Having waited for 13 years to achieve this milestone, I hope it inspires someone on what is possible when we remain hopeful, discover and pursue our passion, work hard and never stop dreaming. Whatever you desire is possible with determination. My encouragement is to never despair and to keep the faith. Go for it, as my bank would say!Nelson Opany
19th December 2019 was a very happy day for me. It was a day of celebration. I celebrated the triumph of hope over despair; and the power of passion and hard work. I started a new chapter in my life.
Thirteen years before, I missed out on the opportunity to join university through government-sponsored selection upon completion of my Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations where I had scored a B-Plain with an average of 65 points. Disappointedly, I went to live with my brother who had no means of putting me through university. Without parents to go back to for guidance and support I was left on my own to figure out a direction for my life. I never despaired.
Thanks to Scouting, I realized a passion which helped to define for me a purpose and a path that I follow to date. Through the many non-formal educational experiences I took part in through the movement at local, national, zonal, regional and global levels I found joy and motivation to pursue my dreams. I picked up a lot of skills and competencies that landed me a job which continues to sustain my family and me.
In April 2015, I enrolled as a student at Moi University to pursue and bachelors degree programme in communication and public relations; a field of study I have developed a great passion for. My quest for knowledge turned out to be a busy, challenging and equally rewarding four-year journey of learning and professional growth. My graduation on that day marked the end of a chapter I had long waited to close. I thank God it came to pass.
This would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of several people to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude. My colleagues from the World Scout Bureau Africa Regional Office were of great support and motivation. I cannot thank enough my dear wife and mother of our two wonderful boys, Benta. She endured my coming home late when I had to attend evening classes, stay longer in the office to do my assignments or stay up late to read for exams. My classmates at the university too were very supportive. As our class representative, Mr Daniel Shikoli used to say, I indeed agree that “degree ni Harambee”. It was a journey of sharing knowledge and guiding each other.
I got conferred upon, by the Senate of Moi University, the powers to read and write on all matters appertaining to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Communications and Public Relations (2nd Class Honours, Upper Division). This was a moment of great pride that ushered in a new beginning in my professional life. I became the first of my seven siblings to attain university education, setting a new high for the family and hopefully inspiring those after me to aspire for even greater accolades. Thanks to my siblings Stephen, Prisca, Leteciah and Beatrice, Reagan and Leonard for all the encouragement and support.
Having waited for 13 years to achieve this milestone, I hope it inspires someone on what is possible when we remain hopeful, discover and pursue our passion, work hard and never stop dreaming. Whatever you desire is possible with determination. My encouragement is to never despair and to keep the faith. Go for it, as my bank would say!