I met Graham, a young Kenyan aged probably 22 on a Matatu recently in Mombasa. He jumped on the bus while it was still moving and then realized there was no free seat. As if that was the norm, he simply bent down and squeezed himself between another passenger and myself. Much as I tried to be accommodative, I could not resist asking him why he did not wait for the next bus. His answer, in English that would have made Queen Elizabeth very proud, was simple “I have to arrive at my destination on time and how I get there is not as important as being there on time.”
Amidst the loud music, the crazy driving, and his awkward position in the bus, Graham maintained the conversation with me as if we were seated comfortably in a cosy sitting room. When he discovered I was visiting Mombasa, he made sure he sold most of the attractions to me. Graham became my tour guide.
Most times, we wait for opportunities to knock at our doors. I am sure you also know people who have drop off their resumes and comfortably sit at home waiting for their phones to ring. We simply waste too much time waiting for doors to open for us rather than seizing opportunities. Believe me, maybe that opportunity you have been waiting for only requires, a word, a step, a push or a phone call.
Orison Swett Marden, an American inspirational author said, “Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them.”
Graham would have waited for the right bus and got a comfortable seat before selling his touring skills but he seized that opportunity in this awkward moment of less than five minutes because he did not know where I would get off the bus.
We often ask ourselves too many questions. Usually, what holds us back is not exactly who we are or where we come from but it is what we think of ourselves. Usually, fear is the weight that stops us from taking advantage of opportunities surrounding us.
In three months, we will be celebrating our 5th anniversary. As I decide to take a break from publishing this magazine in March next year, all I can say is thank you Rwanda for giving us the opportunity to be part of an extraordinary journey in sensitizing for improved service delivery.I knew nothing about publishing at the beginning but seized the opportunity to make an impact.
The journey has been very rewarding and challenging. We tried, failed several times, stood up again, failed again, knocked on many doors, some opened for us while many remained closed. Looking back, however, I am extremely happy that we tried.
Thank you Rwanda for a wonderful and exciting seven years spent on your land. I love you from the bottom of my heart and always will.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and an excellent 2015!