“Wamlambeeeeez??” “Wamnyonyez!!” replied the crowd. This marked the start of President Njoki’s speech, moments after receiving the chain from District Governor Joe. It had been months, weeks, days, hours of planning that culminated into this one day – The Mexican Installation of President Sarah Njoki Maingi.
We commenced with a cocktail party at the rooftop of Mercado Mexican Restaurant where guests got a class of sweet margaritas and sampled some Mexican cuisine. It was an opportune moment for Rotarians, Rotaractors and non Rotarians to interact and network with each other. It was also a great opportunity to have a breathtaking view of the sunset beyond the horizon.
After dinner, the MC of the day, Rotarian George Ikua warmed up the crowd to a joke before inviting Immediate Past President to give his remarks.
It feels just like the other day when I stood before you to accept the honour of being elected to serve as your President for the year 2018-2019.
In my acceptance speech, I highlighted three things that I proposed that we focus on in order to make 2018-2019 a remarkable year for the Rotary Club of Madaraka. The three things were Projects, Inclusive Growth, and Telling our Stories.
I look back at the year with great joy and pride. We have made significant strides on all the three fronts. In projects, just to mention a few, we have continued with our stewardship of the Kirkau Water Project- and soon we will be embarking on a new phase. We have been faithful in raising funds for our two girls at Starehe Girls Centre, and we are having healthy conversations about the nature of new projects we want to be involved in.
In terms of growth for all, we have had a more involved and engaged membership through club committees, and we have continued to attract quality speakers who have presented insightful, provocative, enlightening, and touching presentations. We had the pleasure of having our DG, then DG elect, speak to us about his day job (then), Nerima Wako reminded us why we should be involved in politics, and we also had an opportunity to learn why we should consume brewed coffee and not instant coffee. And in telling our stories, we have been privileged to have had a great photographer and website developer in our midst. Working in concert with our PR Director, he has put us out there and because of his trade which is appreciated and requested for by many other clubs, Victor Muto has the highest number of make-ups in our club.
But there have been other significant achievements:
● More than 90% of our meetings started on time, and. And although we had one fellowship that lasted 36 minutes, we always ventured to close the meetings by 8.30pm to allow members some time to socialize before retiring for the day;
● We have continued to attract Rotaractors and fellow Rotarians at all our fellowships.
● We launched our annual Rotary Club of Madaraka Charity Golf Tournament. The inaugural tournament was held on January 4th, 2019 and we will be having it on every first Friday of the year.
● There are a number of in our midst who graduated from school, got promotions at their places of work or accomplished major projects, and others changed jobs.
● Four of us are serving in various District Committees in 2019-2020. This is the highest number since the club’s inception. Sunshine Rally- PP Kanake, VP Wilson & PE Malaki doubling up.
● Our partnership with Rotary Clubs outside of our district have never been better. We have friends from Rotary in Uganda (Kampala Metropolitan) in our midst today- and these are friendships nurtured since some of us were in Rotaract. And we were expecting friends from Nigeria, but they were not able to make it.
● We inducted eight Rotarians this year, and going by all indications, this number will increase in 2019-2020.
● And we have received the charter certificate for the Rotaract Club of the University of Nairobi Afya. For many years, we wondered where we would get medics…
In a special way, I want to thank my wife- Amanda- who has not only been accommodative, but also very supportive. I also want to appreciate club members and fellow Rotarians who by motivation, gave me the motivation to keep going. I am a much better man today, because of your support.
Njoki- as you formally take office today, I wish to assure you that you have one of the best clubs to support you. And given your excellent interpersonal and organizational skills, I know that this club is in the best pair of hands. I assure you of my support as the Immediate Past President and Club Trainer. This will be a great ride. As you excel, always remember to enjoy every step you take.
I close with the words in the song, My Way…IPP Henry Ndirangu Speech
Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way
Past District Governor Eric Kimani took to the podium and noted that he was proud of his “last born” club on the strides it had made in its 8 years since the charter on 1st June 2012. At the end of his speech, he read out the bio of the main speaker for the event, District Governor Joe Otin, whose accomplishments in and out of Rotary are beyond amaziiiiiiiiiiiing (Trump’s voice).
