All this events happened in a single day in 2013… but started a few years ago.
A few years ago..
I went to my first stag party, I have always been the curious kind and if you have read anything else I have written you know that already, I had barely sat down when a young girl who was about 20 years came and stood next to me and though she was a bit scared, she went ahead to say that for a fee I could have sex with her. My friend laughed and walked away, I was about to tell her no.. but, am not that kind of a guy… I never dismiss anyone just because, I have a story and I believe everyone else does, furthermore this sounded strangely like a challenge, I love challenges. So I told her to take a seat next to me and we struck up a conversation. To cut a long story short, I learned that it was her first stag party, she had been invited by her cousin and she was angry at her boyfriend and figured she had nothing to lose…
I guess nobody had ever told her ’Never make a permanent decision about a temporary situation.’ Just like her, I seem to take my startup mentoring job everywhere and I decided to offer her a piece of advice.
I told her three things:
1. before she walked through that door she was not a prostitute, after she slept with a man for money she will be one.
2. She will never turn that fact back, and easy money is addictive and
3. If she went ahead and indulged in this actions at 20, she would look 30 in 3 years from a lot of frustrations, drugs and emotional distress, I saw this growing up in Rongai, girls who were very pretty and got caught up in such a lifestyle grew old very fast.
Of course after sounding like her father, she asked for my phone number then she strangely asked if I could give her fare, it hit me that talk is cheap and she was focused on what brought her here, money. I got my wallet out, I never carry money I only had 1000 bob in 2 five hundred shillings note, I told her she could have the it … she surprisingly refused and split it giving me back 500 bob, she had realized she was not meant to be in this party.. and neither was I, I had learnt all I needed as well and so I left.
Today (Nov 2013):
Item 1: This week am in Europe in an Open data Conference, I received a whatsapp and it said “ Thank you very much for taking your time to talk to me that evening, I never went back. I am now working and living in the Emirates and while I regret going there, I never regret that conversation ever. Thank you”. We had a long chat with the lovely young girl and she is doing very well in the Emirates.
I am over opinionated, aggressive and not very wise, I have done some crazy and rewarding things in my life, broke many rules, failed and succeeded in some things…. but this tops all my lifetime achievements so far.
Item 2: Today same day I got caught up in a Facebook viral game that forced me to post 1 of 7 items. I could have refused to pick one but I realized that “choices have consequences, even when I comment on a friends wall” those who understand the game know what am talking about. So I picked ” I forgot to wear my underwear today” that was 2 minutes before I took the stage as a speaker, my dutch friend & social media guru patted my back as I took the mic and laughing he whispered, “I hope nobody in the audience has seen your facebook post… yet”. Took a lot of courage to do my short presentation after that.
Item 3: A friend from High school sent me a message today complimenting me about my “success” and asked what my secret is. I responded that everyone is successful, we just tend to all use the wrong metrics for measuring our own success.
So I concluded, I am successful but am not rich at all, most times I am one paycheck away from poverty, which brings me to the two items above: I thought maybe my secret is I never run away from a challenge, whether its going to a stag party and changing a would be hookers life or posting a scandalous message on facebook or getting lost in a foreign city……….. I take risks.
You will discover you are successful if you use the right metrics.
I have been having this thought since early morning today, when our focus is on eliminating poverty, we focus on poverty, this means we study the people, cultures, etc looking to find a reason as to why they are poor, our solutions are limited to that information we gather and so we only give them opportunity equal to what we think they can handle, we later get frustrated and blame government, culture, people e.t.c when they cant seem to “lift themselves” after all our research and input.
For the last 3 years, I have watched this social entrepreneurs who’s approach was “opportunity” not poverty eradication (from my view) not hand outs, they created “opportunity” and some blew it, some made it work., their slogan is “I make it work”, which brings me to my point.
Lets focus on creating opportunity. I almost feel this is different from focusing on poverty, of-course we can say they both aim at the same thing… but work with me here… shows like the Amazing race, Survivor don’t focus on your ability (current situation) but give you an opportunity to prove your ability… America and Australia founding fathers focused on opportunity, discovering new lands or being shipped to far of lands as rejects of society, they dint focus on where they come from but where they wanted to be.
