Dear enke family, friends, supporters and partners,
I am writing to let you know that I will be resigning from my post as enke’s Chief Operations Officer and have officially submitted my resignation letter to Rufaro (the CEO) and the Board. I will be leaving enke at the end of August. As much as I am sad to leave, I am also very proud of the work we’ve done and excited about all the things yet to come.
I started volunteering with enke in 2009. I had just turned 18. I was lucky enough to be a mentor (what is now an Igniter/Presenter) at the inaugural 2009 forum. I got to witness the enke magic for the first time. I had the privilege of working with teenagers from around the country who are now enke legends; people like Sarah, Jarrod, Maja and T.K, whose stories I still tell with immense pride to this day.
I volunteered at every Forum from 2009 – 2011, getting to work with more rockstars like Sizwe, Meghan, Nkosana, Vusi, Katleho – and so many others. Pip brought me on to work full time in 2012. We worked closely to strengthen the organisations operations, finance and HR. Under Pip’s and now Rufaro’s incredible leadership, we have grown from an organisation that was defined by a single program to an organisation that’s guided by its purpose and consistently innovates around better and more effective ways to turn that vision into reality.
We’ve expanded our Trailblazer Program to Cape Town and Bloemfontein and are on the cusp of adding Limpopo and Northern Cape to that list. We’ve piloted the new Catalyst Program where we’re already seeing phenomenal results. We’ve launched our Bespoke Services where we customise our programs for clients while contributing to our long term financial sustainability. Most importantly, we’ve seen our alumni go on to do massive things; start non-profits, lead organisations, represent Africa across the world; we’ve even seen them come back and strengthen the team, like Thami, former presenter who is now flying high in our facilitator training and Bespoke Services.
About 18 months ago, I began to reflect on my time at enke and what I would need to see to deem my work here a success. I thought about my ‘enke project’ – building operational and financial sustainability. Over the past year it has become clear to me that that project we started has come to fruition. We’ve built a strong Operations department and have brought on great partners like Norton Rose Fulbright and PwC to support that. We are in a strong operational and financial position to take on the future.
With this realisation, it’s clear to me that it is time for me to move on.
I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of enke getting to where it is now, and it is time for me to step aside and let others take that vision forward. As much as this is a tough decision, it’s also a very easy one – because of my deep belief in Rufaro’s leadership and in a team that are as committed as ever to Make it happen and Make it better.
Contextually, the ever increasing service delivery protests around the country, as well as movements like #FeesMustFall are indicators that enke’s work is more relevant now than ever. I believe we have a talented team and a powerful organisation that’s really well positioned to be a part of the solution to the continent’s complex challenges.
What am I going to do next? I’m honestly not sure. I do know that it’s important for this chapter to end for me before I can begin the next adventure. It has also been over 8 years since I lived in my home country, Kenya, so I’m also looking forward to moving back home and spending quality time with my family.
Rufaro, the Board and I will spend the next six months finding a replacement and ensuring that we have a thorough transition process. And, I’ll always be part of the enke family (if you’ll have me) long after that. If you have any questions about my departure or the transition process – or just want to share a memory or two – please get in touch.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve this tremendous organisation which has certainly left its mark on me.
With deep gratitude,