Happiness from the Least of Things

Finding hope in the least of things means being happy with the things you can control. Sometimes the least of things you can do is to just wake up, make your bed and take a cup of hot water.

You are looking for a job, something that is way beyond your control. However, what is in your control is to improve your skills and be your own number one fan. Sometimes the only place you will hear good things about you is your own self.

Relying on other people’s praise will ultimately lead you to your death due to their criticism. Learn to live within your comforts, being in your own space because it’s only through working from the inside that the outside can be different.

Get a plant, take care of it. I have done this and it just works magic. The care you project to that tiny plant has a multiplying effect in your own life. It gives you a sense of responsibility and pride when you see it grow.

Invest in yourself, work hard, be enthusiastic about life, be silly and laugh at the craziest of stuff, sometimes that is the only thing you can ever do.

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Self Perfection, a Crave for those who Seek it

At 20, I never imagined that 7 years down life I would be where I am. I envisioned that at 25 I would be a millionaire from scratch. When I turned 25, about two years ago, I reflected on what I had been able to achieve by that time. I had barely hit millionaire status; I was in and out of jobs, trying out in each and every sector to show my prowess.

Too bad, I wasn’t millionaire at 26 either I am still not one at 27. However, I have accomplished so much and what still remains inside me is the burning desire to be better, the same desire that I had at 20 years. I do not deprive myself of the continuing dream to monetary success but what I have gained is billion dollar experience that I could not buy no matter how much money I would have made had things turned out as planned.

Life is an interesting journey that has played in front of my eyes daily. Hard decisions have taken me to where I am and that is why I conquer with Earl Nightingale that the secret to life is that ‘’we become, what we think about’’. I have become nothing but all I have constantly put my thoughts at. My greatest fear used to be dying poor, but now my greatest fear is not living my purpose. I fear that I will be another misused talent at the gravesite when I am gone. So now, I aim to live life, be positive and dream big, I want to meet people, travel and laugh at the silliest of things.

By refusing to stay back at home after my high school education, I sought to explore new lands and conquer life in a different place that I never knew how. The hustle and the struggle to stay afloat and alive in a hard life has only made me stronger. I remember when I bought my first car at 23 years and I thought to myself ‘Dennis, life will get better, but at the same time it will get harder, so continue gaining as much wisdom as you can’. I have read of men in many books who sought to conquer the world, I watch them daily on Youtube as they move from milestone to milestone, from relationship to relationship that did not work.

So this is my life in writing, I aim to be the best man that I can be, a man of integrity and above all, one who loves God with all his life. So as I approach a new birth year, I will be a force to reckon with, I know it, I can feel it, I can see it.

Whoever you are and in whatever place you are, I wish you well in your own hustle, keep writing your story.

Go on Life Soldier…. It is Well..

Life is an interesting struggle. That in itself makes us soldiers in our own right. I say interesting because it is an interplay of struggles and milestones. It is a continuous rerun of, ‘ trips, falls and rises’ until the very end.

As life continues, we meet people who disrupt our experiences and make us better, some come n leave you exhausted. Sometimes they leave, sometimes we leave, but the joy of moving on is one of the greatest and toughest moments you can ever go through.

Having the courage to chose the path that will take you to where you want is treacherous. It is the hardest thing that can ever happen to you.  But life is meant to keep improving and moving.

If I had a chance to do this again I would choose the hard way, because with pain is growth beyond things I could never have imagined.

 

 

 

Dear Politician; It is My Time now….

Dear Politician,

Thank you for the hard work you have put into wooing me to vote for you. Honestly, you have really gone an extra mile this time around. I do not know if it is because you are very eager to serve me or it is the excellent perks that come with the positions.

Anyway, you have painted my estate with thousands of posters, covered all road signs and electric posts, walls with your image. Even all the remaining city trees are now your brand ambassadors. This time around you even went to a professional photographer, consulted a makeup artist and a very professional graphic designer to bring the best out of your image.

