Testimonial by Elizabeth (Beth) Thomas, DTM


At International Conventions between 1997 and 2002 I usually sought out fellow Toastmasters from Africa and although during that period of time there was only one Toastmasters club in Nairobi, there would always be some members from the undistricted club in Nairobi, Kenya.  Usually when I chatted with them I just could not seem to enthuse them about the value Toastmasters International could bring to Kenya by having some more clubs in that country.   Every year this club participated in the International Video contest and enjoyed the experience, but did not seem to see any need for more clubs.   No matter how much I “nudged”  the nudges didn’t seem to work.

It was a very special day in my life when I first met Rozy Rana,DTM.   Immediately I detected a kindred spirit and knew that this was a lady I could share my vision for Toastmasters International growing in Africa.

Rozy is a wise and innovative person who in all areas of her life LIVES the core values of our organization.  As our friendship developed and sharing ideas after agreeing to consider the possibilities of a new district being formed in East Africa, Rozy committed to work together on realizing the plan to eventually establish a new district for East Africa.

As the possibility began to develop I saw enthusiasm, passion and vision becoming a burning desire in her life.  Every event she planned and participated in was a “show-case event”  One of the special events was the East Africa Speech contest weekend with other un-districted clubs attending from neighbouring countries.   These events were filled with excitement and fun and I was privileged to be able to attend.

Very shortly clubs were chartered and by 2016 the Territorial Council of East Africa with 17 clubs, Rozy being the Chairman which grew to 22 clubs, then 34 clubs, and then 51 clubs.  Within three years 65 clubs were chartered.  Rozy and her team planned together wisely, extending their borders beyond those of Kenya.

I was honored to have played a small part in this new district whose leader was caring and had excellent leadership skills and to have been honored to represent Toastmasters International for its formal inauguration at the first Territorial Council meeting of East Africa.

Earlier I mentioned the Core Values of our organization.  Rozy is a person of integrity,  she cares for the organization and its clubs and members, she aspiring always for leaders and members to aim for excellence and as a person who walks and works in every area of her life in humility.  Rozy is both focused and flexible – focused to reach her goal and flexible enough to work together as a team-player, to listen to others views and adapt when necessary.  I know she will be a great asset as she serves on the Board of Directors of our wonderful organization.