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“I am passionate about debating, it is in my blood”, says Mapenzi, one of our beneficiaries. She recently emerged position 3 at a national debate competition. Mapenzi imagines making a career from debating. Here is what she says in an interview with Kesho Kenya.
The video on YouTube:

𝙃𝙤𝙬 𝙙𝙤 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙛𝙚𝙚𝙡 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙖𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙣 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙣𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙖 𝙡𝙖𝙧𝙜𝙚 𝙖𝙪𝙙𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙚?

“It is normal to be nervous but I love composing myself. When I speak to a crowd of over a 1,000 people, I assume nobody is watching me. I also think of people who have made it in life, I get encouraged, start speaking and then all my fear disappears.”

𝙒𝙝𝙮 𝙙𝙚𝙗𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜?

“I am very talkative and I like English. When it comes to debating and I see how people express themselves and are talking in front of others, I want to be the one doing that. Who knows, maybe one day, I will be the president of Kenya because of, my public speaking skills.”

𝙃𝙤𝙬 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙛𝙞𝙧𝙨𝙩 𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚 𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙖𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙣 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙣𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙖 𝙡𝙖𝙧𝙜𝙚 𝙘𝙧𝙤𝙬𝙙?

“I was feeling like I am going to lose, I was not speaking at my best but I was encouraged when they announced me as the best presenter and was awarded. It felt so nice.”

𝘿𝙤 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙧𝙚𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙨𝙚 𝙙𝙚𝙗𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜?

“Actually, I don’t practice. I only need to know what I am going to talk about. I ask myself, which style I am going to use on stage to get everybody’s attention.”

𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙘𝙠𝙨 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙪𝙨𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙜𝙚𝙩 𝙖𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣?

(Laughing) “You talk unique. You speak at your best. You use all the styles that you can, e.g. acting or making people laugh. I start speaking with all my passion. You have to know how to talk to the audience and who they are.”

𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙢𝙤𝙨𝙩 𝙢𝙚𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙖𝙗𝙡𝙚 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙣𝙩?

“It was when I went to St. Thomas for the national debate. All the big schools were participating. At the end, I was position 3. The other event was when I was elected Vice-Chairperson of Kilifi County. To me, it feels I can be a leader in the future.”

𝙃𝙤𝙬 𝙙𝙤𝙚𝙨 𝙙𝙚𝙗𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙗𝙪𝙩𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙡𝙞𝙛𝙚?

“It can support me to be more than I think about myself. I can be a lawyer, a teacher, a social worker, the president of the country. I feel like I can also make a career from debating. I don’t want only one career. I want to be a lawyer, a lecturer, a journalist and a motivational speaker.”

𝙒𝙝𝙤 𝙢𝙤𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙨 𝙮𝙤𝙪?

“Actually Kesho Kenya. When I came to Kesho Kenya I was shy. Through the trainings they offer and the smiles I get from staff when I am in the resource center, I am motivated to work harder so as to make Kesho Kenya proud. I thank them for moulding me into who I currently am.”