Writing, when deconstructed, oftentimes has less to do with communication between person and person, but more of a conversation with different parts of the self. In 6 Months and Counting, Mark Tanui, a KamiLimu Cohort 6.0 mentee, writes a letter to a pre-KamiLimu version of himself in which he shares his realization that we are all different in the way we perceive the world, and how he is using this understanding as a guide to working in teams, re-igniting his teenage interests and finding a home, a family in KamiLimu.
“Above all else, experiencing KamiLimu may turn out to be the 6th wonder of our life. We’ll talk about the other five sometime later.”
Do you remember the 7th of August 2021? It marked the start of what has so far been a fruitful and amazing experience for us. 6 months later, and we regret nothing. I remember how we first came across ‘kamilimu.org’ written on someone’s bio on the bird app (Twitter). We may have been stalking them but they’ll never know. We found ourselves binging on all the content on KamiLimu’s website including reading almost all the project documentation for Cohort 5.0 mentees. Towards the end of our binge, we started asking the question, “How do we get accepted into the program?” Looking around, we found the answer on the applying page, read the eligibility criteria and knew that was it. We had been led onto a lifeline. We had to get in!
Did I mention that we followed all their socials? My bad. We did. More than any other, we liked their Medium Page the most. The articles, emotive. Some days later, having already signed up to the blog, obviously, a notification arrived in our inbox. ‘The KamiLimu Advantage,’ read the header. Muema, a cohort 5.0 mentee and the third KamiLimu Fellow, had just won the EC-Council University’s Cyber Challenge. We read his article five times, just to give a conservative estimate. That article acted as the blueprint for our application essays. With such a powerful reference, you know it already, we are now in KamiLimu, haha.
Mark, I would like to tell you how it’s been since we last spoke on Launch Day. I have been on a journey of self discovery. My long-held beliefs of truth have slowly been unraveling. Being around people from different universities, located in different parts of the country, with different ambitions and, more importantly, varying thought processes, is enabling me to appreciate differences more than I did before. Today, I no longer judge based solely on my experience but I let my experience with others inform me of what to adopt as truth. The acceptance of fluidity in the living of life is leading me to see the people in KamiLimu as family; KamiLimu is slowly becoming a home, a safe space.
I am learning that to do that which we believe adds value to the community and ourselves, I need to stop being afraid of the other side of failure; to be assured that trying is already half the journey. Do you remember when we were so afraid of failing at teamwork; all we wanted was to go it alone? When we thought that going fast was all that mattered, that we decided not to try it at all? Well, now I am convinced that teamwork does work. Teams have taught me patience, and attention to and accommodation of diversity in thought. I am gradually embracing working in groups, in school and at KamiLimu. Certainly, there are things that come into full view only when we slow down.
As the days go by, I am slowly turning into a version of Mark that you’d be equally surprised by and proud of. I am currently preparing to dive into the sea of cybersecurity. I know you must be wondering whether I mistyped. The sea of cybersecurity. Just before we left high school, do you remember us reading an article about cybersecurity and ethical hacking from one of the dailies in the library? Apparently, after joining the university, we got lost in other things, like networking, but KamiLimu has re-ignited the spark. Thanks to Matthew, my track mentor, I am currently finding my niche in the space and learning all I can. In order to fast track my learning curve, I have enrolled in a Penetration Testing course by Offensive Security. After completing the curriculum, I hope to have gained enough skill to qualify as a penetration tester with an ability to perform simulated cyberattacks on computer systems and networks. Not in malevolence, of course, but to identify security vulnerabilities and weaknesses before malicious hackers have the chance to exploit them. I also hope to do a successful social engineering attack and write about it, to help defend against them.
Mark, I’ll be in touch in a few months.
Edited by Mwaniki Nyaga