Benefits of Working in a Team - Reflections of a Young Man™

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Benefits of Working in a Team

Shortly after I left Starehe Institute in April 2007, I landed a music teaching job at a piano school in downtown Nairobi owned by one Shemaiah Mwakodi, or Shem in short, who became a good friend of mine. He still remains a friend though he hasn't been replying to my Whatsapp texts of late.

I loved visiting Shem's music school back then just to be amidst quality pianos that he imported from Japan for sale here in Kenya. It was in one of those visits to the music school that I came across a Success Magazine which I pilfered by taking it home without Shem's permission. (Oh! I hope he will forgive me if he happens to read this story.)

While going through that wonderful magazine, I read an article that listed the benefits of working in a team. I was so captivated by the article that I cut out a section of the magazine page that listed those benefits and glued it to a page on an exercise book I christened "Dream Book".

Unfortunately, the Dream Book was later on chewed by a cow at home sometimes in 2010 after I left it on the compound where the cows were grazing. I mentioned that loss to my younger brother Symo who remarked wryly, "Maybe God wants you to change your dreams."

Me thinks that the cows chewed my Dream Book as God's way of punishing me for pilfering the Success Magazine from Shem and going ahead to cut out pages from it. I therefore nowadays no longer take somebody else's property without their permission. Neither do I cut out images and text sections from books and magazines. Oh! I almost forgot to mention that I also don't leave books outside there in the compound and fields after I am done reading them. So shouldn't you.

Anyway, since the cows chewed my Dream Book, I have no record of retrieving those benefits of working in a team as the magazine so magnificently outlined. I have therefore decided to jog my memory a little bit and see which benefits I can remember. Here's what I have come up with:
  • Working in a team helps us develop good sportsmanship skills
  • It hones our communication skills
  • It diminishes our fears
  • It improves our confidence
  • It helps us achieve our dreams faster
  • It improves our mental clarity
  • It helps us develop strong interpersonal skills
  • It improves our imagination
To be honest, I have never had an opportunity to work in a team all my life - something my friend Michael Njeru mentioned to me when I forwarded him my job-hunting CV a couple of years ago. But I still haven't given up on that dream of working in a team which I plan to achieve through music. You see, I have a talent in singing and piano-playing. And I have always desired to produce inspirational songs.

Those two dreams of working in a team and producing inspirational songs blend very well because producing hit songs involves working in a team of talented music producers. My prayer is that God connects me to such talented music producers as I continue honing my music skills.


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Honouring My Mother

From left in the photo above is my Dad, my brother Robert, me and my Mum on a tour to Mombasa, Kenya circa April 1999.

"Happiness will never come to those who don't appreciate what they already have," so said one wise-man. I therefore today choose to appreciate my mother for all that she has done for me.

First, she carried me in her womb for nine months. Then she endured 57 del (units) of pain on 31st December 1987 during my birth. It is said that those 57 del of pain are similar to 20 bones getting fractured at the same time.

I am thinking that had my mother been careless in her pregnancy and childbirth, I would have been born with such serious congenital diseases as cerebral palsy. But I thank God that as I write this story, I am as healthy as an angel and feeling as frisky as a lamb.

And then after I successfully emerged into this world from her womb on that last day of 1987, my mother was always there for me in the first two fragile years of my life. She had to breast-feed me whenever I cried and change my nappies whenever I wetted them. I must have disturbed her from her sleep and duties on numerous occasions.

When I grew old enough to feed and bathe myself, my mother was still there for me by ensuring I had decent clothes to wear. Day after day, I observed her wake up in the morning to go run her grocery in Kiserian Shopping Centre from where we got our daily bread.

And when I was in Standard 7, she went to Kunoni Educational Centre (a private primary school in my county) where she negotiated for me to be sponsored. I was eventually accepted as a sponsored pupil into the private school where I was taught by a team of dedicated teachers who made me to so excel in the 2001 KCPE exams that I was admitted into the prestigious Starehe Boys' Centre.

With a visible air of pride in me, my mother accompanied me to Starehe Boys' when I first reported to the school as a student on 17th January 2002. And for my next four years at Starehe, she visited me once in a while just to check on me.

After narrating all those details, I seem to have been blessed with a very responsible mother - but guess what? There was a time I despised her because I felt she was not educated and urbanized enough. Sometimes I thought my life would have turned out far better had she been more schooled.

It was in the midst of that mental fog of looking down on my mother that I ran away from home during my stints at two local universities. I caused my family a lot of pain and discomfort by running away from them, more so to my mother - something I have already repented and gotten over with, guilt-wise.

