Pharaoh of Egypt was a man of dreams. He once had a dream that baffled him: Out of the Nile came seven cows, sleek and fat. After them, came seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, who turned on the seven fat cows and ate them up. Then Pharaoh had another dream: There were seven heads of grain, healthy and good, growing on a single stalk. After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted – thin and scorched. But the thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy ones.
In the morning, after the dream, Pharaoh was troubled. He summoned all the magicians and wise men of Egypt and told them about his two dreams. But, none could interpret the dreams. However, his cupbearer had been in prison and had met there a young man, Joseph, who had successfully interpreted his dreams. He recommended Joseph to Pharaoh.
When brought before Pharaoh, Joseph readily interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams: There were going to be seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine. Joseph then advised that adequate grain should be gathered during the season of plenty to be used during the famine period. Pharaoh was impressed. He immediately appointed Joseph as the Chief Coordinator of Government affairs. He told Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, you shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.” Thus, in one short day, Joseph rose from the lowest pit of prison to the highest place in the palace.
One of the greatest tasks of leadership is to dream – dream big. Great leaders spend their sleeping and waking times visualising the future – a bigger, brighter future. High impact leaders do not spend their time pecking the ground like chicken. Instead, soaring high like eagles, their focus is on the horizon, scanning the environment with an eagle’s eye. But, like Pharaoh, leaders need interpreters of dreams – men and women who can creatively turn a leader’s dreams from fanciful ideals to concrete reality.
Unfortunately, the courts of many Pharaohs are full of magicians and enchanters who are completely at sea. They rant and chant but leave Pharaoh mostly baffled by his own dreams. No wonder, when a leader finds a Joseph, he will not think twice as to whether he is young, a foreigner, or an ex-convict. Instead, he will hoist him to the highest echelons of power and bequeath him the responsibility of ensuring the fulfillment of the leader’s dreams.
In my considered view, this is the “trouble” Dr Matiang’i finds himself in. He is blessed with the knack for listening to the leader’s dreams, interpreting them, and then creatively and effectively turning them into concrete reality. It is for this reason that the poor man gets moved to every place where rapid results are required. John Michuki suffered the same fate in the Kibaki administration. He was moved to every hot spot where rapid results were needed.
Upon entry into his final term, President Uhuru seems to have had some dreams. His were three: The Big Four Agenda, the Fight Against Corruption, and the Unity of the Nation. He therefore called all his magicians and enchanters to the palace, explained his dreams, and asked them to help interpret them – turn them from mere pies in the sky to manna for the people. Unfortunately, there has been more commotion than motion. On several occasions he has had to publicly reprimand some of his magicians for failure to interpret and implement his dreams. Sadly, many have continued ranting and chanting, totally oblivious of the fact that, while Pharaoh had seven years within which to implement his dreams, President Kenyatta has only five.
Realising that time is running out fast, the President appears to have resolved to follow in the footsteps of Pharaoh. Instead of moving Joseph from one department to another, he has put him in charge of the whole palace, to ensure that the dreams are understood, interpreted, and implemented efficiently and effectively. Accordingly, the perception that this move is engineered to downsize the Deputy President – who in any case is part of the Presidency – is mere politics.
If there is any person or persons who should feel indicted by Dr Matiangi’s appointment, it is those in government who are supposed to serve the nation with minimal or no supervision, but have failed to do so, thereby necessitating the appointment of a supervisor. This is sad because, any work worth doing is worth doing well.
- The writer is the Presiding Bishop of Christ is the Answer Ministries. [email protected]