I Found My Tribe, I’m An Amplify Fellow


I will refer to myself in the third person, because I am weird and because I can.

She got to the meeting late, sweating. Nairobi can get hot and because she had made the decision to wear a leather jacket on top of an all-black outfit. Off to a great start already. She was also wearing her favorite high, uncomfortable shoes.  Shoes that say, ‘I am a grown up.’ Shoes that say, ‘winning at adulting.’ If you were meeting her for the first time you’d think “this is a lady who has her shit together.” But looks can be deceiving can’t they?

It started going south when everyone else didn’t stick to the conversation script she had in her head. She had after all practiced in front of the mirror, how the conversation was going to go, from that script. She was going to be funny and smart and charming. She had this joke that cracks her up every time.

Knock, Knock?

Who’s There?

To

To Who?

To Whom :)

And they would all have laughed and thought, ‘what a funny girl.’ Funny people woo and inspire people. Because that’s a dream isn’t it? For people to think we are funny. And all would have been well with the world. But she is awkward. Also, Zain Verjee sat next to her during lunch like it wasn’t a big deal. Like she wasn’t a famous award winning journalist with years of experience. Like she (me) hadn’t told everyone how she wanted to be Zain when she grew up.

And here’s the thing, she’s not one of those people who get tongue tied when they meet celebrities, she doesn’t get star struck (ok, she hardly ever gets star struck). She’d like to think she wasn’t fazed but it was Zain, a woman who had partly inspired her to get into journalism. So what do you say when you are seated next to Zain Verjee at lunch? Not a lot apparently. In fact she doesn’t remember saying anything

 She met wonderful, talented people. Accomplished women and men who would become fellow fellows. It was hard not to be intimidated by the talent in that meeting. She rushed to the restroom, gave herself a pep talk and she was good to go. Told herself how she was incredibly lucky to be there, to have that opportunity. She also got rid of those uncomfortable shoes and put on flat shoes and when she came down to earth, she was on familiar territory. Sometimes that’s all you need. To get rid of uncomfortable shoes.

Guys, I am an Amplify fellow.

What does that mean? I’m going to assume you all want me to go into detail with my answer (insert evil laugh).

 I’ve been going on and on about how I want to create awesome interactive written photo and video content. This is the first step to doing that.

It’s easy to be all talk and no action when it comes to your dreams, especially when they seem big, scary and impossible to achieve. You end up talking a lot about them while doing nothing. It’s safer that way and you can always say you haven’t gotten the opportunity to do it. Well, the guys at aKoma have gone and call me out on all my talk haven’t they? They are giving me an opportunity to stop talking and start doing something.

Amplify for me is an opportunity to learn all I can about multimedia story-telling. I also hope to ‘confidence up’ and start boldly telling stories. My stories, African stories.

I’m going to be part of a tribe that tells Africa’s stories to the world. We are about to make Africa come alive.




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