All along in your political rallies you were talking ill of your competitor, sold me some good ideas as well as some laughable ideologies, you played games on my TV screen as I watched, distributed handouts to jobless youths who chanted your name at the top of their voices. I saw the big motorcades of branded high-end cars transverse my estate road which is in deplorable condition. You promised to fix it within the first 100 days just like the previous leader that I voted out in the nomination process had promised to do to no avail.

In the campaign trail, I have come across the humble independent candidate who walked on foot asking for votes. He seemed genuine but I wondered if he would deliver if I gave him the job, would he also change like the others upon election to office? Anyway, all this time I waited in patience knowing that my time would come. As sure as day, the curtain has fallen down the campaign period. I have heard it all, I have seen it all.

The stage is now set for me to cast my vote. I am armed tooth and nail with my voter’s card and ID which I have treasured more than my beers being spiked in the last five months. I have also been very alert not to forget my ID every time I withdraw money from mobile money agents.

I have decided that I will vote for a leader who has shown a track record of progress, I will also vote for that young man with a lot of potential for good leadership. I will vote for that leader with good values one that does not propagate hate and violence. I will vote for the one who oozes integrity, a leader who means what he says. I will vote for that lady who is a servant leader, her wealth situation not withstanding.

In the whole electoral process, I will stay peaceful and refrain from any foul talk on social media about another. I will vote peacefully, wisely and most of all, I will be a good citizen to everybody because that is what the Kenyan spirit is about.

Yours truly,

Voter and Patriot.

Angaza Kifafa: Impacting Lives through Epilepsy Awareness

After a great and impactful road show in Kakamega County under the banner ‘Angaza Kifafa’, Bank of Africa (BOA) Caravan, I have sat down to reflect on matters Epilepsy.

But first, did you know that 2 in every 100 people suffer from epilepsy in Kenya? That means 2% of Kenyan population suffer from epilepsy and 80% of this number shall never get to see a doctor or even get diagnosed. This 80% is approximately 720,000 Kenyans. Epilepsy affects more than 65 million people worldwide.

As you come to terms with these hard hitting facts, note that epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterised by unpredictable seizures. There is a wide range of seizure types which vary from person-to-person. It is the fourth most common neurological disorder and affects people of all ages. Epilepsy can affect a person’s safety, relationships, work and other activities. It can be related to brain injury or family traits, but often the cause is completely unknown.

The biggest roadblock in the fight against epilepsy is the stigma. Epilepsy has been associated with witchcraft, family curses and hence people shy away from treatment. Some end up being locked in tiny rooms, never to mingle with the rest of society because of “demon possession”. This places an unimaginable burden on the affected and their families.

Epilepsy is a manageable condition and in some cases curable. A person living with epilepsy and manages is through anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) has the opportunity to live a normal life, they could be a teacher, dancer, writer, doctor, engineer, the list is endless. Epilepsy is not a curse or some sort of possession; it is a treatable condition like any other.

The National Epilepsy Coordination Committee (NECC) which is the body that spearheads the event aims to foster collaboration among stakeholders in facilitating the provision of quality epilepsy care in Kenya. The campaign relies on well-wishers and 2017 is the successive fourth year running. It has conducted seminars, road shows as well as medical camps in 8 Counties now. With 39 more to go, people need to pull together to create a bigger impact.

Help us get the message out there, join the movement. If you are in a corporate organisation that can be able to help, get your CSR team to contact Ekar communications. When the caravan gets to your County, volunteer to help where you can. If your talent can help reach more people, go ahead; make an impact in the world.

Before you buy that car Part 1

Owning a car is the ultimate goal to many of us in the sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere around the world. A car speaks prestige (though not all 🙂 ) but these days it’s more of a necessity that a luxury. It saves you the hustle of long walks, the scram and scramble for public transport, gives you convenience, comfort and so on.

Being a car owner is one thing, maintaining it on the road in top notch condition is another. Cars start wearing out and depreciate in value as soon as you leave the dealership. Therefore, maintaining it on the road means you have to learn the basics of how a car works so as to be able to diagnose and predict certain problems.

