Friday, 17 January 2014

Pain, Pleasure, Success

My first real taste of success was both sweet and painful. Having had a blissful childhood in the city, I was taken back to the village. My pre-primary education was good by any standards. My mum tells me that after that single year in nursery school I was able to join words and make out basic phrases. I would stutter but read some Kiswahili words well. 

My transfer to the village and the village school was therefore with a great advantage. In the village, during those days, most pupils were plucked out of homes and directly planted into class one. Nothing prepared you for anything you would do in school. In fact you would begin by first learning how to hold a pencil. Add all the other things like sitting on stones and writing on your lap etc. 

My first term exam results were among the best I ever posted. In several subjects I scored all the marks, in some I lost a few marks. But I got only 30 percent in the subject Mother Tongue. Even this could not stop me from being the best student in my class that term. 

The closing ceremony was an elaborate event. Singing, clapping and the entire fan fare of such an occasion. Since it was obvious that I would be feted, I asked my elder brother for advice on how best to walk to the podium and take my prize. 

“Walk briskly and smile. When you shake hands with the teacher, nod your head for some time,” he advised. I did just that. The applause that greeted me was overwhelming. My nodding was remembered for long and I got teased a lot for that later. 

But the shock was to come a while a later. My report form had to be withheld because I had not paid some fee or the other. I couldn’t take home my best possession. What pain that caused me!  I hung around our class teacher until he finished dishing out the forms. I was left alone with him and a few others but he still couldn’t give in to my pleas. 

I began to cry. He still couldn’t give me the report form. So I cried all the way until I met an uncle of mine who soothed me, took me back and made sure I got that report form. 

This has been a week where success stories have been so many. My secondary school classmate Junior Mireri wrote a riveting opinion piece on ODM elections for The People newspapers, a feat which he and few others who know where we come from can relate. 

In the global scene, our biggest Kenyan ambassador at the moment Oscar Award nominee Lupita Nyong’o continues to wow the world.

 Several Kenyans in Mogadishu are doing terrific work in Mogadishu. Listening to the Big Breakfast Show on Monday, and hearing the great work they are doing there, I wished I could take the next plane to visit Somalia. 

The overriding similarity in all these stories has been the determination, sheer hard work and vision of the people involved. To look far ahead and see yourself in a role, and to achieve that is perhaps the greatest measure of success. 

I am daring to dream. Dreams are the stuff that everything in the world comes from. Pleasure can take out all the pain.  


  1. This reminds me of my lower primary days in Mang'ang'a days. As you know I am not good in written word but I like this piece.

    1. Memories are the stuff our lives are made of.

    2. Memories are the stuff our lives are made of.

  2. down the memory lane. nice stuff