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An ode to Success

What exactly does she look like?

Is it the face of long sleepless nights and early mornings?

Or the daily commute to and fro jobs we have become too accustomed to, that have killed all the life in us? And all we’re doing is moving forward without really knowing where exactly we’re headed to?

When do we really know we’ve gotten there?

Do we really arrive? Is there an ultimate end to the struggle? Or might she have been lurking quietly somewhere in our environs and the party just happened when we weren’t looking?

Does she come tumbling down and arrive like an unexpected guest on our doors looking for a place to stay for the night? Or will she announce her arrival for us to prepare a grandiose welcome with the queenly honor she apparently deserves? Vuvuzelas, red carpets, flashy lights and whatever else fits our cups?


How will I know you’ve arrived though, success? Will you have clear, flawless air-brushed skin like all the pictures of girls on instagram or will you have scars to the hustles we went through mapped all over your face? Will it feel teary and happy, like bitter sweet joys? Or will it be sad, and beautiful some eyes shine with beautiful-sad brilliance?
How will you then taste, success.. Will you feel like the home we’ve been longing for when we finally arrive? Or will it be just another transit on this never-ending journey?
Will it feel like the bliss of a mother’s genuine smile and hearty laughter, proud that all the sacrifices once made, and troubles endured finally gave borne to something she can remain eternally proud of? Or is it the grand feeling for those who had only themselves to turn to for help, for that’s what life had in store for them – failing fathers, or those who left a tad too early, struggling mothers coupled with an  ardent desire to make it to meet success all the same?
Is it years of friendship whose struggles together turned into family? ?
Is it when you finally breakthrough in the quest for  likes and follows for social media validation? Or is it when your life is beyond needing any sort of external validation? Or the day you wake up and realize that there are stars silently shining within you, and you have been brought here to lend it to all the dark places?
But what if we die seeking this light?
Might it be the apprehension of sagacious certainties like success is not bound by the realms of this worldly life?
Is success the feeling of shaping out constricted words within, that have been nurtured and churned in and out, to something we hope will remain to reverberate in the minds and hearts of beloved readers?
Or is it finally doing the things you’ve always wanted to do, but had to keep putting off because they weren’t part of societal expectations of you? Like learning how to ride a motorcycle and going for skydiving, striking them off your bucket list? Might it, perhaps, be life’s little guilty pleasures?
How does thou look, success, like the sharp edges and vertices of a mortarboard? The dignitary tassel? Or is it the title and paper they come with that we add to our names and pin on the doors of our offices to be lauded by the masses?
At this juncture success, you should know, i learnt from life, (definitely not you) that i will always have too many questions, and too little of answers. And somehow, i’m learning how to deal with that. Will i be successful when i master that art, success? Might i have mentioned your name too many times to the point where it sounds like something that has less meaning and more consonants? I know for sure you might not be in a position to even attempt any of my reckless questions, i can pretend to understand. You must be busy, and i just rudely bulged in, surely I should know better? So allow me to go ahead and prove to you that my momma raised me right, and i do have a good amount of courtesy within. I’ll explain the genesis of all these queries. It’s an act the linguists decided to call thinking, that i overdo A LOT. Most times i have no control, and you know what the linguists said as well? If i can’t beat them, i could as well join them. That’s definitely not your kind of thing no? So here we are, dearest success. The overthinking is triggered by simple things, like pictures, very beautiful pictures. Pictures that scream an almost perfect version of your own kind.

I wish you all the best guys, may you find your own definitions of success and live up to it every other day 🙂 And may your futures be as bright as those smiles!

Congratulations to all Strathmore graduates 2016!


Just one more thing, before i leave. As with many others, there are hundreds of students in Kenyatta National Hospital who wake up everyday and undergo not so pleasurable conditions. They don’t do it for what many know you as, success, unlike many of us, (not healthy bank accounts nor toned up vehicles ), they do what they do because they found the lights within them. But see, the problem is not finding the light, it’s fanning the fire to make sure it stays on. And fanning this fire is not an easy job. They have to deal with seeing patients die every other day, mean consultants and just a new level of struggle. Only to become the next generation of doctors and to heal our bleeding nations. Medicine class of 2018, may you find nothing but success in your ongoing exams 🙂


I guess that’s it for now, i’ll come back here and rant again when i do meet success. Or maybe we can help each other answer these questions? What is your success?

1 Response
  • Najma
    June 28, 2016

    Beautiful ?

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