Every year comes with its unique blessings and challenges. Soni Kanake talks to four women who share their triumphs, memorable moments, plans and hopes.
Susan Kihika, Nakuru senator
“First, I wish to Thank God for the success in my political aspirations and winning to become the senator for Nakuru County,” says the politician, who is in her early 40s.
Which were your most memorable moments last year?
Several moments stood. Being nominated as a Senate candidate under Jubilee Party to represent Nakuru and the eventual win as one of the three elected woman senators was a beautiful moment. Also, the moment of honour and privilege to serve my party when I was appointed as the Majority Whip in the Senate.
And what would you term your main achievement for 2017?
That would have to be winning the confidence and trust of people of Nakuru County, who overwhelmingly gave me their votes.
Things seem to look up for Susan the past year and one wonders if she has any regrets
My regret is the unfortunate loss of my media team in October through the helicopter crash in Lake Nakuru. It has been very traumatising, especially the long period it took the divers and all rescue teams to retrieve the bodies and wreckage.
They were a dedicated team who I had worked with throughout the electioneering period.
Again, it is very regrettable that we as Kenyans, and particularly Nakuru residents, keep counting losses and many deaths along the Salgaa Black spot due to accidents. A solution is needed and specifically to ensure the dual carriage is constructed while still instituting other remedial measures in the immediate and medium term.
What are your hopes for 2018?
“I pray for a year that will see a turnaround of our economy for an upward trend with less politics and leaderships across the political divide focusing on empowering Kenyans. I intend to give unity and national cohesion a big portion of my time. Equally important is public engagement, public participation and involvement for a better Nakuru in terms of leadership and community welfare.”
What are your plans for 2018?
“I look forward to effectively undertake my representation, legislation and oversight role in the Senate, and particularly be the voice to push, promote and pursue the interests of Nakuru County in the Senate. This I will do along my role as the Majority Whip to ensure that the Jubilee agenda in the House is debated and necessary policy and legislative framework is passed.”
What nuggets does Susan want to share with her fellow women this year?
“Nothing comes easy. One has to believe in their vision, capacity and summon the energy.”
She advises women to seek like-minded people to work with and take the challenges of life head on.
“Our Constitution provides women with numerous growth opportunities. Let us seize them.” That way, she believes that 2018 will be a better year for the womenfolk.
“Whether one is in business, academia, farming, consultancy, politics or just taking care of their family, women have to remain strong, be able to synergise in groups, cooperatives, Saccos, churches and all other fields,” the senator concludes.
Judy Wanjiku, legal advisor in a banking institution
Judy, who is in her early 30s, is full of praises for 2017. “I can honestly say that looking back, I do not have any regrets. It was overall a good year for me and I thank God for it all,” she says.
However, Judy says she has made a conscious effort to learn from her past mistakes. “I have tried not to punish myself for those mistakes, but to pick up the pieces and move on,” she says.
What was her main achievement?
My main achievement was finding my happiness and making a conscious decision not to let things or people get in the way of my happiness and joy.
What plans do you have in place for next year?
Allow me to sum it up in T.D Jake’s words: “To birth a higher and better expression of myself.”
Do you have any hindrances to getting there? Any associations, things you need to let go to succeed?
Toxic relationship that only serve to deplete my energy, especially people who criticise just to make you feel small and diminished.
I will also be wary of those who waste your time, resources and will only be your friend when things are good but when the hard times come knocking, they are nowhere to be found,” she asserts. In 2018 I hope I will keep and build on those relationships, especially friends that are concerned about personal growth.
What nuggets would you want to share with women for the New Year?
“As women, we are automatically wired to put others before ourselves and find it sinister to think otherwise. This eventually leads to burnout and sometimes even resentment, especially if we aren’t appreciated for the efforts we put in. If you want to stay healthy, happy and productive, you need to take care of yourself first. If you don’t, you will have nothing left to give to those whom you care about.