Sunday, November 6, 2016


"Be the Change You Want to See"
These words emanated from the following words by none other than Mahatma Gandhi. “We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”
The advantage (or disadvantage depending on what you think of your life) about being 50 plus Joel EmisikoWacango Muguro Kimani as you continue to celebrate this phenomenal number, is that you have made many mistakes, some that cannot be undone and some that you can correct with the time you have remaining, of course unknown to us. The greatest thing is that you have had time of reflection to decide if you want to learn from the mistakes to ensure you never repeat them again but one thing is for sure - life is a learning experience if you open your mind to it, listen to constructive criticism and ignore nay sayers, but most importantly, the ultimate decision lies with you - do I want to make the rest of whatever I have left a time to regret or a time to look back and remember lessons learnt and mistakes never to be repeated again, or live with regrets all your life? Do I want to wake up and smell the roses keeping in mind that they have thorns but the sweet scent of these beautiful flowers surpasses the sting of the thorns as you pick a rose from your garden. One of the greatest lessons learnt is from this story: "Why you shouldn’t avoid making mistakes" But I still would not be afraid to make mistakes because I would learn from them as expressed here so rightfully -…/why-you-shouldnt-avoid-making-mis…/#
In the past two week as I always do during celebration of my many years on this earth, I have had time to reflect on the goings on in my country Kenya, in my life and specifically following an incident a week ago that did not turn out as expected and instead of working for the greater good of those it concerned did the complete opposite and left me asking - "was it worth it"?. The words of Mahatma Gandhi have continued to scream at me somewhere at the back of my mind and I have had time to ask myself - "was it really, really worth it? If given the chance, would I do it all over again? My answer is: "I would gauge the situation, the context, the geographical area, the sample population :-) the wider expected and unexpected implications and possibly look the other side like many of us do and do nothing about something or do something about it and live with the repercussions!."
Thank you Kevin Kariuki for that chat we had last evening, not only catching up on the past that started in Nakuru Day Secondary School some 45 plus years ago and post school, college, life, but some lessons you taught me in word and in deed that I had not thought about or thought through - it was phenomenal and trust me, one of those talks that will linger in my mind for a long time as I make several major decisions soon.
All said and done, life is a learning process and in the words of Hunter S. Thompson in "The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman I exclaim: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming
"Wow! What a Ride!”

Saturday, November 5, 2016



When I read story below, a lesson from my father more than 20 years ago came to my mind....

When the Health 5Billion whatever it is called now shot up two weeks ago, I told a friend – if I was Uhuru Kenyatta, I would ensure that my close relatives play by the rules and they are not caught up in scandals that they might not necessarily be involved in but they are in there any way. Why, because these scandals or whatever they are called now can shame the family through anyone looking to link the him to anything that is not outright clear. They should therefore stay away from Government tenders and any other things that will bring questions later and make money from so many other things that do not involve direct government funds – Kenya is a country you can thrive in, even by learning how to sell anything and everything if you know how to! 

I told the friend that UK is covered by the Constitution to fight CORRUPTION & TRIBALISM within the confines of that great document and to let go anyone who does things contrary to the Constitution and saying “mnataka nifanye nini sasa” should never have come from his mouth because there is so much he can “fanya” without asking for a national referendum but that will trickle down to everyone positively including the "serikali saidia" mama or another one selling sukuma in Hola by the road side or some jua kali artisan in Gikomba or Kwale or Mandera - if you do things right, they will feel it wherever they are! 

Fast forward - How will history judge him? Let me leave that to history. 

Now, back to the conversation we were having with my friend -  I narrated to him how strict my father was when he was in a position of authority more than 20 years ago especially towards my brother Paul Njuguna and I. You could not get favors that had something to do with his job – nope – we watched as others ‘ate meat so to speak”.  It hurt then because I did not understand it very well but a few years later, I realised how important it was for him to have made that decision. 

When one day he was accused of all manner of things, I could swear he never did – (there were 17 accusations in all), I knew I was right - because I know what he did not allow us to access, what he did not let us touch because it was a conflict of interest. How did I know my late dad was innocent? Because many of his accusers have since either apologised to us as a family  (some before dad died), although not to the media they went to originally. Others  told us exactly what their role in the scandals were which led to dad’s untimely death so to speak due to heart ache. But we knew he was innocent too because before my mum passed on, many people involved in those 17 accusations had already either gone to ask for forgiveness or for prayers because of things they were undergoing and knew they had something to do with their lies against dad then. 

Yes, all along I knew my dad was not perfect but he was innocent on the 17 counts and to date, I still honor this great man of God (continue to rest in peace dad – your work was not in vain). 

Back to what dad did to me that pained me then. I had taken a loan of Ksh120,000 to do two things – buy a small car and the rest, buy a plot in Kahawa. The car, a small Suzuki 4 by 4 was being sold by his employer at a throw away price. Its a car I had ridden in many times and I knew it was just what I needed at the time. So, I went to dad and told him I had ready cash to buy it. These were his words: “My daughter, I will never preach water and drink wine. I don’t ever want someone one day to have proof that I had a conflict of interest and sold a car to my daughter instead of letting others have a chance at it just because I can. I live by what I preach.” And with that, the Suzuki was gone and I think it was bought by a colleague of his for even cheaper, I believe but not to his daughter. It was the second time he had refused me to buy something from his employer - that was it - I never asked again - lesson was learnt!

What am I saying? It is very easy to let things spiral into chaos as you watch because you do not want to get involved or to look the other side when you should not but it takes a leader, any leader from an OCS, a kanju askari to an MCA to the top and back down to whoever - to tell his family and others around/close to him/her – “No – you will not do this in my time – find something else to do”.  Or “No, you have done a wrong thing -  you are on your own on this” – like Kagame did with his brother. 

Many years later, we will remember that you as a leader led by example – that you did not preach water and drank wine.  

Who are our closest friends and confidants? In position of authority – who are our advisers – have we asked God to surround us with people who will not lead us astray but will help us make credible, morally right decisions personally and for leaders, nationally? 

If you open your mind to learning eternally, you will keep doing things, learning from your mistakes, not repeating them and moving on to do the next big thing. 

I remember something I had always heard but never knew who had said it until I went to Harvard Kennedy School of Government and realised it was JFK for whom the School was named after that said: " Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country.""

Let me pen off with words again that have been attributed to Mahatma Gandhi's “Be the Change You Want to See”. Whereas the actual words he said were the following, they still mean the same. : “We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Mr President and all of us Kenyans, #Nihayotu!