UHURU KENYATTA, EGH, MP, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER FOR FINANCE DURING THE EQUITY BANK GROUP ANNUAL GIFTED SCHOLARS LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT CONGRESS TO BE HELD ON AUGUST 19TH, 2011 AT KENYATTA UNIVERSITY. I would like to begin by thanking Equity Group, and every person present for affording me the opportunity to speak today. I applaud the Equity Group and the Master-card foundation for their steadfastness and continued commitment to investing in young people; and I am grateful for their desire to see you all learn; grow and succeed. To say that it is an honor to be standing before you is, to my mind, an understatement. Any opportunity to speak to faces that are vibrant, ears that are eager and lives that are full of potential is most humbling for any man and you can rest assured that even if I fail to inspire you, I will leave here inspired. I believe that seated here today, within these grounds, there is excellence waiting to happen; potential poised to be realized; and leaders in the process of being refined and shaped. I am certain that even as we are gathered here, there are minds filled not just with knowledge, but with insight; creative imaginations that cannot be contained by any ceiling- physical or otherwise; and consciences that are alive with the knowledge of integrity, the zeal for honesty, and the appreciation for hard work- the true markings of any worthwhile leader. This I can say confidently as through my interactions with many of you and your peers on Facebook and Twitter, I have constantly been amazed and encouraged by the depth and insight exemplified in our conversations. More than ever before, we have a generation of highly informed, patriotic, motivated and connected Kenyans. This is the true wealth of our country. You have all been brought together under this program in order that those qualities may be channeled into the effective transformation of society. Within this program, you are all being prepared for the world- and rightly so. You are being prepared to grapple with serious issue’s affecting our society and interact with influential people (ordinary and great), to produce praiseworthy results and to learn from failure. You are being prepared for the world but you must also know that there are few who have

prepared the world for you. Just beyond the realm of education there lies a realm that is sometimes rigid in it’s complacency, a world that may be too proud to acknowledge your abilities; too doubtful to believe in you and too disillusioned to recognize the hope that you carry. It would not be right for me to suggest that all will always be well. The reality is that you will face challenges and you will have to struggle through trials. What you must understand is that while you were preparing for the world they may have been unaware of the great need they had for you. While you were preparing for them they may have been too bogged down by the harsh realities of their own lives to see a dawn in the horizon. While you were preparing there was no one there to let them know that you were coming. It is possible that it will be entirely up to you to show them you have arrived. And show them you shall. You are all here because within you there burns a dream that fuels your every decision, there is a vision that keeps you struggling through the mediocre, and the ordinary in order to reach the great, there is a courage that keeps you consistently reaching out time and time again for…something. True Greatness. Societal Reform. Personal transformation. I encourage each of you to truly believe that no matter where you begin or how difficult the journey towards your future may be, regardless of the opportunities that are afforded to you: you will always have three things available to you- should you choose to claim them. You will always have your dream, your voice, and your ability to decide. By holding daily to these you will always have a reason to look forward and the ability to change the present despite what may have happened yesterday. Do not allow your dream to be compromised or crushed by failure or fear of failure, do not allow your voice- that fundamental tool of selfexpression, to grow weary of proclaiming, and advocating for what is right regardless of what is being said to challenge you and do not give up your free will to the hands of despair. You are all at such a critical stage because it is at this point that those qualities of leadership are formed and tested. The decision you make to reject compromise today

will make it that much easier for you to reject compromise later. The decision you’ve make to do an assignment today instead of procrastinating will undoubtedly make you a more effective leader tomorrow. In short the aspirations you have about where your life will be in the next five or ten or twenty years must influence your present actions. The dream you hold for the future must inform the decisions you make about your present reality. I encourage all of you to carry the zeal that you have for tomorrow into your everyday life. Let it be evident to every teacher and every student you encounter within the classroom, carry it to every office you have the opportunity to work at, walk with that zeal down every street you must travel through and every situation you must hazard because that, is what will make you a better leader tomorrow. The fact of the matter is that though I cannot assure you that the world will be ready for you, I can say without hesitation that it is in desperate need of you. This country as it currently stands, this world as it currently stands needs you to be the leaders you hope to be tomorrow-today. Our present and our future will be affected shaped and determined by hands very much like yours, minds very much like the one’s in this room. I am sure most of you have already made the decision to be future leaders, policy influencers, and world changers and for that I am truly grateful. I encourage all of you to continue living lives that reflect that because I can assure you that the very the same people who are fervently trying to inspire you, desperately need you to inspire them. God bless you, and God bless Kenya.

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