Collapsed buildings and all

A comment that was made by one of the Lapid Leaders in a seminar we recently held has stuck with me. We were discussing the events that transpired as part of #OccupyPlayGround. He said that within a few weeks we will have forgotten this issue and a new issue will be trending. A few weeks earlier in a similar seminar, we had been discussing #MyDressMyChoice. Now #MyDressMyChoice was history and we had moved on to #OccupyPlayGround. Perhaps our ability to move on is a gift, maybe, perhaps, no?

Anywho, a few weeks prior to the #OccupyPlayGround we had all been up in arms over the buildings that were collapsing in Nairobi. This one left a mark in my heart.

How are we in this day and age still discussing collapsed buildings? We no longer live in the times when you determined whether a building had met all security measures through guesswork. No, we have well trained surveyors equipped to perform this task using prescribed means.

Yet somehow we manage to circumvent this and have buildings collapse and in the process kill people. We then do the same thing we did the last time a building collapsed, we form a committee of investigation, fire a few people and move on until the next building collapses. Truth be told, we actually don’t need a committee to investigate this incident, we all know what happened. An inspector responsible for inspecting the quality of the buildings was paid “kitu kidogo” and either did not inspect the building or turned away from it.

Nchi ya kitu kidogo

Nothing new there, that’s the country we are. A few months ago there was an uproar over the immigration department. Turns out it had become a market for making extra cash and in exchange anyone would get citizenship and a valid passport. The result, it was said, is that we have very many illegal foreigners, some of whom have been behind some of the terror attacks we had last year. Again, an uproar followed these story, in the end we did what we do best, we moved on.

The other day a Governor was being sidelined by MCAs because he was not playing ball. The audacity of a governor to not allow MCAs not to ‘eat something’. The audacity. The result was the guy was impeached, fortunately he is a bright man and will be seeking reelection with the MCAs.

Recently, we were having a debate at my village over the state of roads in the county I come from. The roads are in the worst state I have seen them in since I was born. Turns out my Governor and MCAs have been too busy globe-trotting to notice. Such is our culture. If you can eat, eat, everybody for themselves and God for us all.

Ticking bomb

Unbeknownst to us, we are sitting on a time bomb. We have established a culture of impunity, a culture of short-cuts, a culture of if you can get away with it then why not. Like every other menace, this culture has had its way for the longest time and now it has come to bite. I can bet that this is not the last time we will hear of a collapsed building.

Just as I know it is not the last time you and I will cultivate this culture by bribing traffic cops. We will justify it with the fact that wasting a whole day in courts is a waste of time. I could not agree more, it is a waste of time, but perhaps if many more people wasted time in the courts, we may start a hashtag that results in traffic offences being handled in a more professional manner.

Okay I could go on and on but that’s not the point of this blog. The point of this post is we are sitting on a time bomb that is called a very poor value system. What then does that mean for those of us who God has called, those He has said to, ‘do not conform to the pattern of this world?’ How can we take a stand that is costly yet is obedient to God’s word?

I belief the answer to that question is ‘start small’.

The Lapid Leaders story

We held several seminars. I have shared some of the lessons I have learned these seminars here.

Every time we have had a seminar, this is the one thing God has always deposited in my heart, ‘dream big, start small, learn fast’. This past January we held the first seminar of the year. It was nothing short of amazing, the kind of seminar that only God Himself could have brought together. We had the most inspring speakers, from Wambua Kimeu a GM in a subsidiary of Trans-Century to Hamed Ehsani, the MD and Developer of Village Market and Tribe Hotels, to Cynthia Mumbo, the Head of Marketing of Menengai Oils to Kevin Baraza, a serial entrepreneur to Kevin Mulei, the CEO & Founder Mo Sounds and Groove Awards. Each of these speakers inspired the Lapid Leaders and left a mark that I am sure will change the life of some of them.

I was not left behind. I sat through each of those session and knew God’s word for me yet again was ‘dream big, start small, learn fast’. As each of these amazing people shared their story, the one thing that stood out was that they all started small. Many times we see the glory years, the end product, and we forget the beginning was not always glorious. God has deposited in me this big dream of how the youth in Africa can change the tide and norms we have accepted in our value system. Yet He has also asked me to take baby steps towards that big dream, to start small.

And therein lies the answer to the question of how we can deal with the problem of our value system, start small. Dream of a day when we will no have collapsed buildings, dream of a day when corruption in the immigration department will be a thing of the past, dream of a day when you can handle traffic offences without killing a bank, dream of a day when your Governor will deliver on his job. But as you dream those big dreams, start small. Start where you are. When taking a matatu, avoid standing on a stage that matatus are not supposed to stop. When you have committed a traffic offence, allow yourself to feel the pinch of a wasted day, next time that will be in your mind. When at your workplace, refuse to enable giving kick backs by looking away. Start small.

You see the God we serve operates on the principle of ‘if you are faithful with little, then He can entrust you with more’. That is the essence of the parable of talents, faithful with the little He has given you and He entrusts you with more. Start small.

You can check out the Lapid Leaders website here ->Lapid Leaders Africa


One comment

  1. I loved Ehsani’s story with the police, the lesson that i learned. “There’s a way you can do things that does not compromise your principles” and from Kelvin Mulei: Activate the passion, cultivate the passion,follow the passion

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