By Sospeter O
I just learned something very interesting, that the rich aren’t interested in their kids being in the top of their class. Coz it takes too much effort to stay on top, at the expense of other valuable activities, that are equally important. If you can only do just enough to pass, then you have enough time to stay at Daddy’s hardware or auto shop, go for sports, learn how to play piano, attend swimming and music lessons, learn French, skills that you can’t learn if you wanna stay on top of your class.
And I agree coz the moment I quit being interested in being top of the class, which was the second year of the university, I learned so many things I could do beyond academics. You see as a primary school kid, I was a good soccer, volleyball, handball, sprint athlete, then as academics became tough, and with the pressure of getting on top, I abandoned all that to shift all my focus to the academics, coz I was told that soccer, volleyball, handball, sprint would get me nowhere. By the time I was a Form 3, all these aforementioned games were abandoned, coz I was all about reading, and never went for exercise sessions…..so I excelled academically, but now began to suck in sports, and had completely quit sport altogether in campus in an attempt to stay on top…
And I felt so relieved when I realized that the sun would still rise tomorrow and that I would still graduate if I got Bs and Cs, and at the same time have fun like dancing, singing, spend time with a girlfriend, teach myself public speaking, read novels, autobiographies/biographies, sharpen writing skills and so on. I graduated and still worked on my personality, people skills, and personal growth/development.
I can now agree when I learn that the rich won’t exert pressure on their kids to be on top of their class…. Look at poor dad of Michael Jackson raised a kid on top of the music world, but who had wanting people skills, with only a one-sided success.. Then look at George Bush, just average folks but who not only became rich in their own right(multiplied parents’ fortune and still thought Nigeria was a continent), but also was read just enough to become president, or even Donald J Trump, who is just average, but who is forging forward despite all manner of scandals, and Russia probe.
The top de la creme of Kenya’s political and business elite, including Kirubi, Raila and Uhuru are just academically average rich kids whose graduation from college remains a matter of national debate, and Sonko, Joho etc spent their “reading” time preparing to lead you, as you dipped your feet in a karai with water. There’s one Luo professor who bragged about writing a speech until he breathed his last, under very poverty-stricken circumstances. Let your kids study but also have time for extracurricular. And they don’t have to become #1.