12 years ago I came to Nairobi for the first time in this yellow and red flowered shirt.I had just been accepted on Guinness Scholarship to study business Information Technology at Strathmore University. I wore a yellow jacket, yellow flowered shirt and a green trousers. And I learned how to cross the roads for the first time in Nairobi. It would be my first time to see so many of my classmates who are ladies wearing trousers. Back home in Elgeiyo Marakwet County those days, only the ladies working in the bar wore trousers. It was somewhat an abomination to wear trousers as a girl. So you can imagine how much of a scandal it was for me. It was a struggle to hear people announce they are going to the toilet. Those kind of things, I thought were fact private.It looked like I had to grow up fast and quick. I had little time to adjust.
As soon as I reached class, I figured I should campaign to be a class rep. And I passionately talked about how I would represent the class. I didn’t know then that I stood no chance. A few years later, I found out that my accent, my Christmas green trousers with turnup and Flowered shirt (the one you see) wasn’t cool enough. I also did find out that a couple of classmates voted for me- the village kind…(you know yourselves). I think I got about 26 votes out of close to 100. I have indeed been blessed to have great classmates and friends even when they didn’t vote me. I have been indeed lucky.
I did struggle the first semester to fit in or at least try to fit in. I asked God to help me try to fit in- Imagine…… I thought it was important to fit in. I went to pray occasionally. And I doubled on my calculus and mathematics so that I could teach in my group discussions and in the process fit it. I don’t think I ever did fit in but It become much better after the 1semester.
So this month I found out this award at Strathmore University and asked my classmates to nominate me. I hope they do. But it’s crazy what many of us must go through trying to fit in. And for that matter anyone who has fears. These days purple, let alone green trousers are just fine. And I doubt the flowered shirt may ever become cool but please encourage anyone to campaign for class rep with flowered shirt. Sometimes people don’t just struggle with lack of money, they may struggle with just the pressure to fit in. In a world trying very hard to make many many of us to be who we are not, it’s our job to make it less so for others.
This is a #throwback for all the misfits out there. Share it to encourage others who feel like they don’t fit. And if you have felt you didn’t fit somewhere. And if you still do. Let’s make it OK to be Misfit’s.
PS 1. If I get chosen for Entrepreneurs Award (I will re purpose this shirt) for that evening.
PS2. Please vote for me here is the Link http://www.strathmore.edu/alumni/alumni-gala-dinner-and-awards-2016/