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From Janitor to Top Banking CEO Without a Degree? Now how did that happen?

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In today’s corporate world, employees do whatever they can to get that dream promotion. One of the most common and obvious ways they do this is by pursuing vocational courses to boost their credentials and thus increase their chances of getting to the top of the corporate world. But for Churchill Winstones Ochieng, the current Head of Retail at Faulu Bank Kenya, his career journey is quite different and unique. In fact, it sounds rather far-fetched and unrealistic for a mere janitor to get promoted to a regional manager without having had any higher education credentials to his name. So how did that happen?

Brief Background

Being a bright student, Churchill was one of the lucky few kenyan high school graduates to be enrolled in 1996 to a government subsidized degree programme at the University of Nairobi. Unfortunately for Churchill, his parents couldn’t afford the fees since they were already burdened with his elder sister’s university fees at Egerton University. Churchill had no option but to drop out and try any business he could in a bid to get back to campus. He resulted to starting a vegetable kiosk, a make-shift car wash and a shoe shining business in Nairobi. But that didn’t turn his fortunes around.

Countless Job Application Rejections

In 1997, Churchill began sending job applications to countless bank addresses. Unfortunately for Churchill, a carton full of rejection letters was the discouraging result. However, this didn’t stop Collins from applying. At one point, he decided to do something different. He sent a personal letter to the MD of Barclays Bank Kenya back then who was none other than Dr Gareth George.

In the personal letter, Churchill Ochieng recalled all the hurdles he had faced in his life and urged the Barclays Bank MD not to dismiss the letter without reading it to the end. To Churchill’s surprise, the MD responded by saying that if anything came up, Churchill would be informed.

Churchill was quite ecstatic since a top Kenyan Bank CEO had taken time to write in an official embossed beige paper. Churchill went ahead and wrote more letters to the Barclays Bank CEO. His persistence finally paid off when he was offered a contractual job as a janitor.

Skyrocketing Job Promotions

A month into his janitor job at Barclays Bank Kenya Head Office, Collins was promoted to a supervisory role as a senior cleaner for three months. Once his contract was over, the Bank couldn’t let him go because of his exemplary track record. He was then elevated to become a messenger on a six months contract. Once again, just as his six months contract was about to expire, an office assistant had missed work on Monday due to heavy drinking the previous weekend and the Bank was desperate for someone to finish a certain task urgently.

Churchill offered to handle the task since he had been keenly observing how the office assistant worked during his tenure as an office messenger. To everyone’s surprise, Churchill finished the job and was thus assigned to the direct sales department. At that point, Churchill turned the Bank’s profits around and consequently got four promotions in a single year.

During his final tenure at Barclays Bank, he was a Regional Manager for Barclays Bank at Nyanza and Western Kenya respectively. He was then employed by CFC Stanbic Bank where he was bestowed a senior supervisory role as the head of direct sales in Africa. At this point, he had enough money to study for a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce.

Giving Back to the Community

Churchill decided in 2008 to inspire Kenyan youth who felt downtrodden by their poor backgrounds. He did this by starting a group called A+ and launched a book called “From Hawker to Banker” to share a more intricate story of the obstacles he faced and the achievements that kept him soldiering on. Churchill Ochieng has also toured over 200 schools in Kenya mentoring high school youths to focus on what they aim to achieve despite the hurdles they face.

According to Churchill, there is no perfect and guaranteed way to achieve career success. Everyone at the top has a different and unique story to tell and there is no monopolistic or guaranteed mechanism that propelled them to the top. While some need degrees and papers to get to the top, others need experience and connections for career advancement. In the end, Churchill says that it’s attitude that counts. He believes that with prayer, persistence, patience and determination, nothing can stand in your way to become the next career success story. For now, Churchill Winstones Ochieng is currently pursuing an MBA in Strategic Management.

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The Genesis of an Emerging Player|

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One thing I especially admire about my dad is that he’s been faithful to my mum throughout the years of pain & struggle.

