Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Winning Woman- Amina Malyun Mohamed

Asalaam aleikum guys, intros are the hardest part in this series and i feel like i'll always say that but it is because summing up what i have learnt about these women in a few sentences is hard. Meet Amina-Malyun a soon to be lawyer, i insist on calling her a youth activist (even though she wants to be modest) and generally a girl-boss that i can not wait to meet. As always, be inspired, i am.

1.      Tell us a little about yourself, who is Amina? (Please include qualifications you would like mentioned in the introduction, thanks)
Amina Malyun Mohamed is a final year law student at Catholic university. I am the current president of the Law Students Society of Kenya. (LSSK).
 I’m the co- founder of Elimisha Africa Foundation, an organization that aims to enhance literacy and creativity in young people through mentorship and peer learning.
 I also serve as a Board Member of the Kenya Country Support Mechanism of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF). GCERF is the first global effort to support local, community level initiatives aimed at strengthening resilience against violent extremism.
2.      Have you always wanted to be a lawyer?
Not really, I had other plans. I wanted to be an Engineer and a software Engineer to be precise but my plans changed. I quickly realised that in the current world we live in, I needed something that will not only earn me a living but give me a voice. Studying law does that for someone. I had no clue how I’d use the voice but I was sure I would need it.
3.      What’s the hardest and the best part about being a lawyer?
The hardest thing about it is the constant seeking of information. You can never stop reading and not to mention the long time it takes to get admitted to the bar. It’s a long and hard journey to get admitted. The best part has to be knowing how to articulate what you want to say and the confidence that comes with having the right information. It makes you a human being in touch with reality of life.
4.      You’re also an activist, especially on issues concerning the youth, tell us more about that?
I don’t think I would call myself an activist just yet but yes. I’m passionate about young people. Kenya is a very youthful country. About 80 percent of our population is below the age of 35 years and what that means is that we will determine the future of this beautiful country. With that in mind, mine is to make sure that my generation is not only aware of this but to encourage them take up positions of leadership and actively participate in the decision making processes.
We have to understand that as young people, there are issues that affect us directly and they can only be addressed when those affected largely are present at the table. Remember, if we are not at the table of decision making, our issues which are the important issues such as unemployment, healthcare and quality education will equally absent. A more active and innovative youth is where the solution to majority of our problems are.
5.      In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?
I find that prayer works. Just saying a dua and asking for God’s helps to balance out my thoughts. I also try as much as possible to find the source of that self-doubt; it just doesn’t pop up. It has a source and you have to address it before you can move on.  I also remind myself that it is okay to fail, the important thing is that I showed up, I tried and I learnt.
6.      What does success mean to you?
Success for me involves pushing myself out of my comfort zone to achieve the goals I set out to achieve, to have an impact in society by doing meaningful work and ultimately changing lives.
7.      What quote or saying or book do you live by or rather inspires you?
That would be the words of Pakistani’s Benazir Bhutto who was the first democratically elected female leader of Muslim country when she said that,
 “Each journey begins with one small step. Never hesitate to take that small step, if in your conscience, you believe it to be alright. It takes courage to do what is right. “
8.      Which of your traits are you most proud of, why?
I’m proud of my ability to speak and address any one and any crowd. I’m not shy
 It’s important to speak up and say what you think or even stand up to something you disagree with. Particularly for young women, we are not always in enabling environments and not speaking up is often treated as consent to the abuse directed at us.
9.      What characteristic do you most admire in other women, career women or otherwise?
Women that are not afraid to face opposition or criticism and continue to say and do what is right. Women that work twice as hard to rightfully occupy position that were traditionally left for men and finally women that light other girls candles to one day be like them through mentorship
10.  What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received in your life and what advice would you give to girls who want to be a lawyer like you?
The best advice is the one my mum keeps giving every year. To work hard in everything that I do and mostly in my academics. She says, whatever degree or qualification you get from school, it’s yours, for yourself betterment and that no one can take it away. It serves me to date.
For girls who want to be lawyers and this applies to many fields, is to cultivate the culture of reading early enough. It’s quit hard particularly in this generation of screens for teenagers to pick a book and read but that’s where to start. Secondly is to understand your journey, where you come from, where you headed and what you need to get there. Finally, just believe in yourself and understand that the difference between you and the women you want to be is TIME!

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