27 May 2013
SPEECH AT PRIZE GIVING DAY AT NGARA GIRLS 25th May, 2013
I want to begin by thanking the Principal, the Board, and the entire school community for inviting me to be with you today on this occasion of prize giving.
Although I have been resting following a grueling campaign for the Presidency, I decided to honor this invitation because it represented something I hold dear to my heart – empowering the next generation of Kenyan leaders.
Being here reminds me of my days in school some decades back! Being in school was for me then and I know for some today a sweet and sour experience.
In school, I looked forward to being around friends and hanging out with them, but dreaded the stress of exams or strict teachers. It wasn’t until I learned how to schedule my time and properly prepare for exams that I no longer feared or hated exams. Even though the school had scheduled prep times, it wasn’t until I took responsibility for my exam preparations that I was able to confidently face my exams and also enjoy my classes. Today I appreciate the strict teachers and parents because I am aware that without discipline one cannot go far ! In reflection it is those many " that saved the day. I ask you to be patient with your teachers and parents as they mould you for your success now and tomorrow .
You must reflect and ask yourself what your goals in life are, what kind of life you envision for yourself! Once you have your goal in mind work to achieve it. As I studied for my 'O' levels long ago, I had already decided I wanted to pursue education to university level. I dreamt of enrolling for a law degree. I was therefore working to attain grades that would get me admission to A levels which then was a mandatory step to university. On getting to ‘A’ levels I worked hard to attain grades for university admission and specifically for law.
Today you leap from ‘O’ levels straight to university where you are very much on your own! Nobody tells you when to study, or when to do your assignments. If you do not keep your goal in mind, you my fall by the way side and spend your time on distractions that do not add value to your set goals. This is where your discipline, your determination, your persistence and consistency will be tested. If you stick to your goals, you will surely make it!
Understand yourself, and know that we are each wired differently though we have so much in common as human beings. Some need very little revision for it to sink while others may need to revise a couple of times before it sinks! Tailor your studies and your future goals to suit your needs. Never be shy to ask for clarification, that's why you are in school - to learn.
After school whichever level you attain, you will get to work or business. Hard work does not end with learning! Whatever field you choose, there will be stiff competition for space. Work hard to be the best in whatever you do in order to succeed. Success does not come easy so keep trying and always do your best!
I know in our society today, it seems as if there is no value for hard work but know that there is no short cut to success. Real lasting success, the kind that earns you respect and admiration and establishes a prize worthy legacy, is the success attained through honest hard work.
As you focus on your desired goal, remember the greatest asset you have is you! Look after yourself in every way, your health, your bodily integrity and total wellbeing. There is a time for everything and now is time for your educational pursuit. Be wary of distractions that may thwart your goals and bring you harm - niwakati wa kuchill. There will be plenty of time after your studies for building relationships!
In life things may not always go your way, but you will be satisfied if you gave the task at hard the best you could. Use failure whenever you encounter it as an opportunity to learn! Look at what you need to improve on or do differently, or change course all together! Even the best have success and failure.
What makes the great stand out is the ability to keep going even when faced with great obstacles.
My performance in the elections was disappointing but I take it as an opportunity to learn and emerge better and stronger! I urge you to do the same with regard to your studies and life in general. Remain positive whatever the circumstance. It will help you to reflect and move on.
Last but not least our country Kenya needs a spirited fight against corruption and impunity which are robbing Kenyans of quality services in health, education and security to name but a few. Strict enforcement of the law across the board will discourage the parasitic few that make the lives of the majority unbearable.
It is in our interest and that of generations to come to lay foundation for a society where doors of opportunity open equally for you our children, and indeed for each one of us to attain our full potential.
I wish you well in your studies and remind you that it is you who is navigating the ship in your journey of life. God bless!