It is a fine calm morning, the Friday 26th June, 2065. I will be celebrating my 70th birthday on the 28th June. My body is no longer as it used to be, but my health is good, my bones still strong and my heart pumping as normal. I had to cut down my sugar consumption and stick to healthy diets, but my appetite was still as ferocious as ever, devouring everything that was put on my place. Barbara, my lovely wife was a great cook, and I always insisted on downing her sweet, sumptuous African meals with relish. Success had come when I hit forty, and after many lean years of trial and error. It was when I married Barbara finally settled down, and then the three business enterprises suddenly picked up. From hustling in a tiny cramped servant quarter to building own villa and a business empire; I earned a name in Nairobi, created wealth and provided employment to over 50 staff. It was not easy, but every moment I look back I take pride that I never gave up on my crazy ideas and dream, but pursued relentlessly until I got my breakthrough.
The Wakenda Wola Family…
As I sat on couch on the spacious bedroom balcony of the 7 bedroom villa I had worked hard to build in the new plush Bamboo Estate in Garden Estate, I felt I had achieved most of the wild dreams I had when I still young and restless. The white walled villa was the best things ever to have in my life, after the successful registration of my first company and of course the conquest of my beautiful queen and wife, Barbara. She was an angel sent into my life by Wele Owanyalabiosi Himself. She was the main reason why I still looked 40 while I was almost hitting 70 years. She was the mother to our three children, but she never seemed to age, with her beauty mesmerizing everyone, including myself every time she came by. I got a pop up on my smart watch, notifying me that Neymar, my last born son had sent me a media file. Opening it up on the 10.2’ Blackberry Glass Touch tablet, I saw the most beautiful picture in my life; the whole family had posed for a photo during my last birthday.
Oh! That photo…There stood my eldest son Adam and his voluptuous Rwandese wife, Suzanne. They were blessed with identical twins; Tafa and Tefe, two bouncing baby girls with the most amazing set of eyes. There, stood Neymar Jr., next to his brother with dyed blade of hair on the middle of his head. He later reminded me that style was famous back in the 2010s called Mohawk. Then there was Samantha, my daughter with her back towards the camera. She had a body that broke men’s necks, and she took up completely after her mother. I had to be tough on her, and her mother was even tougher. She was a serious girl, and her beauty and brains still chickened out real men from getting her hand in marriage. Barbara, my queen and angel, held a yellow lesso as attempted to cover her naughty daughter’s generous behind…Myself, a lover of designer suits, posed in my now customary green three piece green suit and hat, designed, customised and imported from South Africa. I had my adopted son, Alvin close by. His mother, a good family friend died giving birth to him and we adopted him as our own. This was, alas the proud Wakenda Wola Family. Emotions overcame me as my eyes watered and I quickly rushed into the Master bedroom to tidy up for the day’s tight schedule ahead.
The ‘Making of a Man’
Looking at the mirror after taking a shave in the bathroom, I could not help but grin at the face that appeared on the mirror. A full crown of white hair, no bald spot, sharp clear eyes, well-formed and placed nose, full set of white teeth and a forehead marked the scars of the battles I had fought, I never imagined this day would come. But right there, I was alive and well, living through my years with grace and God given strength. Back in 2000s, I was a shy young man full of dreams and wild aspirations. I always visited the barber for a never, but over time I had to learn the skill to shave my own beard and ensure am well kept. Oh, the dreams we have when we are young and untested! Life is like the ocean, some sages said. It always moves like the waves, unpredictable, unfathomable. Babies are born, as men and women die. As others grow, others diminish and fade away.
As I prepared myself for the motivational talk scheduled at 11 o’ clock in Strathmore University, many memories raced through my mind. At 70 years, I had seen much and experienced a lot. The talk at Strathmore was themed ‘Making of a Man.’ I had prepared for the same sufficiently, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt I needed to tell my life story, from being a novice to mastering the art of doing business profitably and creating wealth. I had done many motivational talks, having taken the profession later on in my advanced career life, to build lives and share to the world the knowledge I had gathered in my life battles. Dr. Monroe still inspired me as I sought the meaning of ‘dying empty’, a phrase he had famously used before his unfortunate death. The three businesses I owned ran successfully, thanks to my vision of empowering others to run the empire I had built, as I served as the chairman of the group of companies. I was always informed of the developments, thanks to my able son Adam and his sister, Samantha; who were both directors in the Group.
As a flipped through the tablet on the final presentation before I drove to Strathmore in Madaraka, I felt contentment in my heart at how things had turned out. I remember once when I was fired from a large corporation because of performing below expectations. It still hurt me to even think about it, and it was more painful then; feeling like a failure and a reject from the system. I vowed never to fail again or ever let anyone look down on me in my life. I had sat down with Me, Myself and I, and made a solemn resolve to sort out my tattered life. I focused on making illustrations, refining my writing skills and making publications. I sought out a mentor, Mwalimu Miguna Miguna (rest in peace sir) who brought out the best in me and introduced me to the creative industry. I was hungry, and I learnt quickly the art of advertising, becoming a master and a force to reckon with in the profession. I bid my time, stayed disciplined and sure enough, as Mwalimu looked on proudly at his ‘prodigy’, success came. Getting the Black Water billion Kenya shillings account was a major breakthrough (in 2029).
The cruise to Strathmore…
At 70 now (in 2 days time), I still felt the urge to work some things out. Money was now not the problem, but the time to spend it well was the real problem. I had grown to priorities things in life, putting things that mattered ahead over other things. As I drove from home towards town to give the lecture, I reminded myself that Barbara deserved a treat, as the woman in my life and the mother of our children. She had made huge sacrifices in her career as qualified actuary to ensure her home was in order, something I never took for granted. I could never thank her enough, not matter how many times I tried. As I listened to Chibalonza’s Ebenezer on the stereo of the Mercedes Benz cruising smoothly towards town, I found myself praying in thanksgiving to God for His tender mercies over my family and my life. It was not easy…