Speech by Rtn. Jannet Gachoya of the Rotary Club of Nairobi Langata During the Installatiopn Ceremenoy Held on Saturday, 3rd July 2021 at the Karen Country Club
Let me first start by requesting those of you here physically and also those joining us online to give yourselves a huge round of applause for showing up and showing out! WOW! How beautiful do you all look in your fabulous African outfits. You have truly made this King Kizi’s AfroGanza! Thank you for honoring us with your presence this afternoon as we witnessed the installation of our President Kizito Makatiani and his Board. It makes me so proud to be able to stand here today and give the Vote of Thanks.
Guest Speaker Prof. Bitange Ndemo, District Governor Alex Nyaga, Immediate Past District Governor Patrick Obath, Rotary Foundation Trustee Geeta Manek, Country Chair Kuria Waithaka, Assistant Governor Rosemary Wainaina, Immediate Past Assistant Governor Dan Awendo, Rotary International Public Image Coordinator Carol Kimutai, Immediate Past President Sarah Migwi – THANK YOU for honoring our invitation and gracing us with your presence this afternoon. I do believe this is actually the first time in Langata’s history where we have had a DG from our club presiding over the Installation witnessed by so many esteemed rotary leaders from both the District and Rotary International. We are overjoyed!
My job here today is very simple, to recognise all the people who worked so tirelessly behind the scenes these past 2 months to make this event the success it has been.
To my installation committee – what a journey! The weekly standing 3 hour meetings (sometimes 4!) late into the night, the difference in opinion in how the event should run, the change of plans halfway through our planning owing to evolving COVID19 restrictions, the last minute amendments to the program to ensure Rotary protocols were observed…what can I say! It has been a steep learning curve but in every challenge comes an opportunity for a leadership lesson. Despite everything that was thrown our way and the many moving parts in the planning, your commitment, dedication, hard work and patience to see this through is commendable…right down to the last minute when we had the dry run yesterday late into the evening to ensure the day went without a hitch. I can only say thank you.
If the audience will indulge me, allow me to mention each member of the committee by name and their valued contribution to the planning of this event. It was a huge team but putting together an event like this sometimes requires several hands on deck.
June Gachui – our MC extraordinaire – please give her a huge round of applause for the fantastic job she did today. You kept us entertained and glued to our seats with your wit and effortless charm and all the while ensuring we also raised funds for our Digital Literacy Program (DLP). June was also responsible for putting together the artists you see here today Nelson and Kasiva and I think we can all agree they did an outstanding job. Thank you June, Nelson and Kasiva. You absolutely nailed it!
Nzilani of Nzil’Afrique or “Queen Nzilani” as we like to call her was responsible for styling all the new Board members with those show stopping African outfits that you saw on the Board Introduction Video that was played earlier on our screens. Together with MC June they were also responsible for engaging the song writer who wrote the theme song for this rotary year. This is the song that was played in the incoming board video and I can confirm that this song composed specifically for our club will now be classed as one of our club assets. These two amazing ladies managed to secure us the rights to the song meaning we can use it over and over again year after year with full autonomy. Thank you Queens. We cannot thank you enough.
Oscar Njuguna and the fundraising team Doreen Banda, Allan Okuja, Sheila Koks, Capt. Alex Eshikati and Isaac Wanjero – thank you for making sure we had enough funds in the kitty to cover the installation costs and also to kick off DLP.
Gladys Njoroge and the PR and Marketing team Carol Mburu, Janet Onyango, Anne Mitaru (who was also my co-chair) and Ashley Murugi thank you for ensuring we had installation flyers for the event, marketing brochures for DLP and for coordinating and putting together the Digital Literacy Program (DLP) video at Kingeero Primary School as well as the Projects Reel for our past projects. Asanteni.
Maureen Gichuhi and Wanjiku Wairia – these two ladies were responsible for making sure that the Rotary leaders you see here today attended our event and they were also tasked with sending out all the invitations to our partners & sponsors, previous guest speakers from our fellowship meetings, beneficiary organizations from our past projects and Rotary clubs in our District and beyond. Maureen also co-chaired some of the installation committee meetings for me on days when work demands meant that I could not chair fully. I remember one particular evening her young son was crying in the background as she was taking the team through the installation checklist but despite family demands she still soldiered on. Thank you!
