Musings of a people: Part II

“Creativity has nothing to do with any activity in particular — with painting, poetry, dancing, singing. It has nothing to do with anything in particular. Anything can be creative — you bring that quality to the activity. Activity itself is neither creative nor uncreative. You can paint in an uncreative way. You can sing in an uncreative way. You can clean the floor in a creative way. You can cook in a creative way. Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach — how you look at things. Creativity means loving whatsoever you do — enjoying, celebrating it, as a gift of God.” This is by far one of my most favourite quotes by Osho.

I must admit that sometimes I do get lost in Osho’s teachings, they sometimes sound a bit too idealistic in an increasingly capitalist and challenging world. He states that ambition kills creativity. That an ambitious man cannot love any activity for its own sake. ‘While he is painting he is looking ahead; he is thinking, `When am I going to get a Nobel Prize?` When he is writing a novel, he is looking ahead. He is always in the future — and a creative person is always in the present.’ We destroy creativity. Nobody is born uncreative, but we make ninety-nine percent of people uncreative.

I am indeed grateful that I got to meet two individuals who demonstrated this philosophy (if I may call it that) to me; I got to have a better understanding of what this creativity was, this lack of “ambition”, this attitude he speaks of.

Meet Eliud;

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Eliud is a 21 year old finance and engineering student. This young man amazed me on all levels to say the least.

He and his friend Eric sell buckets near the 46 stage. They buy buckets from several different companies, clean, sterilize and sell them for a margin. The shop is piled with buckets and I of course got curious on their turnover.

Do these young men make enough money off this? The answer is a resounding yes. Eliud and Eric discovered that the one item every household in Kawangware cannot do without is a bucket. This is not restricted to households alone but also to all business enterprises in the area. Buckets to store and transport goods; be it water, food, cement, sand, stones… buckets are essential in everyday activities. In fact the two constantly run out of supply due to the high demand.

One thing that came across strongly for me was Eliud’s excitement and entrepreneurial spirit. He loves what he does.

”How do you do this and attend school let alone juggle two degrees?’ I ask.  Eliud amidst a huge grin informs me that he does this business on a part time basis; over the weekends and school holidays. Majority of the time the shop is run by his two employees.

Eliud’s dream is to create a financial system that will assist others. He’s not quite sure on how he’ll do it but he knows he will. He’s passionate about using the ICT platform to solve society’s problems.

One challenge he witnesses on a daily basis is the need for people to access information, quality information to be specific; to know and capitalize on opportunities just as he did with buckets. He wishes that there were more centres that would expose youth to this.  He appreciates the fact that he’s the rare type, the ones whose favourite past time is reading.

“The worst thing you can ask a young person to do is read,” he says. Eliud intends to simplify and disseminate information to the masses, an initiative that he has already taken up with his friends. I see Eric nodding in agreement.

Is Eliud in the right profession to actualize this? Definitely. Finance+ engineering. World watch out for Eliud.

Meet George;

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The 24 year old who runs his own cyber café, IT company and mpesa outlet. George came off as a very mature individual from the get go and it soon dawned on me why.

He is the guardian to his late sister’s son and is currently schooling him and most importantly, mentoring him. To be honest George was the first individual to mention the “mentorship” word. It was both refreshing and exciting to hold a different kind of conversation with this young man. Not the conventional “naomba serikali” kind of vibe.

The young man has a lot going on for him and I ask him on how he has been able to achieve this. George gives most credit to his late uncle, the man who mentored him.

He was orphaned at a very young age and for majority of his life, has been the parent and bread winner. He currently has custody of his nephew and three younger siblings.

We discuss several things with George, from aspects on how the government can improve its engagement with the youth to philosophies on life. So many high points but let me share a few here. George’s biggest worry for youth in Kawangware is their lack of vision and guidance.

“Given the opportunity youth can do great things, they just need guidance, they have the energy,” he states. “Some of them are so creative but due to bad company, it all goes in vain.” Ah there goes that creativity word again. George feels that there is abundance in talent; that it’s just the attitudes that need improvement. Osho’s quote comes to mind.

George is currently mentoring several young boys but wishes he could do more. The government could assist him in only one way he informs me; by acknowledging the hard work of young individuals. “Nothing big by the way, if even my local mp extended a handshake, that would be enough, that’s all I want my government to do for me,” he states. His reasoning behind this is that often times it’s the crooks and the ‘casanovas’ who have a large following in the area. “If hard work was appreciated even by a small gesture you’ll see several young people come out to harness their talents; a little goes a long way.”

George’s parting words are that we should all work from what we have to get what we want.

My take home was that selling buckets with zeal, vision and excitement is creative, disseminating and simplifying information for friends with passion is creative, mentoring with such heart is creative, Osho was not wrong in stating that the more creative one is, the more one will see transformation happening of its own accord.

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