Around 5 years ago on one Friday evening, my girlfriend and I were headed back to campus after watching our first movie. As we sat in that minibus in the cool of night, she leaned in close and laid her head on my shoulder. Then she asked me one of the most profound things I have ever heard in my life. She said “Babe, when songs and poems are written about you, and believe me they will, what would you wish they say?”
Deep! Right? I married her 3 years later.
Her question got me thinking about my life in a way I had never done before. The pursuit of a suitable answer has informed, to a large extent, my actions and thoughts since then.
To allow us to journey together and perhaps answer this question, I will start at the very beginning; my beginning. I was born some 27 years ago, on the last day of August; the second born among 3 children; I am sandwiched between an older sister and a younger brother. My parents named me Samuel Njoroge Ndung’u after my father’s father. It’s a name I am extremely proud of and have always cherished.
The first place I called home was a house in the majestic city of Eastleigh. We lived there till I was 4 then moved to Kasarani where I spend my childhood and teenage years.
From the time I was young, I have always been in love with two things, football and running. My team is FC Barcelona. Something about this Spanish team’s precision, work rate, and beautiful play have always tickled my fancy. I am also the kind of guy that will watch the 2hour-42 km marathon on a Sunday afternoon from start to finish.
As a morning ritual, on days that I manage to get up by 6 am I ensure I jog around my neighbourhood. I love my morning runs because no one forces me to do so. But when I run, I know I am among the lucky few who are in control of their actions. It also allows me every so often to catch a glimpse of the most majestic sunrise as the day breaks, while the world is busy battling traffic.
I have always been in love with words so reading and school came easy for me. My school life culminated in me taking a course in Architecture at JKUAT. For the first time in my life, school was very difficult. It was 6 agonizing years, each harder than the previous one. It was hard, not because of the coursework or numerous projects, but because I was conflicted.
Deep down, I knew I was in love with something else. A love far greater than the one I have for running or FC Barcelona; something that was eating me from within, trying to crawl out. This…..was my love for speaking. I wished to one day stand before an audience, before the world and tell them a story, my story and hopefully inspire them to write their own.
One thing made it bearable through Architecture school even with all this turmoil. It is while at JKUAT that I first met the most angelic beauty the world has ever seen. Ohhhh. The first time I saw her, I knew that there was something special about her. Her….. smile; there was a radiant glow around her as she smiled. Mmmhh. There was definitely something twinkly in her eyes as she glanced at me from the side. Something tingled in me. My heart melted. She had me. I was I love. From that point on, I knew I would climb mountains for her and I have.
We got married a week after my graduation. It has been a wonderful rollercoaster of an adventure. She has also gifted me with a beautiful daughter, the apple of my eye, and I am forever grateful. 6 months before our daughter was born, the conflict that had stirred before rose violently within me. There was only one thing I could do to resolve it, I decided that from that day forth, my life would be spent telling stories. Powerful stories. To do this, I would make a drastic shift.
I am now a keynote speaker and help businesses to rise to the next level. I can say I am living my dream. Every day I get to challenge people to strive for better, be better and live life fully. That said, I am still on my journey. And I am a far distance from the finish line. I want to learn how to tell my story and those of others in an authentic way. To learn how to inspire others to transform their lives. I want to better myself and inspire my daughter and others through my journey. That by looking at my life people will think the impossible possible.
Looking back to that Friday evening and the question my wife asked me, I think my life has given us hints as to what the songwriters and poets will say. Some will say that I was a son, hopefully, a good son. Some will say I was a brother and friend, hopefully, a loyal one. Others will say I was a husband and a father, hopefully, the most loving of them all. They might talk of a few times I inspired the people around me with my words and actions.
What I would wish they do not forget to say, is that I was a man in love. I wish they speak of my love for my wife, my daughter and her siblings to come; my love for my family and friends. I wish they speak of my love for football, running and speaking. But above all I wish they speak of how much I am in love with life.