Faith Gathungu and her company, Events Corner, for creating this beautiful afro-fused décor and set up for us. Can we all just take a moment and look around and fully appreciate this set up please. Thank you Faith for going all out on this one. You have made your RCL family proud.
Serah Njoroge – our past installation committee chair who led IPP Sarah’s installation – thank you for the advisory and guidance through this process. I recall when I had initially come to you for guidance you said to me “Jannet do not be afraid to do something different –every leader brings in their own unique ideas and style” and with that she gave the committee the free will and space to do their thing. Thank you Serah – you don’t say much but when you do you we listen.
Marlon Lugadiru – our virtual MC – big round of applause for Marlon please! He was our MC online and made sure that those joining us virtually were having an equally good time. Marlon was actually on his motorbike riding from one watch party to another capturing live footage from the Rotarians who joined us online. At one point I even spotted him enjoying a piece of chicken with some of our Past Presidents who were hosting a watch party and honestly at that point I feared we had lost him! You know what they say about Luhyas and chicken! Thankfully he is not one to forget his duties even with the lure of good food. Thank you Marlon – you kept the virtual party rocking!
Speaking of virtual parties – a heartfelt thank you to DJ Sirak who joined us online all the way from New York City and kept our guests online entertained with cool African beats as they waited for the event to start. In true African fashion we started an hour late but thanks to DJ Sirak our guests never got bored or tired of waiting. Thank you DJ Sirak for waking up at 6am New York time to make it for our event and for your contribution to its success. As we say in Kenya – Asante ndugu which means thank you my brother! We owe you.
Another DJ who deserves a mention is our very own DJ Myke Kingori who is right here with us in Karen ready to keep you entertained as we party the evening away so please don’t go anywhere. The party is just getting started.
The events manager at Karen Country Club Ms. Jamila – you deserve a mention too. Thank you for being on hand yesterday as we did the dry run and for allowing us the use of this beautiful venue. The guests certainly look well fed and happy. Thank you so much.
Vice President Muchai Mathare our grill master extraordinaire – you were at the venue very early this morning inspecting the roasting of the meat and ensuring the tasty goat ribs devoured this afternoon were well prepared. You never disappoint on the grill. Thank you.
Ivy Katee – you never let us down with the cakes! The two beautiful cakes you saw being cut earlier today were the work of her hands and looking into the audience right now I can see guests still licking their lips as they continue to demolish it. When all that’s left on the cake tray is crumbs you know it was delicious! Thank you Ivy for always coming through with the cakes at our events.
Renee Ngamau from the Rotary Club of Karen, thank you for scripting that hilarious interview of our President that was played earlier on our screens. I think the audience will agree with me that after watching that, we will be sure to keep him busy in Presidency so that he never attempts to boil eggs for a living! I am in still in stitches over that one.
Now for the big one – Quinter from Protel studios who coordinated the entire production for us and a SPECIAL THANK YOU to her friend and boss IPP Sarah Migwi for availing us the opportunity to work with Protel studios. We do not and cannot take that generosity for granted. Thank you IPP Sarah for all that you have done for this installation and indeed for this great Rotary Club of Nairobi-Langata – your RCL family! We cannot repay you adequately. Please accept our deep and sincere gratitude and we can only pray for continued blessings for you and your family. Thank you making this past year GREAT!
Speaking of families, it would be remiss of me to close without giving the family and friends who have joined us online a mention. To you, Mama Kizito thank you for the well wishes and blessings for our President and club in a short heartfelt speech. I believe you also saw my mother on video congratulating our President and his Board and using the opportunity to give a little speech of her own. I am doubly impressed that she adhered to the afro fusion dress code. Thank you mum. I saw many other family members online including my brother (who actually never attends virtual events so it was a pleasant surprise to see him on and actually sitting through the entire thing). Family presence is not only memorable support but a sign that we are doing the right thing. To all the friends who made it to our event, we thank you immensely too for making the time to join us this evening.
To anybody else I may have missed out, feel honoured and appreciated.
Last but certainly not least, to my President Kizito Makatiani or “King Kizi” as we often used to refer to him in our installation committee meetings – THANK YOU for your confidence in me and for giving me the honor and privilege to chair your installation committee. You have my unwavering support.
Rtn. Jannet Gachoya
Installation Committee Chair – 2021/22
International Service Director – 2021/22