- May 10, 2021
When all is said and done, what impact will my life have? This is an existential question that many people grapple with. And oftentimes, we feel inadequate because we think our impact will be minuscule. As a consequence, we don’t even bother to try. The story of Brian Owino dispels this often held belief and shows that impact is a matter of initiative and not necessarily magnitude.
A 23-year-old with an ambitious dream
Brian is an ambitious 23-year-old. He was born in Siaya and raised in Mathare. His father is an engineer and his mother a homemaker. His parents are very strict, especially when it comes to education.
“My parents believe that education is the key to success and would not entertain anything that could jeopardize that. That is why they were against me joining scouts while in school.’’
Despite his parents’ apprehension, Brian joined scouting at a young age. “I grew to love it,” Brian says. “I would attend scouting activities and practise behind their back. I especially enjoyed camping because it allowed me to be in a different space, it removed me from my daily struggles.”
Escape from negative peer influence
Little did Brian parents know that scouting would be their son’s distraction against negative peer influence.
“When adolescence kicked in most of my friends and age mates started experimenting with drugs and crime. This did not end well for them. I have witnessed some of them being gunned down, some being beaten and burnt in mob justices and others go to prison. Thank God, scouting kept me occupied.’’
“It is through scouting that I learnt the values of community service. Immediately after high school my friends and I started doing charity events. We mobilized supplies and donated them to children’s homes. We did this for a while, but life sent us in different directions. Still, I thought I could do something more for the kids. That is when I started Motivated Mindset Dancers.’’
Teaching young people valuable skills
Through this group, Brian is able to bring together young children who love dancing. They are taught how to dance and receive guidance and counselling from mentors and coaches that Brian has partnered with.
“This group offers these kids an escape similar to the one I found in scouting. Furthermore, they are taught life skills to build their capacity to excel,’’ Brian says.
An award-winning dance crew
Motivated Mindset Dancers has grown to be a well-known dance crew. They have successfully completed a slum tour, where they visited slums in Nairobi and performed. They were also awarded, Dance crew of the year at the SEMA Awards. In addition, Valentine Wambui, a dancer with the group has been nominated to Africa Kids Awards, as Little Miss Popularity, East Africa.
Despite having done all this, Brian is still financially constrained. “The main challenge we face today is financing. I have had to finance most of the projects out of pocket and I’m looking for a financial partner who can help me create even more activities for the children. I want to emulate the scout model, where we have different clubs in different areas. My goal is to reach as many lives as possible and opening clubs is the best way to do this.’’
Evidently, Brian is already creating impact. His initiative is offering young people in the slums the opportunity to choose alternative lifestyles.
To learn more about this initiative and support Brian and his crew, look up, Motivated Mindset Dancers on Facebook.