Antony Nkuubi is a young man who has defied the odds to create a space for women who are determined to be great leaders. His leadership roles began early in life when he was a school captain in primary school. He then proceeded to Meru School where he was the secretary of the Young Catholic Society and later he in the students governing council at the University of Nairobi in the year 2014-2015.
He joined the University of Nairobi where he took up a Bachelors degree in Gender and Development Studies. This is where he encountered insurmountable odds in terms of paying school fees which saw him lose one academic year of school at some point. Despite this, he would work in various places to sustain himself including fixing tents for events and at Sarit Center as an Uchumi supermarket attendant.
After the 2013 general election, he realised that there were many women who were struggling to be elected. He came up with a proposal to solve this. This saw him tarmac and knock on many doors to pitch his idea. However, this wasn’t well received because they thought that he was just looking for a job. However, he was later advised to start a Non-Governmental Organization that he could use to partner with organizations that had his objective. It was so hard for him to raise the money to register it let alone convincing people to join his organization as board members. That is how his organisation, ‘Governance Pillar Organization’ was born. He is thankful for the support of his family and board members who assisted him with the initial funding for his work including registration and building of a website.
While at the university, he participated in a human rights essay competition organised by Amnesty International. He emerged as the winner. This meant that he would have the chance to travel to Dublin, Ireland to represent Kenya. Unfortunately, he did not have a passport and therefore missed the chance. However, the experience taught him the importance of preparation. It is through that situation that he developed interest in civic engagements.
Antony encourages young people to nurture the ideas they have. They shouldn’t sit on their potential but just start with what they have because one thing always leads to another. So far, his organization has held four workshops. The first was held at Strathmore University. ‘Renee Ngamau, a lawyer and radio host came through by tackling one of the thematic areas we had on the agenda. We wanted to train women on image and branding, media presentation, Electoral Law, inspiration and leadership. Olive Gachara of Couture Magazine was also God sent,’ he reflects.
Through that, he has held youth forums in different places including the Catholic University of East Africa facilitated by Siasa Place founder, Nerima Wako, Ficha Uchi Founder, Billian Ojiwa, Kevin Mwiti, a law student and Boniface Mwangi, an activist. His third workshop was a gender forum which was facilitated by people like Caroline Chege currently who sits in the County Executive Committee of Kajiado county and youth activist Raphael Obonyo who is a great inspiration to many.
Just before the 2017 general election, Governance Pillar held another workshop to specifically empower women who were looking forward to vie. The forum was by all standard a milestone to him and the organization having hosted people like Hon. Esther Passaris and Irungu Houghton who is his mentor. His idea is to fully prepare Women candidates to fully take part in Kenya’s cut-throat politics. Antony looks forward to working with more women. He also looks forward to pursuing a Masters degree in Public Policy. His dream is to study at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and grow into an international speaker and consultant on governance based issues.
He loves reading and believes that it is important to master your area of interest. He learnt this from Robert Greene’s ‘Mastery’ and is a member of the Buruburu Library and the US Embassy Library. He also loves Africana library department at the University of Nairobi. Last year alone he read 26 books on leadership and governance. The Organization that he heads will be carrying out a research for women who participated in 2017 elections that will focus on selected counties. This is aimed at documenting their experiences hence prepare 2022 aspirants adequately. The organization is also set to launch an app that will enable people to access what their leaders are doing so as to give people a way of learning about how devolution is working for them.
Antony also contributes to newspaper articles. He likes writing because it gives him the opportunity to talk about the issues that matter to him. This also allows him to share the work of his organization for the benefit of the public. He advises the youth to use media spaces as a means of empowerment.
The vision of the organization is to advance and create awareness of good governance practices. Their mission is to nurture generations of responsible leaders through leadership training and empowerment, to champion good governance through public-private partnerships and to advance gender equality and equity through advocacy.
His commitment is to grow Governance Pillar Organization into a reputable International Organization on governance affairs.