How did I make it to the AfriSIG 2021 fellow if I am not deserving (African child suffering from impostor syndrome)?
From a networking engineering arena to internet governance, I had no idea I was about to go on an out-of-body experience. Throughout my AfriSIG experience, I felt as if I didn’t belong, as if I didn’t know enough to weigh in on the debates, and as if I lacked the essential expertise to offer. I felt inadequate in comparison to my fellows. I also felt I was precisely where I was supposed to be at that moment in time; I believed this was where I was supposed to be for the following two weeks, and this is what kept me going and where I got my motivation to engage and contribute.
The Ninth African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG 2019) was held from 4 to 15 September 2021, however, owing to the realities of COVID-19, the school was held online. I would have liked to attend this AfriSIG in person; my passport was ready, and I was looking forward to packing my luggage, boarding a plane and exploring new cuisines, but until then, we must make do with what we have.
I was scrolling through my contacts’ WhatsApp statuses when I came across Nashilongo Gervasius’ (an Alumini of AfriSIG 2019) update calling for applications for the AfriSIG 2021 fellowship. It immediately piqued my interest, and I requested her to send me additional information. I had never heard of AfriSIG before, but I thought it would be a fantastic chance for my career because I work in the internet arena.
When I applied for the AfriSIG program, I was desperate to be accepted because I needed to be a part of a fellowship that spoke on current internet governance issues. I also wanted to be a part of the programme for selfish reasons; for one, I wanted something to put on my CV, LinkedIn profile, and just to feel like I had done something worthwhile [Don’t judge me!].