Kaching! Kaboom! Kaching Kaboom Kaching Kaboom Kaboom! Some confused response, obviously the crowd had lost the sequence 🤣🤣🤣 With his very polished & eloquent English, he proceeded to give his speech
… I believe that advancement is a natural human affair, if not for every living being on earth. I mean, what would we be doing on the planet if we were not making any progress? We started in the Garden of Eden and have come all the way to Silicon Valley in search of wealth, knowledge and power.
And when the birds and the bees come together the result is a suckling newborn that grows into the mad scientist who sends rockets to the moon to fulfil society’s endless search for legacy, providence and maybe God himself.
The extent of human endeavor is boundless, and we are only constrained by the limits of our imagination, and this is captured in the Tower of Babel story when God said of man “Soon he will be able to do anything that he sets out to do.” Does this mean that nothing is beyond reach, that together we can accomplish anything that we desire, and that the only reason we can’t achieve our aspirations is our penchant for thinking small?
Our thoughts control our feelings, which in turn control our actions. Actions repeated over and over create our habits, and those habits, when they become established in our routines define our behavior. And ultimately our behavior determines the outcomes in our lives. So, if you wish to create positive outcomes in your life, start with a strong foundation at the beginning of the process – and that foundation is built with the quality of your thoughts.
It reminds me of the analogy of a one-ton boulder rolling down a hill. While stationery at the top of the hill, the boulder represents your thoughts, and at that point it is relatively easy to point it in any direction. However, it will take a great amount of energy to push forward and set it into motion. You may have to use a lever and pivot to get it moving, and when it starts to roll it represents your habits, which take little effort to keep in motion, and more power to change direction.
As it accelerates down the slope, it represents your behavior which moves on its own momentum but now requires the strength of Hercules to alter its course. And by the time it hits top speed it represents the outcomes. You don’t have to lift a finger to keep it moving but trying to change its direction at this stage will kill you.
In the same vein, when taking important steps in life make sure that your mind is pointing in the right direction before you start. And it is critical that as you plan to elevate your game, that you are extremely prepared for success, so here are 3 thoughts to ponder.See AlsoRead the rest of DG Joe’s speech here https://joeotin.com/2019/07/20/3-reasons-for-taking-the-game-to-a-higher-level/
Teren teren… The moment we had been waiting for. Installing President Njoki. District Governor Joe Otin administered the oath of office.
The District Governor, The Country chair, Our AG, IPP Henry, all the protocol observed. Good evening. First, this will be a very short speech.
It is my greatest delight this evening for your trust and faith you bestowed in me as the Club President of Rotary club of Nairobi Madaraka. With all the opportunities and challenges that come with being the President, I am of the belief that this journey will not be a smooth one if I am to walk it alone. However, with the input of each and every one of you, and through our synergy, we are going to make sure that our theme Service above Self is going to be achieved. Let me take this opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous initiatives that were undertaken by the previous crop of leaders. Indeed, you are an inspiration, a challenge and an avenue for us to continue doing these great works that you began, I am certain though, that with this team that we have, we shall even do much better because I have faith in this team. As we transition into a new Rotary year it is always good time to remind ourselves of the purpose of this great service organization and its six areas of Focus which are to:
§ Promote peace
§ Fight disease
§ Provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene
§ Save mothers and children
§ Support education
§ Grow local economies
We are all aware as Rotarians, the theme for this Rotary year is Rotary Connects the World. And the service we deliver this year will be guided by the new Vision Statement “Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change — across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.”
In this regards we have various community projects that we will do during this Rotary year; one of which is Kirkau phase II, Liberty Children’s’ Home in Mlolongo as well as continuing to sponsor our girls at Starehe Girls School. And I promise, we will have fun and fellowship while doing it.
Fellow Rotarians and Guests, I am keeping my promise that I will not be long, so in closing I would like to make mention of a famous quote by Winston Churchill who said “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”. Of course, today we exist in a society where much emphasis is placed on personal wealth accumulation. However, we must always remember the less fortunate among us, and the fact that life in abundance, comes as a result of giving ourselves to others.
President Njoki’s acceptance speech
This is who we are as Rotarians. We know that the more we give of ourselves, the more we are likely to receive, so that we can continue to make a difference in the lives of others. To whom much is given, much is expected.
And oh, one last thing….