We asked Kelvin, an alumnus of the Leadership & Entrepreneurship Incubator, to share with us a story about his mom and the lessons she has taught him.
Kelvin has learned a lot from his mother about tenaciously pursuing his dreams. He came to us in 2012 asking to be a part of what was then called the Leadership Academy. It was an unusual request, because the Leadership Academy was limited to our scholarship students. He persisted. He told our Leadership Management that he was already an alumnus, even if we did not yet know it. Kelvin was and continues to be an outstanding participant in the program.
Since his first year with our program, has created a leadership program at his own high school – Same Boys School – and has brought over 100 young men to working toward their own dreams and goals. The ripple of Kelvin’s ability to share his knowledge with others is only beginning.
In the mornings my mom helped me get ready for school. After school, in the evenings I would ask her a lot of questions. She wasn’t able to attend High school. After her primary education she started to look for a job but she didn’t succeed.
Back in her home town there was a sewing machine, but no one knew how to use it. So she taught herself to use the machine and started to sew gowns for young girls. Her brothers and sisters would laugh at her because she wanted to be a seamstress, but she did not care. Once she had gained enough experience as a seamstress in her hometown she told me “I want to have my own tailoring school”. She started with just two students and she didn’t charge them, the number of students increased to 40 and they all paid tuition at this point. My dad didn’t support her, she had plans to build a house but he didn’t support her idea. She said it was “OK” and decided to do it herself. She worked very hard, sometimes she would come home around midnight from her office and go back to work early in the morning. She found a site to build the house and began construction, still with no support from my dad. Once the house was almost finished he saw realized it was a good idea and helped her finish the house.
Next she wanted to to raise chickens. My dad again thought it wasn’t a good idea, she did not care and started with 4 chickens, eventually they became 20 and unfortunately 10 died because of diseases. When she told me “I will have a company that sells chickens” I dismissed it in my mind. I thought “from 10 hens to a company!?”. Now she has 900 chickens and gets 30 trays of eggs per week. She still dreams of having a chicken company and is closer to that dream with the help of my dad.
She always told me “life isn’t defined by the problems we face, but but by how we face those problems”. She is always helping others; one or two girls from the community each year, she’s helped me so much pursuing my dream to become a doctor. She put me in touch with friends who are doctors and took me to visit hospitals.
She taught me how to face problems, help others and to work hard. I saw how she was a hard working woman who didn’t care about what other people said, even her husband. This is my mom.