On the other hand, one thing that I’m not admiring about myself lately is that I’m turning out to be the exact opposite.

As it turns out, being a player is becoming more & more of a viable option for me.

Though I’m not the kind that rubs it in the face of my potential fiancées. I do not believe in offense, & I’m surely not that heartless bastard that’s a total jerk when it comes to emotional matters.

1)I learn’t from the best.

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Sometimes I wonder what women really want. Not all. However, many criticize men for being unfaithful & in fact, they go to the extent of generalizing men by concluding that ‘all’ men are dogs.

And yet, behind the scenes, these same women see different guys at the same time. It beats logic that such ladies are eager to remove the spec in men’s eye without considering that log of make up in their own eyes.

I’ve even heard of these Y-generation ladies (especially in their 20 & possibly 30s) cheating on ten guys at the same time.

And it’s not that these guys are too foolish to notice.

On the contrary, these ladies have developed the art of mixing a dangerous concotion of concrete,viable excuses with outright lies.

And the poor fellas unfortunately fall for it over & over again… but that’s not all.

2)Act Like a man, think like a woman… only when necessary.

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Okay, first of all, I’m not telling guys to go gay. On the contrary, I’m reversing the law of Steve Harvey.

We live in a society where the gender playing ground has been levelled unlike any other time in history.

I once told some of my buddies that the y-generation ladies are more or less men in beautiful bodies. To which they laughed.

That was a year ago…

Now they tell a different story.

One great lesson I learn’t about women who cheat is that their greatest weapon of choice is gender underestimation. When a guy tells a woman that she can’t do one, two, three things simply because she’s a woman; that’s outright underestimation & an indirect invitation to a challenge.

In fact, experience has taught me that underestimation is the best, most effective camouflage for a cheating lady. Because if you catch her in the act. This ‘camouflage’ will be used against you as a man.

She will turn the guilt arrow against you & talk of how you don’t have time for her, don’t provide for her as guy ‘x’ does, satisfy her in bedroom matters & so forth…

That’s is just the tip of the iceberg as to how cheating women think… yeah ladies, I’ve been taking notes.

The rest is your homework.

Oh! And before I forget.

One more key lesson I learn’t as an emerging player…

From the best of course…

3)Let’s be friends.

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Many men are offended by articles that describe how a lady decides to make you her friend, or her side-kick for that matter simply because you can’t amount to her.

And quite frankly, I find it quite cruel & humiliating to be that ‘Operation Standby’ till you ‘Become financially stable’ … or ‘Get a life’ for that matter.

Adding insult to injury is that they laugh about it behind the scenes.

Yeah… it DEFINITELY hurts.

But don’t you think that it’s fair justice if the other party gets a taste of its own medicine so that it realizes how ‘not-so-funny’ the concept is?

I’m sure you’re wondering what I mean by that. Right?

So here’s the deal. Everyone knows that break-ups are are unpleasant experiences.

So what I simply do is turn those ‘I feel trapped’ relationships into ‘let’s just be friends’ acquintances.

Problem is, it would take an entire lecture on psychology to explain this.

But as I reiterated earlier. Being a player is not the ultimate option for me. I’m an emerging player.

That is;

4)I’m at Crossroads
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The direction I take in future will depend on the current y-generation of ladies that look like divas playing the role of future hopeless mothers.

The kind give good men less & less hope of ever becoming responsible fathers.

I know what it means to be a good man because I was once a good man…

Until I realized how naive I looked.

And just for the the record. I like how urbandictionary.com defines ‘naive';

“Generally speaking , to be naive means you
do not think enough…”

Come to think of it, being an emerging player makes me think much more than ‘enough’…

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Kiruai Dennis is a Kenyan Blogger.
Facebook: Kiruai Dennis
Twitter: @kiruaidennis

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Showers of Trouble|

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There comes a time in our lives when we feel like the world is against us. Like there’s some curse roaming around & the heavens are against us. I’ve been experiencing this lately & It’s been the reason why I’ve gone silent on my blog. It’s been a series of broken promises, backstabs & failures so frequent, that sometimes I wonder if there’s some powerful, evil force lurking somewhere.