Every now and then I meet someone who reminds me of my past, while sometimes I am inspired how far I have come other times I am irritated because I want to meet people who see where we can be in the next 10 years, that would inspire me more.
If am not blubbering, my question then is…. how do we create a “land of opportunity” ?
The following is the speech delivered by Mzee Jomo Kenyatta on December 12th, 1963 ! – so that we never forget why we celebrate Jamuhuri Day.
“December the 12th, 1963! This is the happiest, the most wonderful day in my life, the day our beloved Kenya becomes free.
It is a day which can come only once in a lifetime – the day when a lifetime’s effort is suddenly fulfilled.
Foa a moment it is hard to believe that it is true. For this day has been won with such long effort, such sacrifices, such sufferings…
Now at last we are all free, masters in our own land, masters of our destiny…FREE!
What shall be my message to readers of PAN AFRICA?
First: Enjoy yourselves! Be happy! Breathe deeply this sweet, pure air of freedom! This freedom is your’s – your’s for the rest of your lives, to pass on to your children and your children’s children. Freedom!The most glorious blessing of mankind.
Let us share together this great day of joy.
Today our national flag, the flag of free independent Kenya, flies proudly, gaily in every corner of our land.
Today we may stand in reverence to the music of our own national anthem.
These are the symbols of our hard-won rights. Treat them with respect, Honour them.
The second part of my message is this.
Treat this day with joy. Treat it also with reverence. For this is the day for which our martyrs died. Let us stand in silence and remember all those who suffered that our land might be free, but did not live to see its fulfilment. Let us remember their great faith, their abiding knowledge that the victory would be won.
We are like birds which have escaped from a cage. Our wings have cramped. For a while we must struggle to fly and regain our birthright for the free air.
We shall make our mistakes, But these will be only like the temporary flutterings of the escaped bird. Soon our wings will be strong and we shall soar to greater and greater heights.
This freedom has not come easily. Nor must we expect the fruits of freedom to come easily.
This nation – Kenya – will be as great as its people make it. So I ask you to make this day of freedom a day of dedication.
I ask you to dedicate yourselves to the memory of those who have gone before us and to those who must follow us. I ask you to resolve to put aside all selfish desires and to strain every ounce of muscle and brain to building a nation which shall honour our dead, inspire our living and prove a proud heritage for those who are yet to come.
In the name of all these – HARAMBEE!!
If this is #tujuane, we would have something to say about it, we have a target to ridicule, someone to blame, someone we can use as a yard stick, well its not.
Most of my friends know that we have just covered 3800 Kilometers on a road trip in the United States, which is like driving from Nairobi to Pretoria in South Africa. But this post is not about road trips its about being accountability and responsibility.
As I get ready to go back home, I realize that we are the people responsible for our own demise on the road, each and every one of us.
On the road we need rules and laws that work, it’s that simple, we got a parking ticket here in the States for being 3 minutes late, the cost of parking for 60 minutes was $2 /”Kshs 170″ the fine for being 3 mins late, i.e 63 mins was $63 /Kshs 5355 !! we never got late again), we also got into an accident for missing a small detail (the fine might be up to $300 , after that you never forget to obey. rules & laws..
Who is to blame for the death in road accidents in Kenya? I liked Gado’s Cartoon this week it depicted the people responsible but forgot to depict you and me. We killed them, stop crying, we killed those 41 people in Narok, we killed those students who died last month, we have been killing each other with our actions every other day, stop asking who is responsible, you are.
A driver is not from a different species, neither is a policeman an alien, we are brothers and sisters playing different roles at different times during the day and when we compromise and fail on our part in one particular role we hurt or kill ourselves in the next role.
A policeman takes a bribe during the day from a defective Matatu, later in the evening his colleague takes the same Matatu and dies in a horrific accident.
A Matatu driver over speeds, causing another driver to veer off the road killing everybody in the car including a 7 year old who is his son’s best friend in school.
A passenger enters an overloaded vehicle, encouraging the driver to keep overloading the vehicle and the next week the same car
Was re-writing and reposting this article that I lost half of it somewhere…. sorry, I cant re-write the ending anymore but I will try and summarize it.
You are responsible for my life and for the life of my loved ones and I am responsible for you and your loved ones.