Mentorship; building confidence for future success

Youths from different universities and the community during a mentorship summit organised by Nkunda Bienvenue in February 2017 in Kigali. (Frederic Byumvuhore)

All around the world, many people, especially the youth, are suffering due to the fact that most of them are not aware of ways through which they can achieve their goals.

But this remains a problem for only those who are yet to realise the importance of mentorship in shaping their dreams.

Bienvenue Nkunda, Chairman of mentoring programme at College of Business and Economics, explained how crucial mentorship to reach their destiny is.

He defined the programme as a developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person.

A mentor can be older or younger than the person being mentored, but they must have a certain area of expertise. A person who wants to learn is referred to as a “Mentee”.

“It is essential and useful to the youth because its focus is to develop the whole person,” he said, explaining that it’s not only developing them, but also guiding them, leading them and accompanying them in their career development.

Denyse Ingabire, a 3rd year student in Business Information Technology at College of Business and Economics, said that her mentor helped her uncover her inner potential.

“Having a mentor has improved my understanding and this has brought changes in my daily life. There are some challenges that we face most of the time which hinder our progress, but with the help of a mentor, such challenges could be tackled,” she says.

Ingabire says a mentor’s role is vital and advises every youth to find one.

“Mentorship contributes a lot to the future of a mentee through helping them to achieve goals. A mentor can help a mentee take serious decisions as well as guide them to become the person they want to be in the future.”

Keza Magnifique, a student at Mount Kenya University, believes mentorship contributes in shaping knowledge and increasing mentees ‘experience.

“A mentor is a person who is more knowledgeable and experienced who can support, advise, guide, and be a model to someone.

It is of great importance to have a person you can always tell your dreams and vision and who canhelp you to achieve them,”Keza said.

She emphasises that mentorship plays a big role in sharpening the future of the mentee by discovering the hidden potentials, using the talents and gifts, sharing experiences, and learning from possible mistakes.

“Many people, including in Rwanda, are not aware of or do not care about mentorship. I want to tell them, especially the youth, that we cannot achieve all we want in life without the guidance and advice from successful men and women. Mentorship helps to tackle our challenges, fears, obstacles and distractions,” she ended.

Experts observe that joining a mentor’s network and developing one’s own is central to advancement. Those mentored tend to work harder and do better in their everyday lives than those who were not.

Bievenue Nkunda, the chairman of the mentorship programme at College of Business and Economics, speaks at a Mentorship Summit held in February 2017. The summit brought together university students, among others.

Different techniques may be used by mentors according to the situation and mindset of the mentee, and the techniques are broad and require wisdom so as to be used appropriately.

Academically, mentorship is needed by students in programme completion, confidence building and transitioning to further education.