21 year old Wendy Muma is a lady not afraid to take the heat that comes with student politics. The fourth year student of Business Administration at St. Paul’s University shares the journey in leadership.
- What leadership docket are you in and what is your role?
I’m the Finance Secretary (SPUSA) St. Paul’s University Student Association.
One of my key roles is actually to chair the finance committee meetings which consist of four treasurers representing each branch campus respectively; as St. Paul’s University has four branches countrywide that is, Nakuru, Nairobi, Limuru and Machakos.
I’m also tasked with drawing budgets for activities that are supposed to take place at campus level and forward them to the president and the dean of students for approval.
- Did you always see yourself landing in a leadership position?
No, not at all. I was never a captain or a prefect throughout kindergarten, primary school or even high school. I simply didn’t see it as my thing. Things became different when I got to campus. I was groomed and afterwards developed the confidence and courage to vie for a leadership position which proves that sometimes, leaders are not born, they are made.
- How was your journey there? Were people supportive? Were you discriminated against for any reason?
It wasn’t easy, I had to convince the students that as a lady, I was fit enough to occupy such a sensitive leadership position and deliver the promises in my manifesto as compared to my male counterparts.
On the other hand, I had a very supportive campaign team who offered me their assistance as I went through all the branch campuses to campaign. Three quarters of my campaign team consisted of male students who always encouraged me when I was at the verge of quitting. I was highly grateful because this rarely happens in other universities. Most aspiring female leaders are discriminated during elections just because of their gender.
- What are your challenges in leadership?
Balancing school work, social life and leadership has been a great challenge. There was a time when I was required to be at the main campus for a supreme meeting with the management during class time. I had no option but to miss that class. But in a wrap, i would say that everything has its own time. A leader must do the right thing at the right time, keeping in mind that he/she is a role model to the rest of the students. As for me, i used to calculate and draw budgets before the semester that activities should take place, reaches hence finding some free time to study and also for other co-curricular activities
- What have been your achievements so far?
Like they say, you are not a leader until you make one. Together with my fellow female student leaders have come up with an initiative called the Noble Girl Child Campaign. Its aim is to give guidance and mentorship to the female students especially their first years. We also encourage them to take leadership positions during election.
During my era, I together with other student leaders have been able to amend some articles in the constitution concerning student body subscription fee. We were able to have these amendments done by mobilizing students and lobbying for their signatures. Hence their subscription fee will be increased so that student activities will be adequately funded.
- What more do you aspire to do?
I would like to empower young ladies and the youth in general through mentor-ship. I would like young people to embrace who they are of course after identifying who they are. I would like to encourage them to live their dreams. If it’s talents, let them put them into practice. Every young person should ensure that they find their purpose in life.
A true inspiration she is to other young ladies. Agree? Tell us your thoughts below.