Acceptance Speech by President Kizito Makatiani of the Rotary Club of Nairobi Langata During the Installation Ceremony Held on Saturday, 3rd July 2021 at the Karen Country Club
District Governor Alex Nyaga,
Immediate Past District Governor Patrick Obath,
Rotary Foundation Trustee Geeta Manek,
Country Chair Kuria Waithaka,
Assistant Governor Rozie Wainaina,
Immediate Past President Sarah Migwi,
Our Special Guest, Prof. Bitange Ndemo,
Fellow Rotarians, Rotaractors and Guests,
I stand here, a new President, humbled by the confidence that has been invested in me to lead the amazing Rotary Club of Nairobi-Langata!
Grounded by the oath that I have publicly made, Anchored in the Rotary values of integrity, leadership, fellowship, service, and diversity; And guided by RCL Past Presidents that have faithfully and successfully served before me, I promise members to give my very best.
I will ensure that the work of building a vibrant club that fosters belonging, compassion and fun in service is continued, so that we can realize our collective vision to create lasting change-in our communities, and in ourselves.
In commencing my Presidency, I recognize that RCL is built on a firm foundation of strong leadership, and I am fortunate and proud to inherit the rich legacy of 19 Past Presidents who have dedicatedly grown our club bringing it to where it is today.
For those who do not know, RCL was chartered in 2001 and our first President-our Charter President-was and is DG Alex Nyaga. Past Presidents, thank you for your leadership and continued guidance.
Let me take this opportunity to warmly congratulate my dear friend, Immediate Past President IPP Sarah Migwi and her Board for a very successful year!
For reasons that we all know, the 2020-2021 Rotary year was a curve ball for all and RCL was no exception. Nonetheless, with grace, agility and unwavering dedication, IPP Sarah soared!
IPP Sarah continuously innovated, ensuring, in spite of the covid lockdown, that we continued to contribute to the Rotary Foundation, invested in new and old friendships, serve those in our communities, plant lots of trees, and hold vibrant and inspiring fellowships every week – such as the time when we had the privilege of hosting the now Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta!
Under her leadership, RCL won awards and gained recognition, a testament of the hard work invested by club members.
The 3-year Strategic Plan that we prepared and began implementing under her Presidency is the first formally written Strategic Plan our club has had, and it will provide guidance for me and future club presidents. Overall, under her leadership, and in the face of tremendous odds IPP has nurtured and grown our club.
IPP Sarah, it was a difficult year, due to the Pandemic – with lots of lemons, however, you kept serving RCL membership perfectly chilled mint lemonade! Well done, RCL will always be grateful. Asante Sana!
On a personal note, I thank you, and caution that I will be depending on your continued support throughout the year.
To each of the new Board members, congratulations! Our fellow club members have shown their confidence in you and in me by electing us to our respective positions, and I look forward to serving with you. I have already seen the energy, enthusiasm, and commitment that you bring to the table. I am grateful for your support and I look forward to an exciting year of service with all of you.
We are very proud of our sponsored Rotaract Clubs and we wish to appreciate our Rotaract Club of Langata for the support you have given to us throughout the year. We look forward to working with you and participating in your anniversary activities.
My fellow Rotarians, the theme for this year is “Serve to Change Lives”. Informed by the results of poll in the club, where you shared your views and concerns, our primary focus for the year will include attention to the following:
- Improved Membership Engagement and Retention.
- Bigger and more impactful projects
- Institution of Governance structures and Policies for growth
I believe that by focusing on the above 3 initiatives, we will not only address your key concerns-as a member of RCL, but also strengthen the structures that we have built collectively over the last 20 years. We are the largest club in Africa, as such, more hands mean we can and we should do more to change lives.
We are widely known for our liveliness at club projects, eccentric fellowship meetings and of course “swallowship”. I shall endeavor to keep the fun flowing so that members are engaged and energized as we Serve.
There is much that I can say on the importance of service and helping those most in need in our community, but in the interest of time, it is best I share with you the words of RI President Shekhar Mehta who calls us to “Serve to Change Lives”. He says:
“The biggest gift we are given
Is the power to touch a life
To make a difference
In the circle of life.
If we can reach out
With our hands, heart, and soul
The magic will begin to happen
As the wheel begins to roll…
Let’s turn the wheel together
So all humanity thrives
We have the power and the magic
To serve … to change lives ….”
Last and certainly not least, I am delighted because our Club is home to the current District Governor, Alex Nyaga. What a remarkable contribution of our club to District 9212.
Fellow Rotarians, with this honor, comes great responsibility – our responsibility as RCL.
DG Alex, our Charter President, affectionately called CP Alex, you can count on us to support you to make this a great year. You have set ambitious, important and life changing goals including the planting of 1 million trees, facilitating the gifting of 250 Heart Surgeries to deserving children, and growing the District membership. DG Alex, we the Rotary Club of Nairobi-Langata will support you all the way to ensure we can achieve those targets.
From all of us, One Love.
I would like to recognize and thank my family and close friends, those here with us, and others including my mother and father who are joining us virtually. Thank you so much for your continued support.
With those remarks, fellow Rotarians and guests I humbly accept the post of President of the Rotary Club of Nairobi-Langata.