Last One For 2021

The year is already over! It’s been a great year of big wins and humbling losses, but at the end of it, I’m glad of all that we’ve achieved. I’ve spent a year sharing my reflections with you, and I’m grateful to everyone who has read and shared this newsletter. I’ve also invited a number of guest writers, who have enriched us all with their perspectives.

I’d like to continue the tradition of ‘passing the mic’ to my teammates at Baraza, who’ve worked incredibly hard to get Baraza over the line for 2021. This year, we’ve doubled the team at Baraza, which means that some of those sharing their reflections below are new to the team, while others are our Day One’s/ OG’s. So, ‘From the Curator’s Desk’ this time around is from their desks: they will share their big lessons for 2021, and their hopes for the coming year. *Cue applause*

Cynthia Muthoni, Community & Operations Lead

“My big lesson for this year was to trust the process. Things come to you at their own time, and every time I try to exert full control in a situation, things go haywire.

If I had all the power in the world, I’d wish Covid-19 would disappear in 2022. I miss those days when we’d go out, see people, and just exist with less worry. I want to be able to breathe and relax again.”

Yurigin Sifuna, Operations & Community Intern

“My big lesson is that life is tough. There’s no shortcuts to stepping out of your comfort zone, that’s the only way to get big things done. I’ve had to really put myself out there this year and do things out of the usual.

For 2022, I need to get myself out of a fitness slump I’ve been in, and also to start reading more. I have a stack of unread books in my house.”

William Chesoni, Content & Communications Lead

“It sounds a bit cliché, but my big lesson of the year is that the only thing that’s constant in life is change. This has been a year of so much change, both personally and professionally. It’s also been a year of firsts for me, which had made me reflect a lot on how ready I was for all this change. I’m thinking I need to strive to be a person who’s always ready to ride the waves of change when they come.

In 2022 I’d like to be a bit more ‘selfish’. I need to focus a bit more on taking care of myself; setting aside time to just do things that I enjoy.”

Cynthia Kemunto, Events & Communications Intern

“My big lesson for 2021 is that what’s yours will always find you. So many good things have happened to me this year that I didn’t have to force.

In 2022 I’d really love to see the country elect a sensible government and that there’s peace in this country. Elections give me so much anxiety.”

June Injete, Program Manager

“My big lesson of the year was that I need to give myself time to receive what I’ve asked for. Good things take time, and it’s been a year of finding the discipline to wait for what I need.

In 2022 I’d really love to travel more. I know the pandemic – and the new emerging variants – complicate this dream, but I really want to see more of the world.”

Vanessa Gathecha, Research Lead

“My big lesson for the year is simply to show up. Show up for your friends, for your family, for the people that you care about, and for yourself.

In the coming year I’m looking forward to laying groundwork for comprehensive ‘post-pandemic’ recovery. I know the pandemic might not be ‘post’ for a while, but an advantage of any crisis is the clarity it brings along. I’m looking forward to seeing how we collectively support one another in finding a way to recover – however tentatively – from the slump these two years have thrown us in.”

Lisa Muchangi, Marketing & Communications Manager

“I’ve learned to seriously prioritize my well being above all else. I’ve had to take care of ‘me’ a lot this year. I’m also becoming a more empathetic person, which wasn’t always the case. I’ve learned to approach situations with empathy, to try and understand where the other person is coming from.

Last year (2020) I had all these plans, and then Covid-19 happened. Right now I’m literally taking it one day at a time. I want to go back to the little things I used to love, and find time for them.

Maurice Otieno, Executive Director

This year has taught me a lot about my limits. I’ve learned to lean on others for help, to bring in more people and their perspectives when I need to tackle an issue.

In 2022, I’d hope for more love in the world. I know that sounds vague and fluffy, but I’m lately so much more aware of many things going wrong around me and in the world. I’d wish for people to be more genuine with each other.”

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