Help spread the message of ‘mentorship 1 child at a time’ – Kate Njoroge
Samuel Kamau Wanjiru. The first time I saw this young man was as he ran into the stadium on his way to win the Olympic gold medal.
Within days, the story of his humble beginning was known worldwide. You know how people just love the rags to riches stories.
Now, put yourself in his shoes for a moment. Let’s pay his childhood a visit….
…..I see a young man struggling in school…
….I see him running home, not just to get home early, but because he is looking forward to his only meal of the day…
…I also see him sent home often for lack of school fees and eventually dropping out at age 12…
…I see a mother too busy struggling to put a meal on the table that I wonder if she has time to impart wisdom to her son…
…I see a 16 years old boy leaving his country to go to Japan, too young to be away from his family…
…I see a young man with no real male role models to help shape him into a real man…
…I see a young man who marries early, in a hurry, not ready for the commitment ahead….
Ok. Maybe I see my own things, but work with me here. Samuel must have missed out on some crucial lessons when growing up, more so when he moved away from his mother at a young age.
Imagine suddenly been thrust into the limelight after a rocky childhood. Imagine getting respect and admiration from people who previously snickered behind your poor back, and sometimes to your poor face. Imagine your villagers coming out in throngs to give you a homecoming party fit for a king after winning the Olympic. Now, imagine not having any previous training or mentoring on how to handle this sudden fame and fortune.
So you can imagine the crowd he was hanging around, especially when the money started coming in.
At that young age, with all that money, you are bound to attract false friends. And groupies. People will hang around you for the freebies and goodies you pass around. Be assured that they are not hanging around you because of your charming character!
He had a coach to train him on the field, but did he have a life coach or mentor to teach him off the field? I wonder, did he have someone to speak wisdom into his life? Did he surround himself with people who could challenge his thinking and tell him straight up when he was trippin’?
I guess he did not. As a result, he became a successful runner but eventually, a failure at home.
Of great concern to me was his lack of moral fiber. The frequent infamous media mentions revealed a side of Sammy that most Kenyans would have liked to wish away. But that was the reality for Sammy, and it continues to be the reality for many people in Kenya.
The things that ensnare men – money, power, women, alcohol – also ensnared our beloved Sammy. The truth about these snares is that no man is immune. It takes exceptional courage and determination to keep away.
Money – gives you a false sense of power. You believe you can get / buy anything. Nothing is outside your reach. You think everything has a price. What baloney.
Remember – riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. (Proverbs 11:4)
Power – you think you are invincible. You use and misuse your position and authority. You become a law unto yourself. You think you can get away with anything. But the truth is you can’t.
Remember – …no one has power in the day of death. (Ecclesiastes 8:8)
Women – you are not satisfied with one woman. You forget that in a heart where there is room for many, there is no room for one. You become unfaithful to your wife. You find it hard to exercise self control. You endanger your life, and your wife’s, through immorality. So uncool.
Remember – For by means of a harlot, a man is reduced to a crust of bread. (Proverbs 6:26)
Alcohol – you seek happiness from a bottle. You begin to lose control when under the influence. You think life is one big party. You are of the opinion that booze brings out the cool you. Yah right.
Remember – wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led away by it is not wise. (Proverbs 20:1)
Our Sammy was not able to avoid these snares. Eventually, Sammy jumped of a physical balcony. (Or was pushed – who knows?!)
Many young people are jumping off other types of balconies. They jump off balconies when they live uncontrollable and lawless lives. They jump off balconies when they do drugs. Drunk driving. Violence. Gangs. Disobedience to parents and authorities. Alcoholism. Taking in filth in the name of music, TV, movies and other forms of entertainment. Sexual immorality. Foul language.
How many more people have to jump of a “balcony” before we admit that there is something wrong with the way we are living? How many more young people will die before we stand against immorality and vice? How many more broken marriages and broken families do we need to see before we arise and do something?
I don’t know about you, but as for me, I have made a decision to provide mentoring and coaching to young person around me. Be it at work, church, home or wherever, if I meet a young person, I will take time to listen to them, and to talk to them. I have a passion for mentoring and coaching young people. Having gone through a very rocky previous life, I do not desire for anyone to learn the way I did – though hard experiences.
If speaking to a young person could get them to stay in school and off the streets, then I will speak. If sharing my heart with a young person will help them make better decisions, then I will speak. If sharing my thoughts will equip a young person with life skills and emotional intelligence, then I will speak. If opening up my life will prevent another young person from jumping off life’s balconies, then Lord help me, I will speak!!!!