I am not a mechanic by the way, but ever since I bought my first car, I have gained relevant experience in car maintenance that I can share with you so that you can get more miles on your car as well as hustle free driving and maintenance that will cost you no dime.

So let’s start from the beginning, you have saved enough money to buy yourself a second-hand car or your local bank has informed that you qualify for a car loan. Where do you start searching for a good car? How will you avoid being hoodwinked by car dealers, which is the perfect car for you?

To answer this I look at my own case, four years ago when I bought my Mitsubishi Gallant. I had already got my money in the bank that I had saved up. I did not want to take a loan since I was not consistently employed and it would be a hustle to get cash at the end of each month to service my loan. I had my budget in place and I went to a certain dealership near home to check on cars that range at that price.

You could have your own preference of the cars you fancy and go check on their prices if they fit your budget. From your budget check the reasons why you want to purchase a car, if it’s for a business, maybe a pickup would be a good bet. If you are looking for a family car, a station wagon would be a good pick. If you are a bachelor; there are sports cars that can fit your budget, if you need a car to go upcountry you might consider SUVs or 4wheel drive cars. For me, I just wanted a fancy looking manual car with a big engine that consumes less.

After you have narrowed down, you need to narrow down more. Check for cars specifications such as engine capacity, gear transmission, fuel consumption as well as customer’s reviews of the model online. This will help you have background information on the cars in your range.

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The next step is going to different dealerships as well as online ones to see if they have the cars that suit your preferences from the list you have. However in online transactions, you need to exercise some caution, there are many crooks prying those streets. That doesn’t, however, mean that there are no genuine businessmen there.

Tune in for part 2

To Farm or not to Farm: Opportunities for Youth in Agro-business

The topic of youth and agriculture is quite tricky. On one hand, lies an economic activity whose image has been tainted as outdated, hard work and a poor people’s undertaking. On the other are the youth who are greatly misunderstood but compose the bulk of the population. There are over 200 million youths between 15 and 24 in Africa. The youth are fun seeking people and most will not explore anything that they deem ‘uncool’, such as farming.

So then, how do you derive these to extremes and turn them into the perfect mix for development? The youth need to go through a paradigm shift to be able to envision opportunities in agriculture and agro-business. Simply put, if we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.

High risks in investment, low productivity, lack of defined markets are some of the problems facing the agricultural sector. However, by learning how to tackle these challenges, the sector presents great opportunities for millions of youth. Below are solutions for making it more attractive to younger generations.

Exploiting technological opportunities

The youth are the pioneers of the digital revolution with many young billionaires coming up each and every year. Technology has disrupted many industries and agriculture is not left behind, bringing about cheaper, less risky and more productive methods of doing agriculture.

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There are very high returns in agriculture as the world population increases. Currently, the world has more than 7 billion people and the available of food cannot sustain this population growth. That is why the world Development report of 2008 called for more investments in agriculture.

Easier access o funding

Youth looking to venture into agriculture are able to access grants and loans from the government, financial institutions as well as NGOs. In Murangá County in central Kenya, for example, the county government has been providing a cow to poor homesteads to help them start off on the path of agricultural success. Therefore, the excuse of lack of capital does not hold any water, opportunities are all around us.

Easier market access

Access to markets has long been a problem as middlemen fleece the farmers dry. The youth are therefore presented with a chance to bridge the gap through technology to help many farmers access market for example to supermarkets, restaurants, and markets and even for export.

Employment opportunities

The dwindling employment opportunities can give the youth gainful employment or entrepreneurial opportunities. Youth can start small-time agro-vets through Sacco loans and build up. They can also supply farm inputs through the ‘juakali’/ informal sector like wheelbarrows and hoes.

Finally, some of the youth in urban centres with fertile land in the rural area can lease them to large-scale farmers and hence earn from agriculture indirectly.

In summary, there exist numerous opportunities in the agricultural sector for the youth to explore and prosper.

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