A force that’s been ensuring that the graph of failure, misery & frustrations in my life maintains an upward trend.

1) #TEAMSUICIDE.

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I’ve never ever in my entire life entertained this thought in my mind. I’ve been a fighter & through the many losses I’ve witnessed, I’ve seen some wins. However, this year things have been a little different. It’s like waking up every morning with a dagger of failures & disappointments lurking somewhere to stab you.

It’s like being killed everyday & yet you’re still alive. And somehow one becomes accustomed to death. Isn’t that what hell is?

But anyway, since I’ve been raised a christian, sometimes I wonder, why wouldn’t God have created a portal to the afterlife? Which we could access once in a while when the burdens of life become more unbearable than birth pains?

Then I would literary go & ask God, why all this trouble & pain? Is there any purpose to this? Or am I just another insignificant one in seven billion that you’ve forgotten about so fast?

Who’s significant? Is it only the rich & famous that seem to get what they want so easily while we strive & struggle for job after job after job to no avail?

2) An Eye for an Eye…

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Gone are the days when one would get a good deal fair & square. The days when someone would give you a deal freely without any mischievous terms & conditions.

Someone always wants something mischievous in return.

My recent cancelled deal was from someone who expected me to ‘kneel down & worship him’ in his own words.

To which I blatantly refused because I know the thin line between mutual respect & foolish adoration. I mean, what makes a creature a god over another?

Yes, he got stark raving mad & cancelled all my deals in the process. And I was glad to have let them go. Even through the trials & tribulations I face (especially financial), if I was given the chance to say no, I would do that over & over again.

All in all, I wonder, where did the good people go? Because even some so called christians are turning out to be the most ravenous & self-righteous wolves I’ve ever met.

I also wonder what the definition of friendship is because they’ve also joined the bandwagon. I help lots of guys gratis without mischeivous conditions. Problem is, the world is punishing me for being different…

3)My Prayer…

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First & foremost, I sincerely do hope that God has some internet connectivity in heaven & reads my blog. Because I need answers & solutions to so many questions in my life urgently. I need to know why…

Second of all, I need strength. A lifetime supply of strength that will keep me pushing. Because my mind keeps on asking me, why not just quit college, close your blog, your social network accounts & start a new life all together? Far, far away…

Finally, I need wisdom. To know whether these troubles are obstacles to my destiny, or whether they’re just a wake up call to radically shift my life & move on. Away from my friends, my life, my family… & possibly my country.

Please keep me in your thoughts & in your prayers… God help us all.

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Kiruai Dennis is a Kenyan Blogger.
Facebook: Kiruai Dennis
Twitter: @kiruaidennis

An Introvert’s Perspective of Teamwork|

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Having been raised as the only son in the family with two sisters, I practically had to learn to deal with issues on my own.

See, there was this imbalanced sibling rivalry that was manifested in the way I dealt with confrontations within the family. If either of my sisters had an arguement, they had each other to console whereas if I had an argument, I would have to deal with the repercussions on my own.

Which basically means that I’ve practically been an introvert throughout my life. Yet, I’ve never really taken time to think about how this had affected my attitude towards teamwork. But first,

1)Where did I get this ‘Introvert‘ label from?

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About 2 weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon, as I took a stroll on the campus streets, I met Nandwa, a fellow undergraduate in the School of Economics.
She informed me of a teambuilding session that our school year was holding at the field.

Though unprepared, I felt the urge to witness the action. And that’s when I met another fellow undergraduate named Sheila.

We had never talked for the last three years except for a few pleasantries here & there. However, she surprised me with her perception of me. She claimed that I was that ‘Army of One‘ kinda guy that wasn’t quite social with fellow undergraduates.

And after giving her the sibling rivalry story I had given you earlier, she labelled me an introvert. But I still had a case to argue…

2)The Thin line between honesty & too much honesty.

