Until I learnt how to separate reality from the truth.
Has it ever hit your mind that we have DJs richer than professors? That we have engineers, by profession, roasting maize by the roadside, not for fun, for rent? That a UON first-class actuarial science graduate was once rescued from the streets? No prejudgments, read on.
'Kwa ground vitu ni different' is more than the jokes that we build around it. When I thought it's all about education, I met company owners who have never stepped into the university, at least for education. You could die at the hospital entrance if you have first-class honours and lack medical insurance. When I thought it's all about money, I met rich people whose property turned against them. Your property could destroy you completely if you don't manage it properly.
I was left mouth agape when I learned that the late Bob Collymore, former Safaricom CEO, had no single degree. He never went to college. Isn't that surprising? I know you know how good a performer he was.
A small survey I conducted gave me some pretty obvious but fundamental results: (1) The most educated folks around are not the wealthiest and vice versa (2) A combination of talent and education can do wonders than either education alone or talent alone; perhaps this also explains why one must become a graduate before they are declared a professional basketball player in the U.S. (3) The hands you shake matters more than the papers you have; this appears as the most critical finding to me.
I have gotten the privilege to sit around a few high tables where each word you put forward should be attached to an objective. I have sat on a shapeless hard stone in the house of a pauper where how you react matters than what you say. The pinch that I felt sitting on the stone, on the ground, confirmed to me that 'Kwa ground vitu ni different.'
With all due respect, I want to acknowledge my teachers for lying to me. In a day different from today, I would entitle my writing "The Lies My Teacher Told Me" or "Why Didn't They Tell Us?" Education is good, but 'they' should have taught a culture in us that does not only worship education as a way-out tool but also recognizes abilities, talents, and networking as its twin sisters.
A competent life requires more than good papers because Earth got rules! Rules like "Kwa ground vitu ni different."