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The Story of the 12 Year-Old Girl who Shook President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Hand

Janet's daughter anxiously waiting for her 'big' moment.

Janet Wamwere recently learnt a valuable lesson about allowing and enabling her child to pursue a certain goal. Read her story below.

Two years ago, I found out that my now 12 year-old daughter was participating in the drama festivals at her school –without my knowledge. Not that I have anything against her participating in any extracurricular activities, I only have a problem with it when it’s done at the expense of her academics.

What had happened is that I had noticed a drop in her grades, and after much investigation I discovered that she had been spending a significant amount of time preparing for and participating in the drama festivals. Even though I was upset, I decided to have a candid chat with her.

My daughter revealed that one of the greatest motivations for her participation in the drama festivals was so that her school would win and following this, they would have the honor of performing for the President and even more importantly –she would shake his hand. My daughter really really wanted to shake the President’s hand.

Janet Wamwere.
Janet Wamwere.

So after listening to her, I felt so touched and decided to allow her to continue practicing and participating in the drama festivals. This is because she showed remorse and offered a sincere apology about going behind my back, which I accepted. However, she had to promise me that she would pull up her academic socks. That was the deal we struck. If she didn’t improve on her grades, then the drama would cease. I helped her understand the value of balancing all aspects of her life, ensuring that none failed as she focused on one over the other.

For two years, she and her school tried their level best to win in their province and make it to the national festivals, but they unfortunately did not. However, during the recent August holidays, they were pleasantly surprised when the teacher informed them of the possibility of performing for the President ‘soon’. My daughter couldn’t hold her excitement, and all I could do was share in the excitement with her.

Well, her dreams came true when last Friday 4 September 2015, my daughter and her drama team got to perform for President Uhuru Kenyatta during an official function at the Farmer’s Conference Center in Thogoto, Kiambu County. My daughter got to shake the President’s hand! Indeed, all dreams are valid.

Janet's daughter anxiously waiting for her 'big' moment.
Janet’s daughter anxiously waiting for her ‘big’ moment.
Finally! The girl gets to shake the President's hand!
Finally! The girl gets to shake the President’s hand!

My advice to parents is don’t dismiss your child’s interests. If you notice they have a love, passion and determination for something and will not stop insisting on it, then just let them try it out. Listen to them and help them achieve that dream. Don’t be the barrier to their ambitions.

Right now, my daughter is very happy, and has assured me that she will even work harder in her studies because she now believes that every dream of hers can come true. I am very proud of her and I thank God for not only answering her prayers, but mine too. She is a wonderful girl, a blessing to me.”

Awww… and that is Janet’s story of her daughter. Very touching. Has something like this ever happened to you too with your child?

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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.


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