For Cynthia Nyongesa, nothing gives her more satisfaction than to successfully inspire and mentor young people. At 21 years of age, she has had the opportunity of meeting some of the most influential personalities in the country.
The law student at the University of Nairobi was last year shortlisted as a finalist for the World Bank Blog4Dev competition. The competition is a platform for young people to express themselves – each year having a different theme. The 2016 theme, which Cynthia was a finalist, was: “What opportunities would you create for young people in your home country?” For Cynthia, she wanted to use the influence she was rapidly gaining to impact the youth positively and create opportunities for them.
It was then that she decided to start her blog, Cynthia untamed, which has been growing rapidly over the months. The blog focuses on untold stories of young people impacting their communities positively.
How and when did it all begin?
While in her first year, Cynthia really needed someone to mentor her. So she reached out to Julie Gichuru who challenged her to think about what she wanted to do for her country. It was then that she decided to get into mentorship. Cynthia approached Equity group, where she becomes a volunteer mentor.
It was quite difficult starting out. Very few people actually believed in her and she lost friends who thought she was just in it for the celebrity status. It was also hard getting people already in the field to help her as most either ignored or rejected her.
Cynthia says some of her best moments are when someone approaches and tells her that she is an inspiration to them. She has dined with the Canadian High Commissioner to Kenya, Mrs. Sara Hradeky while discussing a youth survey report. She also had the chance to represent youth leaders together with the Hanns Seidel Foundation, a German NGO that promotes democracy.
Cynthia Untamed is her greatest achievement so far. She gets to interact with the youth and know more about them before interviewing them for the blog. Occasionally, she has guest bloggers, people who’ve already made it. So far she’s had Michelle Ntalami of Marini Naturals and Wanjira Mathai from the Wangari Mathai Institute.
To her peers, she says: “Do not just sit and wait for people to come and open doors for you. Sometimes you have to ask for help and doors start opening from there. You will gain mentors but above all, look up to God”. Among her greatest inspirations are Jeff Koinange and Julie Gichuru.
While juggling between law school and mentorship is quite difficult, Cynthia has great dreams. For now, school is her priority and she wants to be an advocate of the High Court of Kenya specializing in Intellectual property. She also hopes to publish a book with Umulkheir Harun of the Kesho Alliance in a bid to inspire youth from the marginalized areas. As for her blog, she wants it to grow into an international brand partnering with organizations such as the U.N.
Cynthia is certainly one very inspiring lady and we look forward to more great things from her.
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