During my recent visit to Nairobi I was overwhelmed by the women I met who are engaged in such a wide variety of businesses and initiatives. They are imaginative, creative, aware of the need to feed the minds of the young and intent on making a substantial positive impact. And they are not frightened – by the terrorist threats, their upcoming elections or the state of the economy – on the surface.
Underneath, however, there has been a shift since my last visit and these ladies do embrace all the challenges surrounding them – an unusually loud noise from a nearby building site instantly causes a lull in the conversation, the additional time it takes to get into hotels and shopping centres because of additional security checks – all create a very different reaction to the very relaxed state of being from the past.
Does it humble their temperament? Not at all! They are strong, proud, focused and determined. They are fun to be with and their energy is high. They are creating a day-to-day reality that demonstrates how people can succeed when the spirit remains strong.