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Sheila was against the idea that being an introvert had its positive side. A point that I strongly challenged.

I informed her of a very weird situation that took place in high school. My parents always insisted that I be very honest with them.

At first, I was skeptical about sharing a certain issue but later on, I took courage & asked them for a brief session to discuss a ‘personal matter’.

The first sentence that came out of my mouth sent shock waves down their spines, leaving them dumbfounded. It was a confession that involved me being a porn addict for the last couple of years under their very noses.

The fact that I had put it so blatantly made me look like that peculiar son that wasn’t afraid of his parents anymore, considering the ‘freaky’ information he had shared.

Eventually, my parents played the ‘we weren’t prepared for this’ & ‘we shall consult & get back to you’ cards.

This happened 6yrs ago.

And that was the last time porn was ever a topic of discussion. Since then, they’ve never shown any urge to be honest with me again because they must have realized that voluntary, uncoerced honesty would do.

3)The Snob.

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Sheila was also dumbfounded by my revelation, though she tried as much as possible to hide it.

Anyhow, she argued that being an introvert must have largely contributed to my snobbish behaviour. I wasn’t really surprised by this accusation since it had been constantly used against me several times in the past.

She claimed that I had to learn to be more social with fellow students by striking a balance between being an introvert & an extrovert. However, being in either of the two extreems had its repercussions.

And I had to start this task by joining the boys in playing football, to which I gladly obliged.

Though on Monday, I had pain all over my body after being severely injured by a teammate.

And as we all know, one can’t share body pain as a team. Which mean’t that nature necessitated me to be an introvert once again…

OUCH!

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Kiruai Dennis is a Kenyan Blogger.
Facebook: Kiruai Dennis
Twitter: @kiruaidennis

 

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When I treat her like a gentleman, I end up looking like a fool…|

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Recent events have led me to the realization that there’s a ruthless breed of women that’s emerging. The kind that take advantage of men’s kindness… & to be more specific… good men.

You know, the gentlemen who treat ladies with respect & concern only to be thanked with a donkey’s kick. The men that care about ladies that don’t care about them. The men that are heartlessly condemned by the same women that they adore.

And yes, experience has taught me this because lately, I’m being accused of being a proud jerk for increasingly declining to offer my gentlemanly services to so called ‘female friends’.
Yes, the kind that are friends only when they expect something in return. And when you don’t give them what they want, they mock you by reminding you of your weaknesses… ESPECIALLY financial instability.

But hey, I don’t care anymore so long as I don’t become a gentleman only to end up looking like a fool… especially in these three versions.

1)The side-kick

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Yeah yeah… I know. Sucks to be a side-kick right? To be on stand-by. To be that plan-B for your lady-friend. This especially happens to guys who are in platonic friendships… the kind that involve a guy & a lady being good friends.

Like for instance, a lady friend of yours calls you to escort her to a party when her boyfriend isn’t around. Or when she tells you to buy this & that for her since she knows that you’re a gentleman anyway… & may I add… a foolish gentleman for that matter.

Yet when it comes to her chipping in some cash to pay the bills, she brilliantly comes up with a seemingly justifiable excuse that revolves around you having to prove that you’re a gentleman.

Or she may even decide to go for the jugular by attacking your pride & esteem & referring to you as a miser & so forth.

2)The prolonged Ex.

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It’s that emotional baggage of someone you broke up with a long time ago but still… you’re having second thoughts as to whether the relationship might be revived once again.

But here’s the twist. She says that she doesn’t care about you anymore & yet she expects you to treat her like a queen. She enjoys the attention you give her as you keep apologizing to her endlessly. The guilt that you feel about the mistakes you made in the past is her added advantage.

She’s now decided to become proud & arrogant as an act of vengeance.

In the end, you realize that you’re wasting your heart & feelings on a stone wall. But hey, what goes around comes around right?

In any case, every dog has its own day…

3)The Secret Admirer.

