By Gordon Opiyo via fb
3 am Thought
# this is from my memories exactly one year ago
A Good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
This has been ringing in my head for the past two days.
First, because of what is going on in my personal life and
Second, because of political happening in Kiambu and Nairobi Counties.
I know someone, who had huge amounts of money, silver and gold. On top of that, he is a religious leader.
Three to five years ago, he was entrusted with huge donor projects, worth 500m per year. He was a big name in the middle eastern region and was featured in Aljazeera.
Right now, things have changed and getting even 5 million is a challenge.
Why? The guy got a reputation of not being trustworthy. Everyone you talk to says “huyo…… Hapana” nobody wants to associate with him. His record of being Dishonest is legendary and he drops friends easily.
Same to two leading politicians in Nairobi and Kiambu. You realised that when they fell into trouble, the only friends they had are Lawyers….. For obvious reasons.
Maintaining a Good Name and Reputation should be higher than money and glory. Money can grow wings and fly away, but your Reputation stays.
If you look carefully, you will realize that the enemy doesn’t fight hard on your money but your reputation.
You may take up a simple assignment for your buddy in Diaspora, a very simple assignment ya pesa kidogo…. But somehow things stall and spoil your relationship. The target here is your reputation.
You may want a job too badly and find yourself sleeping with the boss or supervisor. Yes, you will get the job, but your Reputation will be permanently damaged. Wherever you walk, guys will be whispering and giggling.
You may fail in a small project or assignment and get a bad reputation that damages your future.
This is what I keep reminding Journalists about brown envelopes.
It may look fine if you get some favors here and there, but truth is this :Anyone who pays you, doesn’t respect you.
These same guys will never hire you.
Working in the Media doesn’t have huge pay, but has huge networks, it is a job that makes you meet who is who, and is the only job that will see big names begging you for attention. . And if you maintain a good reputation with the big names, you will never regret.
I have severally given my personal testimony about my small sacrifice I made when in the Business Desk.
It was sometime in 2004, and Telkom Kenya was biiig and still had monopoly over internet services. And Joe Mucheru, was heading Wananchi Online. Telkom was oppressing everyone, and used to give Business Desk guys several favors. So reporting was skewed towards Telkom, and nobody wanted to listen to small business owners like Mucheru. However, after a few minutes with him, a took up his complaints and spent three months writing and exposing the oppressive habits of Telkom Kenya. This got attention of the top Kibaki Era Policymakers, and the MD was removed.
Eight years later, after I won a British Government Communication Consulting tender, I got stuck when they insisted that I bring a personal recommendation from a CEO of a multinational.
Joe Mucheru, then head of Google SubSahara did a personal letter to the Ambassador, and he emphasized about the Telkom issue that happened 8 years back.
Had I taken the usual brown envelope of 5k or 10k, I would have simply lost huge opportunity.
Whenever I meet Journalists who used to take brown envelopes ten or twenty years later, and compare to those that never took… I see marked differences.
Reputation is worth more than silver and Gold.
Never make money making the sole goal of your life. Money is worthless without a good name.