Interview: Leading Sustainable Solutions and Social Development in Kenya

My belief system is based on our responsibility, as human beings, to one another and to the environment around us. A better world begins from an individual’s decision to be and to do better. With this background, I was deeply drawn to a recurrent narrative from my home village.

NAIROBI, Kenya, April 09, 2020/-- This beautiful Thursday in the capital, we welcome Anne Nasumba an outstanding communication expert and a creative. A lady with a profound interest in social enterprises and renewable energy; she shares on empowerment of young girls, Kenyan policy on renewable energy, photography and more.

Here we go...

[Question 1] Anne welcome to Kikao. Introduce yourself.

Asante! Anne is a marketing and communication professional, a creative and a thinker who seeks to understand social problems and contribute to the solutions. Social development lies at the heart of what inspires me: a key aspect of life to which I contribute my time and strive to provide sustainable solutions to.

Off work, I mentor young school going girls. I also enjoy being in nature, listening to music and handcrafting.

[Question 2] Kenya is an active player in the renewable energy global industry. There has been large investments with all stakeholders from the government to small-scale businesses ready to harness the opportunities. What is your opinion on this sustainable development drive?

In addition to the increased adoption of technology, the recent developments in the renewable energy space are a testament that we are in a high potential era. Being a hub of East and Central Africa, the country is positioned as an adopter of alternative and clean sources of energy. This feeds into the last mile plan of action with more citizens, especially in the rural areas, having access to basic energy needs - lighting and heating for cooking. This is commendable and presents an opportunity to ensure every household in Kenya is empowered.

Policy makers and key stakeholders are on the clock to make it easier for different players to feed into the existing energy gap. Great strides in development of better regulations are evident in creating a favorable environment to plug into this sector. Innovations in this field have also contributed to the easier adoption of clean energy. One such innovation is the Pay-As-You-Go system. This makes it easier for more households to afford the sustainable energy options.

However, there exists a loophole in mass communication of the solution. Renewable energy offers long term value to households’ income, health and general wellbeing. Instead of hard selling, an effort to educate the masses on clean energy would go a long way in its adoption for better living. All households deserve regenerative solutions to daily living. Development of information communication material distributed across different channels would be the first step to meaningful engagement with the masses.

[Question 3] You have also been involved in initiatives that empower the girlchild. Share with us your experiences.

My belief system is based on our responsibility, as human beings, to one another and to the environment around us. A better world begins from an individual’s decision to be and to do better. With this background, I was deeply drawn to a recurrent narrative from my home village.

School going girls were dropping out of school due to early pregnancies, marriages and prevalent poverty. And this unfortunately is a narrative that is not unique to my home village. Young girls in Kenya and beyond are facing such circumstances and have to make do, with little or no hope of leading a fulfilling life. We all stem from these villages. Our lineage is rooted in these communities. If we start with the familiar, impacting on one household or one school at a time, then we will create a better foundation for future generations to lead better lives. My experience is described in the next question.

[Question 4] What is that one project that you would wish to talk about?

Motisha Mentorship Initiative. In the spirit of empowerment, together with a group of professionals affiliated with my village, I am part of this ladies initiative to mentor and inspire school girls to dream big and be actively present in school to achieve their goals. We began this outreach program together with the area priest and have so far seen an increased sense of believability among the girls, their teachers and parents. Our biggest highlight so far is the parents’ enthusiasm toward our biannual visits. They have a newly found hope and belief in their children’s chance at success.

[Question 5] Blogging and writing is part of your skill-set. Briefly take us through “Soundlessness of Nature”.

Oh wow. This for a second just took me back to that moment. Such refreshing seconds are mighty great. “Soundlessness” stems from the crazy buzz that is life. With the packed weeks, finding time out to recalibrate can be challenging, but is also as easy as taking in a few seconds to drift off temporarily. A step back to let your inner child play in your mind with what you see, soundlessly. To get you smiling, albeit briefly, and take the pressure off your back.

This write up is also a glimpse of my thoughts on mental wellness; a topic that is given little attention in the African context. One that is stifling dreams, careers and relationships without our knowledge. One riddled with stigma. To keep afloat, in that simple moment that throws you completely off course, a step back can give you the much needed break to refocus.

[Question 6] Is your camera always close by? Photography and design; why?

Yes. My phone’s camera mostly. I think one of the greatest creations around us is nature. And it’s almost unpredictable, for instance, how big and mellow yellow the moon will be when you decide to step out for some fresh air at dusk… moments. I like to capture those in the most subtle form, when and wherever I can. I use them to tell stories in writing or inspire design.

[Question 7] Family, friends and colleagues; how have they shaped your present and future?

It takes a village to raise a child. This quote best summarizes my response to this question. It represents the people that have been a constant in my life and the ones whose mission has been for a season. All have shaped my values and appreciation for life, taken me through the ropes in school, career & social interaction and guided my decisions in the different facets of my life, directly and indirectly.

The written interview was compiled by Phineahs Munene – Co-founder of Wazo Moja for Anne Nasumba – of So Live & Learn

Distributed by Wazo Moja on behalf of So Live & Learn


So Live & Learn