Nancy Njeri, a Civil Engineering Student, is the current President of one of the most prestigious clubs in Kimathi – Rotaract. She has served as a delegate, she has been on the university’s electoral commission and she does Tae Kwon Doh. Come July, when she is officially no longer Rotaract DeKUT president, she’ll proceed to be the Assistant District Representative of Mt. Kenya Region. Here is the interview with this remarkable lady:
1. Being Rotaract President, what has that been like?
It is an honor to be the head of a team that is taking our club to the next level. Rotaract DeKUT is lit. We serve the community and have fun while doing it. Those people are my family. We’re also big on professionalism, networking and creating better versions of ourselves. Joining Rotaract was the wisest decision I made in campus.
2. Who would you say Nancy Njeri is?
She is a very outgoing and energetic person, a go-getter and a believer in taking up opportunities when they arise. She loves singing, hiking, swimming and tries her best to travel (as much as she can within a student’s budget) Rotaract has made this very possible and affordable. She also loves helping people out, which is also a reason for staying in Rotaract.
3. Do you identify as a feminist?
Yes, I do identify as a feminist.
4. What is feminism to you? How would you advice fellow feminists to maintain a balance. Ama you don’t think there is need for balance?
It’s more of a feeling. I do believe a balance is required. As feminists, all we want is to be part of the decision making process just as much as men.
5. Okay, going back to Rotaract. You seem very passionate about it, how did you join?
Through a friend of mine. She came from her first Rotaract meeting and was like, “Waaahh, I have found a group of people that you’d love. The fellowship is so organized but fun at the same time.
And when I went for my first fellowship, I was hooked.
6. It must have been hard juggling between your duties as Rotaract president and a civil engineering course, especially since it was your final year as a student.
It was intense yes but manageable. (I am a workaholic) It was hard during some seasons especially because of planning for events and handling my final year project. But once I have put my mind to something I love, I will carry it to the end.
The good thing with Rotaract is that we plan things a whole year in advance and there are directors for every necessary docket so when the date of an event is near, we just brush up on the preparations. This made it easier for me.
7. What was your journey before you became president?
I joined Rotaract in my second year here. I got elected into the board later that year as the Club Service Director and later as the Professional Development and Leadership Director. After that, I was elected President.
8. You’ve had quite a few titles. What was your role as the Professional Development and Leadership Director?
As the name suggests, my work was to help people leave Rotaract having learnt more about themselves, their career and about life in general. It was my job to keep people motivated. This was done by inviting guest speakers – one every month – and having public speaking and expressive fellowships like debates.
9. You’re a finalist, you’re going to graduate virtually. What are your feelings about that?
I have mixed feelings about the virtual graduation.
I was excited to dress up for my graduation and I wanted to experience the psych that comes with graduating as the whole class after all that we have been through together for 5 years – 4 and 1/3 years actually.
But then again we may wait for a whole year to graduate and there are people who may need the certificates before then.
10. 4 and 1/3 years. Is it good or bad that you finished campus that quickly?
It’s a blessing.
11. You do Tae Kwon Do. What is it really like? Is it like those chinese movies with voice overs from DJ Afro?
It actually is just like in some movies. But competition wise, it is regulated and some moves earn you more points. And by the way Tae Kwon Do is South Korean, not Chinese.
12. What is your highest achievement as a Tae Kwon Do artist?
I was 2nd runners up at the South Korean Ambassador’s Kukiwon National Tournament. It was honestly a proud moment for me. It was one of those things that I did not think I could get.
13. What was the tournament like?
It was intense. I was in the ring at 1 AM in the night, beat and hungry, may I add. And I went up against a lady who was the national and African region champion. I took a hit to the head nikaona giza literally. I was not able to chew for 3 days after that.
14. So you can beat people up really good. Sindio? How many people can you simultaneously take in a fight?
I have never fought more than one. And my mum laughingly tells me not to tell men that I do martial arts juu nitakosa bwana.
15. Wait. Are you by any chance from Nyeri?
Niko Nyeri saa hii ata. Ha ha. Red flags pale.
16. Heh. Sawa. What was your best experience in Kimathi?
My best experience was probably my Tae Kwon Do season, the thrill. Plus several Rotaract events. Thinking about them makes me excited. I also liked being in the Commission.
Oh and an expedition to Masai Mara and Samburu that was planned by IASTE.
17. The Electoral Commission of Kimathi. Tell me what it was like. Give me the raw details.
Raw details? Will this be on or off the record?
The commission involved a lot of planning for elections and discretion. But I loved the political scene and being at the center of it was awesome.
18. What was your worst experience in Kimathi?
The worst… Let me rack my brain kidogo. I have been told that I am a very optimistic person. I tend to look at the positive side and/or outcome of things so I am not in a position to answer this question.
19. What is your favorite spot ya kuchill in Kimathi? And place ya kukula pia?
The Basketball court.
Alafu once in a while Mbui na ile base ya fries opposite the gate.
20. Give a shout out to some other influential ladies in Kimathi.
Sandra Chepkemboi… the deputy chairperson of DeKUT in 2017/2018. Winnie Njeri, she’s the founder of Tuko Poa, a group of people who are abled differently here in Kimathi. In Rotaract we say differently abled instead of disabled… just in case you are wondering.
There’s also Faith Muthoni, our incoming Rotaract President. She’s a third year.