Last Friday Larry Madowo left The Trend. It was an emotive business especially for someone like me. Am the loyal kind — the next host better be nice or…!
Let me start with Caroline Mutoko. When she left the Big Breakfast on Kiss 100, I was at a loss. She moderated diverse issues throughout the week. I loved it big when she dealt with the Y-Generation. She would bring out issues beleaguering teens. She had this unique way of handling it. She had cues to life.
It would be a palpable discussion both to the teens and to the parents. But nowadays arrogance and ignorance have taken a toll on us young people. We live in oblivion.
We have hoodwinked ourselves that life occurs in the snap of a finger —just needs some magic wand.
Back to Larry. He was a person I felt had the same perspective with Mutoko. His parting shot was to us young people, to those of us who want to live life on an instant gratification. He said from public perception, it seems like he’s made it. But to him, he didn’t feel like he was even halfway by Friday.
He talked about kids who think social media followership is the way. We want to be swept by a wave and appear at the summit. Boom!
Personally, at some point I have been on that delirious mentality. That those on TV, popular on Instagram and Twitter were the real deal. I recall my Spokenword days. There’s a time I alleged I had made it. People really loved my lines. But then what?
I grew up looking up to personalities like Julius Owino popularly known as Juliani. His music taught and has continued to teach me a lot. He has stood out as a unique hip-hop artist for me despite the bog whether he’s a gospel artist or not. He’s not some perfect guy. Reading about his life on his blog, I saw the effort, time and God that he put in. He says ‘hukuona the long treks? Don’t judge me by my Mercedes’
The guy now rolls with Bob Collymore and former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga. I don’t think he just landed there. It’s not the fame but what he is doing with his life.
I remember Larry also talking about having people to look up to. It’s not everyone to be looked up on. Just because someone is rich, it doesn’t guarantee they are worth guiding us. We should question people’s success. His advice; we should look up to people who have focused in making the world a better place.
Everyone has a dream. I have no authority to advise on how one should live their life. Have I made it myself? Not yet. Again, I still won’t keep quiet.
I just cleared school. Am at that phase where you apply for jobs then get responses like,
“Tutakupigia. Si hii ndo number yako?” (As she underlines with a red pen)
Some will tell you to check ‘Next time’. You want to ask when next time will be but you know what they mean. One has to persist though.
The other day I met someone after church.
“Denno hii degree yako inaweza kosa kupeleka mahali…”
In my mind, I rudely interrupted “what do you mean, nigga?!”
“Put your hope in God.” They went on.
I really don’t know what’s to come. I feel old. Old in terms of my wish list that doesn’t have lots of ticks. It was a manifesto. You ought to have seen the launch. It was the American dream.
Bikozulu says dreams do come late. Some don’t even come, at all. But here I am. Am not throwing in the towel as yet. I have covered some ground but am not even halfway.
“The trick to running, like life, is to trudge along, one step at a time. Don’t think of it in terms of kilometers but in little milestones…”
I have some dissimilar perspective to life. It makes people think am talking tongue in cheek. I hate cheap thrills — once in a while I ‘close’ my eyes though. My friend once told me to live, like I was actually dead. Exciting things are good. But when I wake up the following morning feeling empty! (Rolls eyes)
I would rather be perceived dead but essentially alive. I know, even the good book talks about the troubled days to come that we won’t have pleasure in. That’s a very favorable line to quote.
In the comedy series, Ground Floor, there are two groups of employees. The first group works on the ground floor. These handle tasks such as office supplies and mail distribution. This pack enjoys loads of fun. They come to work late and leave early. Then there is the upstairs pack. These are the guys trading securities from 8 to 5. They are ever working; can only get 20 minutes for fun. The ground floor guys think that upstairs guys work a lot. And never have fun at all.
While having a moment with his protégé, Mr. Mansfield makes this case.
“Son, am crazy rich…I work three days a week…and I take my family on vacation whenever I want to”
“And do you know why I have all those things? Because I literary busted my ass until I was 40. And sure, some of these ground floor people have fun now. But where are they gonna be in ten years?”
And he finally drops the punch line,
“Nowhere! Struggling to make rent with no future… that’s not as much fun as a beach house.”
Early this year, I changed interests from doing Spokenword to creative writing. Read my articles, my imagery is yet to click a sufficient high. But am working on it, am a work in progress. I may not be having lots of readers but the few who read make me want to do it more and better. After school I went on a month’s break. I was surprised when I met this guy at the barbershop,
“We!” This is a major surname in Murang’a.
“Kwani siku hizi huandiki ile blog yako na ulisema ni kila Wednesday?”
He didn’t look like a guy who reads. But he wasn’t out of his mind — despite being shaved, akili ni nywele.
Bikozulu says it took him seven years to get where he is today. For four years he didn’t make a nickel on his blog.
He says, “nothing is ever what it seems; nothing. This city is run on images and impressions…”
Synonymously Juliani puts it, ‘fashion and technology Nairobi inafanya watu wakae likewise. Difference ni bank account inasema otherwise’
We judge people by their Instagram life. We think they have made it because they seem to have it all together. What we don’t know is that they also go through tough love, tears, hatred and addictions. Their social life makes it look easy; that, that’s what it is to make it.
Anyone successful didn’t get there by sliding on a banana peel. Unless of course we are talking of Mr. Abisai. Its tonnes and tonnes of hard work. Biko says working smart is ‘Rhetorical garbage’. Work hard!
Juliani simply puts it as “dhambi ya hustler ni usingizi”
Everyone has got a plan but strategy is hard to find than the subsidized unga. Larry said The Trend has been copied by many media houses. However, none of them has been able to make as much money as The Trend. This is because The Trend is so differentiated that it still remains unique even after being copied.
Be exceptional. Know when to get into certain markets and when to leave (quails), attend expos, summits and seminars. Andu ni indo.
Get someone to learn from. Someone who still has rationale in whatever they do. Read newspapers, books, watch stuff with content not just entertainment. Don’t be complacent with less.
Don’t just tweet it, do it. Pursue your dreams ~ Juliani. And above everything else…….
Keep God ahead of everything.
Editor: Maina wa Muturi