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How about that lady you’ve been secretly admiring & have been friends with for quite some time now.

Only that you don’t know that she knows this.

So she decides to take advantage of your gentlemanly acts since she perceives them as acts of desparation. To her, you amount to nothing…

The worst part about this is that she doesn’t care about you at all. She sees you as a wierdo & mocks you as she gossips with her clique of friends about how this “desparado keeps on stalking her” & so forth.

She treats you well in private, only to deny you in the limelight. She makes you look like a psychopath that’s desparate for love.

In all three instances, one sees a ruthless game of psychology played on innocent men. The scars inflicted make good & innocent men result to vengeance through womanizing & so forth once they gain the status they’ve strived to achieve.

In the end, they’re like bitter, wounded lions that do away with being gentlemen since life has taught them that being bad guys is the only way to avoid looking like a fool.

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Kiruai Dennis is the author of “Man Up Or the Women Will” which is currently available on Amazon. Terms & Conditions Apply…

 

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Life|

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The most scary reality for me when I wake up each morning is to realize that I’ll give an account of how I spent each & every second on this planet. There’s no insurance, no playbacks… nothing. Once I’ve made a mistake, or wasted my precious energy on a meaningless past time, then that’s it!

I mean, doesn’t that make us feel lost at times? Wondering if we are actually fulfilling our destiny?

Or worse still, we wake up everyday & say; yeah yeah… more disappointments coming up as usual & there’s nothing I can do about it.
And this got me thinking…

1)Why does it seem like God isn’t doing His best?

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That’s a question I’d like to pop incase I’m actually given that opportunity to have that one-on-one conversation with the Almighty.

I mean, wouldn’t it be a good idea if money grew on trees? Or rained from the sky?
Wouldn’t it be a better world if poverty & disease was totally extinguished & everybody was happy?

Why can’t everyone have an easy life & just enjoy it. Do people actually have to suffer?

And what makes some people seem justified to have a luxurious life while some are accustomed to absolute misery?

Isn’t it unfair that someone’s life ends without notice? In accidents, tsunamis… et cetera. I mean, shouldn’t they be given a sort of eviction notice & a plan B?

And finally God, I have one major question for you… I wonder if you wouldn’t mind explaining to me the reason as to…

2)Why bad things happen to good people.

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The world today is so complicated that one wonders, what does it mean to be good? Because we see good people do bad things & bad people do good things.

And since we as humans have the weakness of judging the book by its cover, we tend to be deceived by outward appearance as the ‘good people’ rob us right under our noses… & at this point, I’ll use a personal example.

In my campus, I deal with lots of bureacracy. However, there are some campus officials that have learn’t the art of “Not saying no”.

They do this by telling you to “come tomorrow” & that “they’re busy”. Yes, they do greet you with big (professionally faked) smiles on their faces yet deep inside, they’re full of ill intent.

To discourage you, to demean you & to crush your spirit; knowing fully well that justice delayed is justice denied & that “Tomorrow never comes”.

And here’s the interesting bit; they make the good guys look bad. So one wonders, when will this ever stop? Until when will the bad guys always have the last laugh?

& last but not least…

3)What does the future hold?

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With bad news flooding our TV screens & uncertainty dominating the global economy at large, one gets the feeling that instability may become a common trend.

Infidelity, materialism & selfishness are at an all time high as morals & Godly beliefs are deemed insignificant & old-fashioned.

Mentorship, integrity, faithfulness & trustworthiness are terrestrial vocabularies from outer space for the Y generation with commitment & responsibility phobia clinging onto young men like leeches.

And once again, I get back to God…

I mean, something major has got to be done about the state of affairs of this planet.

In short, we need a heaven on earth. Good economies, transparent governments, happy people, healthy families, & a hopeful generation…

Now that’s life…

Need I say more?

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Kiruai Dennis is the author of “Man Up Or the Women Will” which is currently available on Amazon. Terms & Conditions Apply…

 

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Did you wake up feeling Alone and in Despair?… you’re not alone. Please read on…|

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When I opened my eyes this morning, I felt this invicible heaviness on my body. It’s a feeling that goes beyond words.

