Archive | February, 2012

I Didn’t Want to Talk about it, so I Blogged It

7 Feb

The turn out for this meeting was pretty good, members of Map Kibera Trust attended an all trust meeting that started by everyone saying their achievements for the year, it was a good exposure for me, the team work was really encouraging, I acquired new skills, were some of the things members said. A meeting that we expected was going to give a way forward, a review, or even a work plan for this new year after having worked for 6 months on a trial system waiting for our contracts to be renewed. The eager and curiosity could be read all over the walls, then all of a sudden they appeared from KNN editing room, the house went quite, Kepha, Jamie and Primoz were here, ready to break the news, that Jamie and Primoz had submitted their resignation letters to the board.

At this point my brain stopped working for a moment, my mouth went dry, I was confused, I didn’t want to believe it, but why? what happened? why did it have to be this soon? I felt abandoned in the red command at the time we needed them most.
For those who don’t know, Jamie has been the Executive Director for Map Kibera Trust while Primoz has been the Programs Director for the same Trust, now they were going to leave us for the reasons we  don’t understand, reducing the number of foreigners in the trust, to give room for the locals Kibera residents to manage themselves, was one of the reasons they gave us, but why now? why both of them at the same time? a lot of questions engulfed my mind as Primoz was trying to explain.
I looked a round to see what the others thought just from expressions in their faces, I looked at Jacob, Steve, Lucy then Sande, all I could see was a shock a real shock that was not easy to hide. “Its time for you guys to step up and take responsibilities from us, this is your thing and we strongly believe you can” Said Primoz. I thought I was dreaming, then Kepha says, “even the lion watches as the antelope gives birth and the young one has to escape from danger because the lion doesn’t care that its too young to be killed and eaten” as I try to digest all these I remembered how Evelien left us, I remembered how Wanda left us, these two had been our trainers before, we loved them so much but for Jamie was now too much because we trusted her, we had a lot of faith in her, she had become so much part of us, she was like our family member, she was so much into our system, loosing her now was a big blow to the organization, we felt that Jamie needed to be around. Then I quickly remembered Jane, Jane had left when we didn’t expect we felt so bad, Jane was working hand in hand with Jamie as Operational Manager before she left. Could we be the problem? is it that we are so rigid when change knocks on our door?

for sure it was so sad to know that Jamie and Primoz were leaving, it would be so painful to see them walk away. At this point sadness overcame the sense of reality, it was as if Jamie and Primoz were going to die never to be seen a gain, God forbid.

In trying to calm us down, “of course we will still be around  for any assistance that you might need from us, feel free to ask us any question if you have” said Primoz. So its true that Muzungus are not there to stay, that at one time they will have to go and leave you a lone.

Now Jamie reads the mood and removes some chocolates from her bag to cheer us up, as if she was  expecting this, many of us were still in their deep thoughts as we pick up the chocolates that was going round to every one.

please go and think a bout it, let it sink then we meet a gain on Friday, you will help us put down somethings for the way forward said Jamie and the meeting was adjourned.

No one moved just yet, people were still stuck on their various seats not knowing what to do, I thought of what Jamie had done for us, her cooperation with us, then came the memories of our best moments with her, I also remembered how she organized and coordinated the Naivasha strategic planning meeting. While still there Kepha  came and gave us a word of encouragement never to loose hope and maintain the focus, we still owe the community, we haven’t delivered what we promised them, and never to worry because the bond will still be there.

Then soon after him Jamie came we had a lot of questions for her like, Jamie was it a personal decision you guys made or was there a pressure from somewhere for you to resign? are you now going to be jobless?

There was no pressure at all and she was going to be jobless for a while,  from what I could gather. Primoz had by this time left to attend to some other things.

During the meeting I had started to film what was going on then  I felt a victim of a agony, it forced me to pass the  flip camera to my colleague Steve who was sited next to me to at least film something that would help me tell this story. Steve suffered the same and stopped filming.

All KNN members were present in this meeting except Joe so I had to update him on the announcement. Checking my Face book Steve had posted something like “fresh challenges can we face them?” this reminded me of Kepha’s question to us during the meeting , he says life has to move on or you want the life to stop and end now because Jamie and Primoz are leaving? it sounded funny to me but it made some sense.

Come on, why should we cry like little babies? Mildred was still crying inside another room , I tried to calm her down but it was not easy, perhaps this tears would help her forget it faster, so I left her to cry. I also thought of getting members opinions so that I could make a video out of it, I asked Jacob to help me conduct some interviews and also captured Mildred while crying , video making had become so part of me that I wanted to make video of everything I see.

If Jamie and Primoz have decided, there is very little we can do about it, I thought, but why? they won’t just leave like that., at least there was a strong reason. The BOARD? further education? whites? were some of the things I suspected, I wish I  could solve the problem, but who was going to tell me the truth?

There was a vacuum, a vacuum that needed to be filled, who was fit enough to take over Jamie and Primoz positions? was the big question in every persons mind. “We don’t want someone from outside to come here and take over, it must be one or two of us” this was the mood on the ground.

Three days later, it was now obvious to us  that there was no turning back, Jamie and Primoz brought back all the equipments in their possession , it was time to hand over.

Hey! there is a crisis, a crisis that needs to be sorted out urgently , my blog continues after two board members Erica and Mikel fly down on Wednesday 8th from USA to help us solve this………….