Just to what extent would you go to achieve a life of your dreams? “The whole hog of course,” you might say. What if this extent requires that you compromise on your integrity, would it still be a worthy sacrifice to make?
The other day I was listening to witness 604 at the ICC Case against the Deputy President William Rutto and I was just amazed how low a human being can go to achieve a life of their dreams. The narration was just but a tragic drama. “She (a woman witness) told me that the evidence I gave did not have to be the truth and all I was required to do was to give the statement and I would get a lot of money, my children would go to good school abroad and I would be able to pursue further studies…..my earnings were very low and I found the proposal fantastic…. the idea of my children going to good schools abroad and a good life outside Kenya and all I needed to make was a statement”.
I totally agree with the thought that success has a price and one must be willing to pay it in full and in advance. Only a few chose this path. Many of us prefer success that comes with expediency. We are in a rush to be wealthy, reduce weight or to build healthy relationships. We want all the good things ‘pap’. It is no wonder that many of us rush to cash on pyramid schemes, seek the services of witchdoctors or fall prey to all sorts of conmanships. When ‘Babu wa Loliondo’ came calling, hundreds if not thousands of Kenyans and those in the region rushed for the miracle herbal drug. Many are cashing in on our vulnerability for instant results….instant weight loss, love, loans name them. The same drive pulled the ICC witness 604 to cash in on the instant goodies. Suddenly his life was going to be transformed for the better and there was no way he was going to forfeit this ‘fantastic’ opportunity. In his opinion, life was extending to him an elevator to his dreams and he must have said to himself to who needs the sweat up the staircase?
I look at what the witness was to get in exchange of his statement; a lot of money, education abroad for his children, his own further studies and a good life outside Kenya. Granted that this could be what is in the wish-list of many Kenyans but a few questions linger in my mind. What pride is there to see your kids or yourself graduate on soiled money? How do you explain to your young kids who have been seeing you struggle as you put food on the table that now you are boarding a plane to live in some exotic destination. How would you explain source of your new found good fortunes or windfall? How would you discuss your ‘new opportunity’ with your spouse and would they agree to take that route and be part of this grand scheme of a lie?
I guess it is the struggle of life that creates heros in us. It is every diligent brow of sweat and back ache and scars that tell the story of where you have been to create the life that you have and continue to create now into the future. It is the story of triumph, of conquering great temptations, of sacrifice or pain that make you stand and walk tall and say this far I have come. You could have fallen here and there but you woke up and step by step pushed on to be where you are. This is a story of pride
No one is perfect and maybe it is time that as we read this, we take tally of all the shortcuts that we could have made in the past to get ahead and heal ourselves of the guilt and make a solemn vow that we shall never exchange the full process of paying the price in exchange of a lifetime of shame and guilt that comes with shortcuts.
Disclaimer: This article is meant to provoke thought and should not be misconstrued to be contemptuous to ICC.
By Khami Chege