A few years ago, if you’d asked me what a community is, I would have naively defined it as a group of people who share a common ancestral origin. However, over the past four months that I have been in KamiLimu, I have come to realize that a community is a broad term that extends beyond my narrow definition. Presently, I know that there are different types of communities, such as my university and software developers communities. While these groups have had varying impacts on me as they have different purposes, today, I want to pay homage to the one that has influenced me the most — KamiLimu.
KamiLimu has been a great community to me. I dare say that I have learned and grown more over the past four months that I have been a mentee in the program than I would have achieved as simply a university student. I owe this difference to KamiLimu’s core pillars: Personal Development, Professional Development, Scholarship Awareness and Community Engagement. The program’s impact on me has been so profound that if I was given a chance to choose it again, I would not hesitate at all! Let me tell you a story.
In the past, I would experience imposter syndrome and feel that I am not good enough at doing something. For example, in my second year in university I was taking a Java programming class. To my dismay, almost all my classmates seemed to understand what the lecturer was teaching. Then there was me. I could barely understand what was being taught at that time, and, as a result, I felt like an outcast who did not belong in that class. I convinced myself that Java and myself were like apples and oranges: we did not belong to the same class. So, for a while, a voice in my head would tell me, “You cannot do it.” However, after joining KamiLimu, I learned that imposter syndrome can be managed and everything is possible as long as one is focused and determined to accomplish a given goal. KamiLimu taught me that I should use the keyword “Yet“ whenever I cannot do something at a particular time. For example, a better response to my initial troubles with Java would have been: “I am not good at Java. Yet.”
My time at KamiLimu was the highlight of my 2021. The lessons I have learned and the people I have met and interacted with have taught me significant lessons about the power of community, especially, the impact that those who surround you can have. The influence of KamiLimu goes beyond just the mentees. For instance, one of the first workshops we attended was on CV and cover letter writing. This session not only enabled me to revamp my CV and secure a job afterward but it also empowered me enough to advise my classmates on how to write better CVs, particularly, the need to demonstrate, and not just state, their achievements and qualities. I have also talked to many of them regarding impostor syndrome, why they should believe more in themselves, and why they should use the word ‘Yet” whenever they feel that they cannot do something. What was the best decision I made last year? Joining KamiLimu, of course!
Edited by Allan Wasega.