Grant-Lee Philips, a songwriter, actor, and singer- voted ‘Best Male Vocalist’ of 1994, once said “Collaboration is much like a birth. The song that springs forth resembles each one of us to a degree, but it’s the kind of thing that would never be born from just one of us sitting down with a guitar.” This quote best captures our 43-year-old relationship with the Rotary Club of Nairobi.

The Rotaract club of Nairobi Central is an idea born and nurtured by the Rotary club of Nairobi. In 1977, a young Rotarian by the name Mike Eldon (he is still young, oozing with energy and always ready to hangout with millennials) saw the need to establish an avenue for young professionals to enjoy and learn the Rotary principles and values. It is this noble idea that led to the establishment of the club under the sponsorship of the Rotary club of Nairobi in the year 1977/1978.

Members of the Rotaract Club of Nairobi Central 1977/1978

With a founding membership of the likes of distinguished lawyer Rtn. Stephen Mwenesi and Kenya’s former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, the seed of excellence was planted right at the start. In our 43 years of mother-daughter relationship, we have surely had some amazing moments; carried out life-changing community based projects, built lasting relationships, mentored each other, in tough times stood together, visited each others’ homes, rubbed each others shoulders the wrong way, shared meals together and like it is in our tradition, ate #MoreCake together.

Members of the Rotary Club of Nairobi and Rotaract Club of Nairobi Central during a mentorship session

In recent years, we have collaborated strongly on some key projects. The SCAW project implemented by the Rotary Club of Nairobi, Tree Planting, A-Girl-A-K Sanitary pads project, Elimu Magerezani, Interact Program, and the recently concluded Storytelling and Composition Writing Competition. One of the most refreshing moments during this year has been the amazing partnership between our Professional and Leadership development docket and the Youth Service docket; Holding joint monthly committee meetings, jointly implementing the mentorship program, and together implementing the storytelling competition. The unity of purpose, synergy, and mutual understanding between the directors is worth emulating as we venture into the future.

As we put in place plans for the future, we have a chance to look back and reflect on our rich history and use it as a foundation for future success. A future where more members and Alumni of our club will transition and join the Rotary Club of Nairobi, where we will pursue better ways of engaging in Mentorship & Coaching, and where together, we will build a lasting change within our community. 

As we create this future, let’s not limit the possibilities of our unity. It is true that we both have different identities, different personalities, and different ways of doing things. But, it is also true that each of us has a story, a story that we share. A story of friendship, a story well crafted for the past 43 years. 

Cheers to friendship and collaboration!

Yours in Rotary,

Ambrose Mbuvi

President 2020/21

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