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Furaha Osodo: Follow your dreams, they know the way

 

What’s in a name?

In ancient African cultures, names held a mesmerizing mystique. They still do! A name is more than a moniker. It has essence and meaning closely associated with the individual. Most Africans will introduce themselves not only by their name, but by its context and meaning, with which their personal identity is closely connected.

Interesting how we subconsciously make those cringed-up thinking faces and go on a quick mental meet to try assert the origin of an individual at the mention of their name during the exchange of pleasantries.

Recently, I found myself staying true to this interesting “culture”, marveling at the name Furaha, whose character is nothing short of her name’s personification. She is quick to proudly say that she was born and bred in Mombasa, Coastal Kenya. The literal translation of her name from Swahili is happiness.

Witty, hilarious and good-humored, this 3rd Year Bachelor of Commerce student will leave you wanting to just throw caution to the wind, be open to the marvels of the world, and to just enjoy life.

She reminisces a bit on her childhood, narrates her endearing journey that led her to Strathmore, and the hurdles she’s triumphantly beaten so far to get to where she is.

The pursuit of a dream…

For Furaha Osodo, life hasn’t always been mellow. That said, she is always walking with a beaming smile, the kind that radiates deep happiness. The first born in a family of five, Furaha was the first to join a tertiary institution and this meant that the choice had to be carefully thought out as it would stem an all-important path for her younger siblings. She first interacted with the University through a google search after numerous stories about the institution from her high schoolmates.

After an exemplary performance in the national examinations, Furaha outrightly wanted to make money. She was on the hunt for a highly rewarding career and she landed on the Procurement course, given the game-changing stories she’d heard about this particular field. All this while, Strathmore had remained her first love and she would pursue this course at all costs. She thought it wise to commence at the diploma level for sound grounding, specializing in the field at a later stage.

Graduating with the Diploma in Procurement in 2019 was half the hill-climb. Funds to support her dream career and to advance to degree level started coming in thin. There was now more at stake given that she’d already picked academic momentum and her passion for procurement was only beginning to rise. She had also been admitted to the Bachelor of Commerce degree, which she believed would propel her into excellence.

A scholarship

“On one of those catch ups after a long time apart, a very close friend of mine informed me of the scholarship opportunities in Strathmore. It had never crossed my mind before that this was a very viable avenue for me to keep my career aspirations alive.

Rigel J. Dawson once said: “In the end, you will not regret the things you did not attain as much as the dreams you did not attempt!”

The visit to the Financial Aid Office was a pleasant one and I was requested to apply for the July Intake scholarship opportunities. I, however, missed the first window due to a late application. This meant that I would go on to miss that particular intake. I contemplated many other alternatives and even thought of pursuing a different opportunity elsewhere, but I never allowed this little bump on the road to break my spirits. I was very vigilant and caught wind of a second chance for the late applicants. With consistent efforts, sheer persistence and a bucket full of hope, I got a partial scholarship and immediately joined the September intake for evening classes.

When God unlocks your well of blessings, it might become overwhelming and it can feel like it’s a bit too much. The imposter syndrome creeps up on you and if you’re not steadfast, you might dismiss them.

At the advent of the pandemic, I went back home to Mombasa. You see I do not know how to be idle. My mind has to be engaged at all times and the lockdown era felt like a night terror for me. I always kept in touch with staff at the financial aid office, because to me, they felt like home. It was during one of those check-ins that Kevin Muchemi, the Manager at the Financial Aid Office, told me of an internship opening at the Strathmore University Foundation. I applied, got the job and I can genuinely say I derive a lot of satisfaction working with this crucial unit of the University due to the indelible impact it has on society. In a way, it’s more than work for me; it’s a way of me giving back for the generosity that has been graciously accorded to me.

A laughter a day…

To blow off steam, I compose songs, create content, and make people laugh every so often. I mean, you’ve laughed for most part of this interview! Hahaha… I just love seeing people happy. I guess it’s my calling.

I live by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s mantra: Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you. 

Keep smiling!

 

This article was written by Francis Kabutu.

 

What’s your story? We’d like to hear it. Contact us via communications@strathmore.edu

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