Glass House PR is a dynamic Firm and one of the fastest growing PR firm in Kenya today. We have been running a campaign online especially on twitter with the hashtag #kenyanpeoplearise. We decided to Interview a young lady by the name Julie Wang’ombe who has risen above mediocrity and decided to be part of the change needed in Kenya. This is what she had to say: Ladies and Gentlemen meet Julie :
So who is Julie?
I’m a 22 year old student at United States International University; a spoken word artist who recently took a stab at political speech-writing; and, most importantly, I’m a believer in Jesus Christ- the Son of God.
Everyone has been calling you for interviews after the victory speech you did for the President elect, how do you feel about that?
Well, it’s all happened really fast. The attention isn’t bad though, it’s created opportunities to meet and interact with people I otherwise may never have talked to. It opens doors for new conversations; new relationships and new experiences that contribute to helping me figure out who I am, what I’m good at and what I want to spend my life doing. That’s something I’m grateful for.
You also prayed for the President-elect during the Catholic University event, but no one has interviewed you about it? In regard to this do you think some Kenyans are skeptical about God?
I think that may have been the most succinct prayer that’s ever been offered at such an official function. First, for the record, there was no prior plan to have me pray. It was all decided about 2 minutes before I walked out onto the stage. [Thank God I wore a dress that day!]
Well, I don’t know that Kenyans are skeptical about God. Of course everywhere in the world there are those who doubt the existence of God but the vast majority of Kenyans subscribe to one religious belief system or another- with many professing to be followers of Christ. So i would say skepticism is not prevalent.
Of all the interviews you have had for the last few weeks, which interview excited you?
The first interview was BBC which, by virtue of the renowned of BBC, was pretty exciting. I enjoyed talking to Philip Mwaniki (Buzz) and also being profiled by Cathy Gathoni of Reuters – that particular interview featured a couple of girl friends and a few fellow writers/poets including Number8; Benjamin Sulle and Cornell Ngare. It was fun hanging out with them and listening to them perform.
How did you manage to be where you are at 22?
Ha ha. Wow, my mother and I were analyzing this and honestly, the hand of God is behind everything that is going on in my life: the fact that I’m in back in University, the fact that I helped write a victory speech for the President-elect, the fact that I’ve performed at so many interesting functions including one where I heard one of my preferred presidents: Paul Kagame, speak. It may sound like the cliché of Christianity but truth is: It’s Jesus.
What makes you stand out from your peers?
Do I stand out? I’ve heard that I don’t act my age. Throughout my teenage years I was accused of secretly being an adult. Now I’m an adult but I think people assume I’m older than I am. I guess I’m a serious person, at heart and I think a lot. Sometimes too much!
Do you think that as Kenyans, especially the Young people have embraced mediocrity?
Generalizations tend to hurt more than help. I’m surrounded by young people who consistently inspire me to aim higher, be better, think harder and do more. I think there are a lot of young people who are doing great things and who have massive amounts of talent. With Kenya, Africa and the World, focusing more on youth empowerment we, the young people, have to realize that this is our time. We decide where this continent is going. We decide whether we will be lost to drug-abuse, recklessness, time-wasting, cynicism and violence or whether we’ll defy society’s low expectations of us and set an example for all!
Could you share with us some of your values, and what inspires you?
One thing I’m coming to see is the importance of discipline and the importance of learning how to make good decisions. Growth; whether spiritual, mental or professional, can’t be attained without discipline and destinations cannot be reached apart from a myriad of decisions throughout the journey. The Bible helps us become better decision makers if we continually strive to apply it.
What do you think should be done for Kenyans to arise above mediocrity and tribalism?
We have to give up our self-given right to believe in the sanctity and superiority of our individual cultures. We need to realize that no human being is born better or worse than the other. I think the key lies in emphasizing our common humanity and still celebrating the differences that exist amongst us. Our constitution says that we are all equal before the law. We need to strive to see this reality played out in Kenya.
The truth is: all of us have a moral responsibility to tackle national issues: from poverty, to unemployment, to tribalism and we have to realize that it’s in our best interests to fulfill this obligation. (Crime affects us all, internal strife affects us all, corruption affects us all and if we don’t think so- we’re living in a delusional place). Parents need to teach their children the principles of equality and ensure that they don’t pass on propaganda about other groups; teachers need to do the same with students; we, as individuals, need to actively develop relationships across conventional barriers and to develop an appreciation for diversity while learning to disagree with decorum. I’m currently reading things fall apart and I would use that popular title in my advice to Kenyans: things fall apart when people fail to pull together. Our future will only be better than our present if we are unified in our efforts to build our nation and to tackle the social ills that hound so many Kenyans.
According to you, do you agree that one can only find their purpose by surrendering their lives totally to God? How is this true in your life?
The Christian’s purpose is to surrender their lives totally to God! It is an end, not a means to an end. To quote Ecclesiastes: ‘Fear God, obey his commandments- that is the whole duty of man’ (Ecclesiases 12:13) – and the evidence that we fear God will be seen in all the practical details of how we live our lives.
We gather that you are launching your album in August what plans do you have? Could you also let your fans know what to expect?
The plans are coming together so far that’s what I can say for now, Follow me on twitter (@juliewangombe) and face book (Julie Wangombe) and I’ll keep you posted!