Jasiri, My Joy
I must confess that this year has been a good one for me, a year full of glad tidings; blessings galore. From being selected as One Young World Ambassador to now being drafted for Jasiri Talent Investor Programme, I honestly can’t hide my joy; I am, for sure, proud of myself. The journey to being a Jasiri fellow has not been any smooth. Jasiri selection process is very competitive, characterized by various selection criteria designed to select the best of the best. JASIRI takes a competency-based approach to selecting and developing entrepreneurs and the Talent Investor is designed with an understanding of the need for patient and holistic support that addresses the challenges and developmental needs of the entrepreneur. I have participated in a number of intensive interviews, but I must confess that the Jasiri selection process is second to none. It is clear, yet rigorous, weeding out the rest to come up with the best.
It is with profound nostalgia that I reminisce the journey to becoming a Jasiri Fellow. As I have mentioned, this has been a tough one, but laden with plethora of lessons. It has taught me boldness, the power of hope, compelling internal greatness, the power of trying and not throwing in the towel. I have learnt that if there is anything I madly desire, then I must give it my ALL, if at all, the scale has to tilt in my favor.
But what was the journey looking like? I first applied for the Jasiri inaugural cohort in 2021. Being the first selection process, we were subjected to a very rigorous assessments to establish our entrepreneurial competencies. I excelled in all the assessments up to the selection conference. Unfortunately, I was not successful in this last stage where 34 entrepreneurs out of about 80 were selected. When I received an email that I did not make it for Jasiri, my heart sunk and my spirit was low. For a week, I couldn’t cheer myself up. However, it dawned on me that all was not lost and that there was another chance to throw myself into the ring once more.
Learning that there were possible mistakes that could have contributed to my unsuccessful bid for the inaugural cohort, I began mending these mistakes. I knew too well that if I had to make it for the second cohort, then I have to be better and do better. When the application opened for the second cohort, after a long wait, I was ready and more confident to try my luck again. The selection process for the second cohort, albeit similar to the first one, appeared more vigorous and intense. But this did not make me lose hope. I had only one option —to be successful in this second attempt. And with sheer determination and commitment to the competency assessments (including Cognitive Process Profile, Verbal and Numerical assessments), I made it to the selection conference. This was a reprieve for me, but I was not there yet. Becoming a Jasiri Fellow appeared so NEAR, yet so FAR. I kept asking myself, “Will I be second time lucky? This question kept lingering on my mind but it was just a matter of time before I get the answer.
Joy comes in the Morning
Do you remember that bible verse? That Psalm 30:5? Don’t worry if you don’t remember. Let me jog your mind. It says, “For his anger endures but for a moment, and his favor is life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” For me, this was not just a verse, but a dream fulfilled. For sure, my joy had come. The email said it all. It was a big and hearty CONGRATULATION from Jasiri that I made if for the program. It was 5.00 am when I woke up to this exciting news. This morning, my JOY HAD COME! Folks, my spirit was renewed and my energy revitalized. I had achieved something great, and I couldn’t hold my tears —tears of joy of course.
The Hard Part Begins: Residential Intensive (Rwanda)
My tears of joy are cut short. The hard part now begins. The residential intensive set to begin in earnest in July 2022. We are already immersed in Entrepreneurship Essentials, ahead of our arrival in Rwanda to begin the residential intensive which is three months (from July-September). I am already bonding with my fellows. I am looking forward to a wonderful engagement with the Jasiri community. For now, I can’t say much about the residential intensive. Let me save this for next time, possibly after September.
About Jasiri and how to apply? Click here to learn about Jasiri Programmes
My special and heartfelt gratitude to entire Jasiri selection team. You did amazing job. Special thanks to Beverly (though you have left now), for encouraging me to try again when I failed in my first attempt. Thank you, Amanda Luyenge, for your support too, for the gift cards during the selection conferences (both the first and second).
I am deeply moved by the generosity of Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy to support this programme. I doff my hat for you! I am absolutely grateful. May your cup be filled always.
To be continued
Written by Oduor Kevin, Jasiri Fellow Cohort #2