In fact, It’s a weird culmination so to speak… of despair, laziness, depression, loneliness… you name it.

Now all that concotion in one heavy dosage.

Fact is, its become common… not just in my life, but also in other people’s lives as well.

I see it in people’s eyes… everyday… every week… every year… but they can’t admit it because they’re afraid of making a mockery of themselves.

But as for me, I’ll have to speak out today because the more I conceal it, the more it hurts.

I’ll basically address three aspects of life without which, I feel incomplete… or basically make me feel like an absolute failure with each passing day…

1)Financial Stability.

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Doesn’t everyone wish for this? Heck I don’t even know why I’m asking this question because personally speaking, I crave for it.

Because I’m TIERD of living a life that’s nothing but a back & forth game of the good & bad life.

I’m tired of envying people who have a taste of the good life 24/7 while I have to wait for special occasions to have a piece of the cake.

And I must admit… IT SUCKS BIG TIME! To be the spectator… to be on the sidelines.

To have to work your *ss off for meager unstable income while someone spends money like he/she photocopies it across the streets.

What makes some people have money so easily while others sweat blood to have a penny?

Are these struggles here to stay? Is this destiny? Speaking of destiny…

2)A Sense of Fulfilment.

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This is the sense that makes you feel that what you do in life makes an impact. That you’re not just passing time & waiting for judgement day.

That treasured feeling that “I’m not doing what I do in vain because there’s a reward in the end…”

And as I reiterated earlier, lack of financial stability leaves one with few options. For instance, I hate doing Economics… but…

I’ve struggled to get this rare chance to study for a degree that’s partly sponsored for by the government.

I always feel like I’m passing time by… but what options do I have?

I once told my parents that I needed to change the course but they would hear none of that because of the numerous financial challenges they currently face & that I’m supposed to “understand & cope with the situation as the first born”.

These are the same parents that were quick to disapprove my books even without reading them because of the financial constraints they face…

Parents that only believe in formal education & see one’s passions as a meaningless past time.

This indeed crushed my spirit…

I’ve got passion for entrepreneurship! Not being employed in a bank & working long hours for a meager salary.

But what’s the use of passion if you’ve got no resources to implement them? I mean, I’ve got two books under my belt but Kenyan publishers aren’t willing to sponsor & promote young, upcoming writers.

I wanna be my own boss. I wanna study for something different that makes me feel involved, as opposed to what I currently do which basically means copy pasting what the lecturer dictates without a mind of my own.

I need to feel fulfilled with each passing day.

3)Dreams & Ambitions coming to pass.

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Mentorship…

Used to be there. And so we (the Y generation) have to figure out life on our own. But of late, one gets the feeling that no one cares.

I miss the days when people would actually talk of dreams & ambitions & bring them to pass. But lately, that’s becoming another hopeless mirage. Disappointments after disappointments come, left, right & center.

Resolution after resolution is broken.

Then despair sets in, becoming an everyday reality…

I mean… what does one do?

Hope for a miracle in a world infested with materialistic churches? Share his/her disappointments with a world that’s addicted to constant gossip, bickering & mockery?

As for me, I’ve learn’t to cope by first of all, comforting myself in silence & solitude.
And second of all, hiding my pain.

Because I’ve come to the realization that many will read this & assume that the writer “will be fine…” just like the parable of the good samaritan.

Or maybe, just maybe… a “one in a billion” good samaritan will help me change this story, & I won’t have to repeat it again.

As the saying goes,

“Everyone goes through pain, It’s just that some people are better at hiding it than others…”
Have a blessed week ahead…

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Special Dedication to Grandma Grace Kiruai, who passed on at age 92 on the 19th of September 2012…

Kiruai Dennis is the author of “Man Up Or the Women Will” which is currently available on Amazon. Terms & Conditions Apply…

 

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