By October 16, 2023 No Comments


Many a times I have been asked, “What does it mean to be a Rotarian?” Well, one of the key strengths of Rotary as we deliver service to our communities is the diversity in the skillsets and vocation across our members, many of whom are successful business leaders and professionals. The Objective of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise.

I am glad I had the opportunity to step into the Presidency shoes beforehand, and get to feel what task lies ahead of me, thanks to my sister, immediate past President Hilda Gikera. You are never quite prepared for this leadership role but somehow, it gets easier as the days go by.
Saturday, 8th of July 2023 was the day the Board of Directors and I, as the President of Rotary Club Hurlingham, were officially installed at a colourful Coastal themed event at Sufra Garden Restaurant. The weather was kind, as rays of sunshine blessed us. The turnout was great! Get to read about this event by Rotaractor Abuya’s witty words.

Our first guest speaker for the year was Daniel Ngumy, who took us through the Finance Bill which was the concern of every Kenyan. He was candid on how this bill would affect us. He further advised on how to handle its repercussions. “A person doesn’t know how much he is thankful for, until he has to pay taxes on it.” ~ Ann Landers.

What followed next were the Maandamano that lasted two weeks before normalcy returned. This didn’t dampen our fellowship spirit as we had great speakers lined-up. July being transition month, we had Entrepreneur, Singer and songwriter Wahu Mathenge, who virtually took us through her career journey, changing with the times and embracing leadership while at it. July is also Maternal and Child Health month and we had Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr Abok Roberts, the Technical Lead for Reproductive Maternal, Newborn Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) Program in Trans Nzoia County who gave us the statistics on why we still have a high maternal and infant mortality rate.
Jacaranda: The Good Report by the Jacaranda Hotels CEO Erick Kimani, was a great way to end the transition month. Erick shared his vision and strategy execution in a very relatable way that turned around the establishment. His nuggets of wisdom are simple and when embraced, you will achieve your desired goal.

August is Membership month. Our first fellowship in August was on engaging and encouraging every club member to be part of our club activities. Community Service is a key focus area in Rotary and what being a Rotarian is all about – “Service Above Self”.

As PEOPLE-OF-ACTION, our Service Projects Committee led by its Chair Rotarian Ciku Kirika, took us through our various club projects within the 7 Areas of Focus and PP Saum on scaling up strategies, collaboration of projects and implementing larger, more impactful initiatives.
In the spirit of ‘we are one’ in unity and creating hope to the world, I, President Mejumaa Mbaruku, is gifting every Rotary Club of Hurlingham Member, with a reflector jacket, one meeting at a time, as a reminder to each and every member to serve and impactfully change lives of one community at a time, as People-of-Action.

Rotary is a membership organization, and it is the distinct skills and contributions of each member that serves as the driving force behind every initiative we Rotarians undertake. It is against this backdrop that the Rotary Club of Hurlingham proudly hosted the inaugural edition of our Member Series. During this event, a panel of esteemed club members namely Past President Remmy Koech, Rotarian Naomi Mbugua, Rotarian Lazarus Okul and Rotarian Peace Tusasirwe, engaged in a dynamic discussion moderated by Rotarian John Lemerele. They shared their personal Rotary journeys since joining the club, offering unique insights into their membership experiences spanning various timeframes, from three months to 18 years.

It was a great fellowship and many of our growing visiting guests got to hear of our members’ journeys, who at one time were also visiting guests and later got inducted to the club. The ultimate aim of the Member Series is to convey the inspiring narrative of Rotary. We aspire to instill the belief that joining Rotary means becoming part of a profound legacy of effecting positive global transformations.

Our RC Hurlingham family is growing. We inducted four new members into our club. We welcomed Rotarian Lilian Gachie, Rotarian Martin Mutuku, Robert Mbire and Rotarian John Muteru (member transfer), whose induction ceremony was officiated by District 9212 Membership Chair, PP James Mwangi. It was a great evening full of gains and wins with the warmth of our Rotaractors and friends of RCH!

We also had a Game Night like no other! It was all about puzzles! Puzzling is a mental workout that stimulates both sides of the brain — on the left, being the more logical side, and the right, being considered the more creative side. Challenges around mental illness and emotional health affect us all. Rotary International President, Gordon McInally has placed a special focus on global mental health. Mental illness and emotional wellness can be difficult topics for anyone to discuss, yet so much to gain, by helping each other address it more openly.

We had our RC Hurlingham Family Fun Day the last week of the Membership month thanks to our Family of Rotary Committee. A great day it was, full of laughter, bonding, excitement and cherished memories. Thank you Rtn Abdoul for the stretches & exercises and PP Sophie for the great team building and the lessons drawn from both sessions. Not forgetting PP Ken for the sumptuous meal.

Our projects kick-off this first quarter of the year was a follow-up visit to Joy Town Secondary School in Thika town, which houses differently abled students and is the largest of its kind in Kenya, for a follow-up visit. We donated mackintosh and adult diapers to make the students more comfortable in their boarding facilities. You will get to read more about the visit in this issue.

We later went on a fact finding mission and needs assessment for our proposed Peace Project in the Kerio Valley belt, which borders Elgeyo Marakwet County; Baringo County; and West Pokot County. The area is prone to banditry along the three Counties, where ongoing efforts have been made to encourage ceasefire and dialogue.

September is Basic Education and Literacy month. We had a great and successful virtual mega joint fellowship with Rotarian Jeremy Opperman – from the Rotary Club of Newlands, Capetown – RI Diversity Equity and Inclusion Taskforce Committee Member who gave us invaluable insights on what Disability and DEI is all about and how Rotary is embracing this inclusion. It was indeed a great fellowship with 30 Rotary Clubs and five Rotaract Clubs representation from four Districts, namely 9212, 9350, 7910, D9210 on the virtual Zoom call!

I must admit my first 100 days as President have been great! I have taken one day at a time drawing strength and support from our past presidents, my board, club members and our visiting guests. Being a leader in Rotary is not just about holding a position; it’s about taking responsibility, inspiring others, and making a positive impact. The power of the leader within you as a Rotarian lies in your ability to influence and inspire change – both within and beyond Rotary.

I call upon my fellow Rotarians to unite this year with the ultimate goal to restore hope, for everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind, always!

Hurlingham Mambo Issue 9

~President Mejumaa Mbaruku