Decision: Not Vying in 2017 - Reflections of a Young Man™

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Decision: Not Vying in 2017

That lovely evening in 2007 before heading for a metal workshop session at the university, I opened Bill Clinton's autobiography and began to read. I was mesmerized by its clear, clean sweeping sentences. And I fell in love with Clinton's way of thinking as well as the candor with which he narrated the successes, failures and sins he committed in his illustrious career as a public servant.

Even though I was an engineering student back then, I devoured the autobiography as if it were part of my university course. It made me admire the life of a politician as Clinton narrated: that is traveling around the world, meeting new people, making speeches and impacting lives. By the time I was through with the book about three weeks later, I fancied running for political seat while still a youth just as Clinton ran for a congressional seat in his twenties.

With time, my fancies condensed into action when I made it public on social media in early 2012 that I would be running for a senatorial seat in the forthcoming General Elections. Interestingly, some of my friends reacted to my announcement with disbelief and ridicule. They claimed that I was too young, that I didn't have the necessary connections and that I didn't have enough resources to conduct a senatorial seat.

Eventually, I bowed to the pressure by scaling down to vying for a county representative seat, the lowest elective post in Kenya. I felt greatly relieved when I scaled down my ambition but even more so, I joyfully thought I would clinch the county seat as easily as the way a monkey climbs an iroko tree.

But alas! I faced obstacles after registering as a candidate, one after another. First, I did not receive parental blessings. My mother thought I should have been in the university studying. And my father thought that I had to first learn how to manage my own affairs before handling those of the people.

Secondly, I lacked the kind of charisma that I had observed in Bill Clinton. I especially battled with sleep - a struggle that first began at the university where I would be unable to get out of bed effortlessly.

Thirdly, I had no leadership and teamwork skills which became apparent when I tried to form a campaign committee. And when I single-handedly tried to do every campaigning detail from pinning posters to talking with people, I discovered that running a big project alone is like trying to drink water from an open fire hydrant.

Lastly, I found it difficult to raise enough funds to run a decent campaign. Despite sending hundreds of messages to friends via email, phone and social media, only five friends sent some money which was only sufficient for registering as a candidate.

Eventually, I gave up campaigning. And on Election Day, I was feeling too low to vote and too embarrassed to see my name in the ballot as a county representative candidate. But I quickly picked up myself after the election and vowed to work towards the next General Elections in 2017.

I have however now decided not to run for any seat in the forthcoming elections next year. Instead, I am focusing on building my life - emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically and financially as well as family-wise. And hopefully, I will be ready for the 2022 elections. So help me God.


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The Teacher Who Believed in Me

Sometimes last year while commuting from my piano teaching job, I happened to board the same public vehicle with Mrs. Waguchu - one of my lower primary school teachers who has long since retired. I was pleased with myself for greeting her confidently, a sharp contrast to the fear I felt in her presence during my childhood years. She used to be a forbiddingly stern teacher who never spared the rod on errant pupils, or rather those who couldn't follow her instructions.

Her stern demeanour notwithstanding, I shall forever remain grateful to Mrs. Waguchu for having been one of the few people who spoke words of faith in me as she once did back in 1995 when I was in Standard Two. She was checking my classwork when she remarked to another teacher, "This boy Thuita looks like he will be a great man someday." To which the other teacher intoned, "Yes, but only if he learns to wear a good short."

I can't recall why the other teacher commented on my short but those positive words of Mrs. Waguchu stuck in me. And when I reflected on those words yesterday, I thought of the man I have become more than twenty years later. I am a bit disappointed with myself for not having become the great man Mrs. Waguchu prophesied.

But I have not given up on myself. I am still working towards becoming a man of wealth and honor - the two hallmarks of a great man. And hopefully next time I meet Mrs. Waguchu, I will be spinning my dark-colored land-cruiser in which I will offer her lift. Perhaps then, I will be confident enough to remind her of the words of faith she spoke of me back in 1995. So help me God.


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How Writing Changed Me

Electronics & Computer Engineer - that would be my current title had I managed to finish my engineering course at the university. It has a nice ring to it but the truth is that I would be a very mediocre engineer given the trouble I had with understanding the course. And I see no pride in being referred to as an Electronic & Computer Engineer yet I can't figure out the problem of a broken down computer, let alone repair it.

I found it hard to piece together the subjects we learnt in our first year in an effort to understand how a computer works. Like we would learn Calculus, Organic Chemistry and Engineering Drawing but in the end, I still couldn't relate those subjects with the workings of a computer. The engineering course was in two words, outrightly harassing.

So I melodramatically dropped out of the university in my second year and started hanging around the campus, mostly in the fields and in the library. It was in one of those hanging episodes that I discovered I had a talent for writing when I started typing a letter one morning to my high school classmates in the library computer lab.

I so thoroughly enjoyed writing the letter that I did not notice the passage of time. It only dawned on me that a lot of time had passed when a supervisor notified me that she was closing the lab at 4.00pm. How I wished I enjoyed the engineering course the same way I had with writing!

Later on in life after the depressing ordeals I underwent following my dropping out of the university, I reconnected with my writing hobby. And I shall ever be thankful for the hobby because it has been very satisfying, intellectually as well as emotionally.

If it hadn't been for writing, I would still be undergoing psychotherapy. The hobby has enabled me to penetrate my own life and learn to trust my mind. A very powerful tool for self-discovery. And the skills I have learnt from it have made me an engaging conversationalist and a creative person.

Now thanks to writing, I am in control of my life nowadays as though I am tooling around in a well-engineered car that makes doing 120 feel like 30.


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