Today as I appreciate my mother, who is currently recovering from a stroke, for all that she has done for me - I pray that she may live long enough to see me walk down the aisle with my princess charming. I feel that's the best way of making her proud of me after all the pain I have caused her. So help me God.


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A Desperate Appeal

As I wrote yesterday, I really would love to add more books to my home library because I find reading richly rewarding. I have however decided first to re-acquire the books that inspired me in the past but which I either lost along the way or weren't mine at the time I read them. Let me list them here. And if you are willing to help me re-acquire them at this time when I am economically disadvantaged, I will be eternally grateful. The books are:
  1. Reagan's Journey: Lessons From a Remarkable Career by Margot Morrell - I borrowed this book from the American Reference Centre in Nairobi but had to return it after three weeks.
  2. The 1999 Person of the Century Time Magazine - I bought this magazine when I was in Fourth Form at Starehe Boys' Centre with my pocket money but some wretched rascal stole it from me.
  3. Economics by David Colander - I borrowed this book from the University of Nairobi library and I was very impressed by the author's passion for Economics. I returned the voluminous book after two weeks, so I never had enough time to digest its message.
  4. Coach Yourself to a New Career by Talane Miedaner - I borrowed this book from the American Reference Centre in Nairobi and found its message refreshing. Needless to say, I returned it.
  5. Calculus & Analytic Geometry by Thomas & Finney - I enjoyed leafing through this good-sized book when I was studying engineering at JKUAT but some wretched rascal stole it from me.
  6. The Night Sky (a ladybird book) - I borrowed this small book from Naru-Moru School near my home where I had part of my primary school education and I never returned it. But some wretched rascal stole it from me
  7. Physics by A. F. Abbott - I borrowed this book from my friend Richard Kagia when I was revising for the SAT 2 exams in 2006. I returned it of course because I am a good young man.
  8. How to Develop Self-confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie - I used to own a copy of this enlightening book but some guy took it when I left the book on a desk at the University of Nairobi library to go talk to someone. Maybe the guy thought the book belonged to the library.
  9. Think Big: Unleashing Your Potential For Excellence by Ben Carson - I bought this inspiring book at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi but some wretched rascal stole it from me.
  10. Conquering an Enemy Called Average by John Mason - I found this uplifting book while ransacking my father's property. Unfortunately, I placed it in a matatu's dashboard and forgot to pick it when I alighted.
  11. Principles and Power of Vision by Dr. Myles Munroe - I used to love going through this book but I threw it away because I had a photocopied version. And I no longer read photocopied books. Please don't ask me why.
  12. Encounters From Africa: An Anthology of Short Stories - I read this book in high school as a KCSE set book and really loved its stories. But the copy I had belonged to Starehe Boys' Centre, so I had to return it after I cleared my KCSE exams.
  13. The Power of Positive of Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale - This book deepened my faith in God and in the Bible but I threw it away because I had a photocopied version. Okay, I don't read photocopied books because I like rewarding authors for their efforts by buying their books in their original binding. And I find genuine books to be more visually appealing than photocopied ones.
  14. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey - I read the introductory pages of this book at the Kenya National Library in Nairobi and loved its message. But I couldn't carry it away.
  15. Siku Njema by Ken Walibora - For me, this is the best Swahili novel ever written since God created the universe. I read it in Form 2 but the copy I had belonged to Starehe Boys' Centre, so I had to return it.
  16. John Thompson's Modern Course for the Piano: First Grade Book by John Thompson - I came to like this book so much that I recommended it to almost every student I taught piano at Wynton House of Music in 2015. Somehow, I happened to own a photo-copied version of the book but I threw it away, and I know you now know why, don't you?
  17. A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong'o - I loved this novel but it was chewed by ants in our old wooden house. The ants ate all the pages of the book but left the cover for me; that's funny, isn't it?
If you are willing to help me acquire any of those books (and I hope you are), just click on the book titles in blue above and you will be linked to Amazon from where you can order them. And then you can have them sent to me by Amazon to the following address:
Thuita J. Maina - TJ,
P. O. BOX 50251 - 00200,
Nairobi, Kenya.
Wait a minute! Please consult me first through the feedback page of this website before ordering a book, just so that I can confirm no one else has offered to buy me the book you want to send me. Thank you in advance for your generosity. You are the kind of person Jesus is waiting for in heaven. Stay blessed.


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