weeks. I was still in a state of suspense when madam Wamunyu asked Mbindyo to tell the class where he had been all this time. I gladly set up myself to hear what this young gentleman had to say about his absence.
He stood up confident as usual and talked for another thirty minutes everyone paying close attention to this great young man. Why do I say great? At only twenty two Mbindyo has transversed our continent attending various seminars on issues facing the youth and met who is who in Africa. He is not only a youth leader but also a servant leader, in fact he was awarded the servant leadership award in Daystar for his determination, hard work and sacrifices he has made. It was only during his speech in class that it dawned on me that he had been away in Addis Ababa Ethiopia for the 5th Harambee Africa Leadership training, according to Mbindyo, Harambee Africa is a leadership training program designed to guide young people towards ethical living and improved leadership in Africa. It is a program of Initiatives of Change (IofC), a network of people committed to the transformation of society based on change in individuals starting with themselves. He was there for two weeks and met youth representatives from all over Africa and was able to share ideas on how today’s youth can be empowered. This conference is just one among many and therefore decided to dig deep and know who Abednego Mbindyo Kimanthi is.
I got an opportunity to get a short interview and in a nutshell I found out that Mbindyo is true son of the African soil, a national youth leader with an authority in matters of Leadership and group dynamics especially among the youth. Born 22 years ago, the young man who aspired to be a doctor at a tender age, now finds passion in engaging with the community around him in life-changing initiatives. He is currently undertaking his first degree in Communications at Daystar University, Nairobi.
Mbindyo has had an opportunity to serve in different capacities of leadership. He had the honor of chairing the spiritual arm of Daystar University [Daystar Christian Fellowship], a peer educator’s forum and put into place a peace initiative, all of which are actively involved at the University’s community life. He has also been consulted in formulating the Daystar University HIV/AIDS & Drugs policy. He was honored with the Servant Leadership Award of Daystar University 2008 in recognition for his unwavering service and commitment in leadership to the Daystar family.
Outside the University setting, Mbindyo chaired the Resource Mobilization committee and later Events Coordination committee at his home church, AIC Jericho. He was also part of a team that developed a literature review and proposal on the National High school students strike under the auspices of Preserving Human Dignity [PHD]. He was part of Chops, a mentoring program under PHD for form four leavers hosted in Daystar University.
Mbindyo has had a profound contribution to the society through different initiatives that he has been involved in including Peace and Conflict Transformation Programs, HIV/AIDS awareness and support, Blood Donation drives, Peer Education and Hunger campaigns just to mention a few. He has maximized his potential in drama and music to reach out and impact lives.
Mbindyo has served as a board member at the sole Character Building institution in Kenya – Coalition for Character Building and Community Development – from its inception to early 2009. Currently, he is a member of the Music for Peace Africa [MP-A] Board as a youth representative. He also had an opportunity to work as a Marketing Assistant for Azizi Life; a poverty eradication project under Food for the Hungry International [FH], Rwanda office. Mbindyo represented Kenya in the 1st Gathering of Forgiveness Conference held in Rwanda as a Peace Ambassador in February 2009. As a determined young African leader, who is eager for a changed society, he was at the 5th Harambee Africa Leadership forum in Ethiopia where together with like- minded individuals, they formulated a vision for the Africa they want to see.
Mbindyo is a motivational speaker and trainer in Character Building, and Effective Youth Leadership. He is a role model and mentor to many young people in Africa. This young man is not only a role model to the youth in Kenya but also a mentor to many. At first I thought Mbindyo is this huge, proud and arrogant young man who knows everything. It was only after we became close that I realized that this young man was so humble, diligent and full of confidence.
In Daystar Nairobi campus Mbindyo is full of praise from his colleagues. According to Marcella Onsomu and Lilian Wamalwa, fourth year communication students had these to say about Mbindyo. Marcella described him as an industrious leader, hardworking and always willing to assist. Lilian on her part described Mbindyo in one word, a servant of the people.
I believe Mbindyo is a role model to many and a mentor to the youths of Kenya and Africa in general. I personally know Mbindyo and in my view this young man is poised for great things in the near future.
In conclusion Mbindyo has bone or two to pick with the Kenyan leaders .He strongly believes that Kenyans has the last chance to save their future through the Harmonized Draft constitution. His only concern is why the need for the office of President and Prime Minister. He believes it does not make sense and is actually a replication of responsibilities. But all in all, he believes it’s a great document that would receive his backing. He throws a word of caution though that Kenyans need to recognize that we cannot get a perfect constitution that suits everyone’s wish and desire, we have to make compromises and meet at the centre. On matters of youth leadership Mbindyo had these to say“ I think the 2007 election sparked recognition that the youth have a stake in the society. Gone are the days when they would entirely depend on the ‘mheshimiwa’ to come and give solutions to their problems. Many have been awakened and I believe will make the right choices. As we speak, the youth are taking leadership roles in the political scene and even in other orbs. The only challenge is that the old still want to cling on to power and secondly, the young just want positions and not leadership opportunities. They are more concerned with what they will achieve and not what they will give/offer. Let’s all open our eyes to the realities of this century.’’
I have put my case forward and am ready to put a bet on this guy. Abednego Mbindyo Kimanthi is poised for great things and it’s only a matter of time before we get another great man coming out of the gates of Daystar University. Let’s all watch this space.
By Ken Sawe