Ever since I could remember my mom had wanted me to be a doctor. I had no way of telling her that the sight of blood outside of an action flick was completely revolting to me. And even if I did, she was dead set on it, with complete backing from my dad.
It was like a conspiracy of faith they had in me and they were determined that I could do it if I tried.
I guess my mom knew that if I studied medicine I would never be out of a job and I would most probably have a house in a leafy suburb – and not the ones full of highrise flats with bad finishing.
So mom was doing her job of steering her child to success and even though I am not a doctor, I am grateful for the pep-talk that did help me push myself to the limit, academically.
I am also grateful, that when my mom saw me drawing figurines – all in roller blades – she would still encourage me and buy me pencils and drawing books and tell her friends about my lovely drawings as I listened.
She was also there when I joined the choir, percussion team and an array of sports. Anything I was good at she goaded me to do the best I could and also to keep my mind open.
I am not a doctor but I peg my success on the freedom my parents gave me to pursue what I was good at, despite their own ambitions for me.
It is a very Kenyan thing for parents to impose careers on their children. There are harrowing tales of folks going to extremes to force their youngsters into being nurses, athletes, teachers, police officers and even maids.
Even if poverty may force a lot of Kenyans to take whatever comes, it is important that we have a passion to nurture, in the midst of it all. That way work becomes enjoyable and it’s almost impossible to see a waitress pretending that she hasn’t seen you calling her.
Passion is success because it gives a person all they need to make it: hard work, dedication, creativity and more. Things like Facebook and M-Pesa were borne of passion.
I believe that a lack of passion is one major reason why people have ‘side-hustles’ and find they cannot succeed past their current job description.
Success should be driven by individual passions. The lack of these breeds mediocrity. Are you mediocre? What’s your passion?