Its midday, I am in a mat headed to town. But as usual the never-ending traffic in this city doesn't fail to turn up. I am stuck in traffic, I scroll through my phone and sadly nothing interesting is happening on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Jaded out of my mind I decide its time ya kula kwa macho. I vet outside though the window and as hell has no spleen, just next to the bus there is a house. I mean literally a house next to the bus on the street. How someone sees that house and is not inspired to own one I cannot decipher. This is kind of stuff that I see, and I am inspired to pull up my socks or add another blanket so I can dream big. But as I start getting psyched up to dream big this huge ass poster on the stanchion distracts me. Its an advertisement advertising Mnganga kutoka Tanga who among other things can help you get rich quick, improve your love life, get a partner and as usual, the seller service that is in every one of those posters is kuongeza nguvu za kiume. I guess most of us must becoming short on that section but that is the spiel for another day.
Just saying I have had the opportunity to travel to all the states in the greatest country on earth, as it’s inhabitants claim, or that this year alone I have travelled to more than six countries across Africa and I intend to travel to more before the year’s end, you can call that bragging or showing off, but before you do, you should first strive to know where I am coming from. No matter how you call it, to me it remains to be my achievement and a dream come true. So if I decide to flash social media with pages of my passport, pictures that I have taken, or boarding passes that have passed through my hands, what is the problem with that? The idea that you can sit in front of your computer and think that I am not celebrating my achievement in the best way is unimaginable to me. Who are you to decide how people should celebrate their achievements when after all, you didn’t have an opinion on how they should dream or achieve them. Your idea of how people should celebrate their achievements borders on jealousy. If you’re bitter about the life you’ve chosen—stop blaming it on people who’ve chosen to have a better one.
Where am I going with this? A couple of days ago, a lawyer posted pictures of his new range rover and the feeling the pictures elicited was not what I expected. Most people thought that he was showing off and that he lacked wisdom for indulging us with pictures of his car. To be honest, most of the critics are people who will never come close to dreaming of owning such a car. It was so bad that Daily Nation and its complete team of editors decided to run two articles trying to persuade the masses how evil it was to show off. It’s hypocritical for Daily Nation trying to purport that showing off is lack of wisdom, or how else will they explain why they had to build the multimillion Nation center in the middle of the town while they could have carried all their business in a ware house somewhere in an industrial area. In other words, showing off your achievement is not a bad thing, and we can’t be a country that demonizes achievement.
What the lawyer did was inspirational to so many people; unless you are the jealousy type or the kind of person who’s failure has made you bitter instead of catapulting you to greater heights. How else do you think the likes of me dreamt of travelling the world, which I am currently having a blast? Growing up, all I knew of planes was the sound they made and the sight of it high in the sky from my village. All that changed when my neighbor went to the states, and when he returned, the whole village poured into his compound to hear tales of America and flying. That day, I had the opportunity to see how the inside of a plane looked from the pictures he had taken, and got to taste pretzels, the stuff they serve in planes. I asked my neighbor hundreds and hundreds of questions because my curiosity could not resist wanting to know more about the planes. From there on, every time I heard the sound of a plane, I could not stop daydreaming that one day I would be among the passengers flying high above from all the poverty and diseases ravaging us. Many years later, that dream became a reality, as now every time I hear the sound of a plane, all I think of is where I should go next.
The effect of seeing those pictures of the inside of a plane is the same effect the picture of a ranger sport will have on a boy or a girl who, other than those pictures, will never had a chance of seeing one, dreaming of owning one, or even a better version of it. It’s careless for anyone and more so the media to be in the forefront of demonizing achievement, whereas years and years we have been promoting poverty and more so, slum tourism, as if it was an achievement. I would rather have the likes of the lawyer spamming our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts with pictures of their range rover than NGO’s showing pictures of Kibera and Mathere aimed at attracting sympathy, which in turn become a ground for begging, and the proceeds from begging never reaching the exploited. How would pictures of slum make anyone dream?
“Insecure people only eclipse your sun because they’re jealous of your daylight and tired of their dark, starless nights.” ― Shannon L. Alder Next time you find yourself drifting in the sea of jealousy, I would advise you to retreat into a corner and ask yourself why am I bothered with someone’s choice on how to live their live while I have mine with unlimited potential to achieve happiness without bringing anyone else down. Remember, we cannot go up by bringing someone down, but only by lifting others.