Student Spotlight: Diana Owuor in Political Leadership & Governance Programme
Known for her ever bright and pleasant smile, Diana is a third-year student of the pioneer Bachelor of Arts in International Studies class. She recently completed training in the Political Leadership and Governance Programme 2018 under the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung organisation. This programme which recruited 15 out of the 670 applicants in 2018, seeks to empower young people in leadership and has an annual turnover dating back to the pioneer classes that included Kipchumba Murkomen (senator Elgeyo Marakwet County) and Caren Wakoli (Executive Director Emerging Leaders Foundation).
Being an avid reader and writer, Diana believes that a story can create change in society. Her piece titled ‘Hand me a drink please’ was published in the Kalahari Review and outlines some of the troubles of living in Nairobi without water. Her interactions with Dannish Odongo and Boniface Mwangi piqued her interest in writing. She intends to use literature to engage the populace in meaningful discussions on the future of the continent and the people’s welfare. She established her own blog and through it churns out material on the political space and its economic influences.
As an alumnus of the PLGP programme, she joins a growing network of politicians, writers, journalists, business people, and key influencers in the national and international sphere. She intends to share the knowledge gained during the programme with young people in both formal and informal spaces and frequently speaks at Pawa254, the artist’s hub, located off Statehouse road Nairobi.
How did you learn about the program?
A friend of mine shared information about the opportunity on her Facebook page. I shared it on my social media sites and I applied for the programme, hoping for the best. I knew the odds of being picked among so many were testy, however I knew I would regret it if I didn’t give it a try.
Describe the Political Leadership & Governance Programme
The programme presently entails a five-week training on leadership and governance. It begins with self-examination to allow a new member to understand their strengths, weaknesses and then create a personal brand. The content material provided includes resource mobilisation, budget allocation, communication, history of the Kenyan nation, understanding how political parties function, ethics in leadership, among others. PLGP attracts individuals from various fields of interest who would like to develop their leadership capability and contribute to society.
What advice would you advice young people who are seeking leadership roles?
I have realized that we limit ourselves. When we abandon fear, we unlock our potential and discover talents and skills we did not realise existed. Similarly, we become aware of the opportunities available to us. I would encourage us to avoid being timid and begin to understand the challenges in our society and how we can adapt to them so that our leadership can be effective.
What are your interests aside from academia?
I’m an active debater and enjoy debate sessions and Model United Nations forums. When the sun decides to smile, I enjoy a good swim as well. Whenever I get the chance, I attend plays and spoken word forums. I’ve had the pleasure of attending great productions like Rira by Khweva and DeadMen by Joyce Juma Jante.
What challenges have you faced in leadership?
I think the main setbacks I’ve had have been the internal limits I’ve placed on myself. Some tasks would seem impossible, but when broken down into small achievable units, they become manageable.
Any last thoughts?
My brother always says that when you talk to people, ensure that you tell them something worthwhile. I desire to see the day when each of us will be comfortable in their own skin. Don’t focus on another person’s story and end up forgetting your own. Grow your talents and seek activities and people who help you discover more about yourself, and the world around you. Always remember you are not your own, there is a purpose for which you were created.