Roughly 2 years ago, I was super excited about the launch of the Rotaract District 9212 (covering Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Eritrea) Magazine issue 2 (September 2017 issue) which happened at the Rotaract Club of Nairobi Parklands meeting. During its launch, I kept thinking about how perfect Muto’s work was (the then District PR director and designer of the magazine). This prompted me to write an article about it: Rotaract D9212 Magazine September issue is out. Little did I know that sometime in the near future I would be interested in graphic designing. Read the beginning of brand Caty Kay and my designing phobia to know how I started designing.
Several months before this Rotary year commenced, George (the current district PR director) asked me if I would mind being the PR director for Rotaract Kenya. Previously I had been managing my club’s PR (Rotaract Club of Kitengela) including content creation and management, and designing posters, and I thought it would be relatively the same with less graphic designing engagements since there were few Rotaract Kenya events and each club was responsible for designing its own graphics – which was a plus for me because I barely knew my way around design projects, save for my limited Canva designing skills.
After the DCA, the district PR team met (being the country PR director, I had to attend our district’s PR meetings) and there I was, tasked with designing the Rotaract District 9212 July 2019 issue. At first I thought “how hard can it be? I mean, it’s not the first time I’ve tried out things”. A few days to the release, I had not designed the magazine; I was still trying to figure out the ins and outs of the Adobe CC suite applications.
I met Muto and he took me through the basics of the Adobe CC suite applications and that helped me overcome my designing phobia. All we need is a little nudge! After this meeting, I kickstarted the design work for the magazine which took a couple of short and sleepless nights. I had to put in the extra work to ensure that it was above par even though I wasn’t sure what I was doing and everything I was doing for the first time. After it all, George, the rest of the district PR team and myself created a masterpiece: Rotaract D9212 July 2019 issue.
If it were not for such opportunities in Rotaract, I would not have gone out of my comfort zone. In the past one and half months, I have honed my design skills and I have become better at utilizing the Rotary branding guidelines – and making bigger strides by the day. Interacting with the 89 Rotaract clubs in Kenya (and growing), has positively impacted on how I relate with people.
The highlight of it all is that my journey in graphic design started with Rotaract and has grown because of Rotaract. This kind of growth is one that I solely attribute to the provision of voluntary services, and to holding various leadership positions in Rotaract.
By Catherine Njeri, Rotaract Kenya PR Director – Member, Rotaract Club of Kitengela