I’m sitted by the window in my small room in my mother’s house, staring out at the large tree just a few metres away. The trees in this little village where we live are quite tall, in fact so tall that we named the village after them. Well, not really actually. The thing is, back when my grandfathers walked the earth, these trees were so tall and had such broad and intertwined canopies that you couldn’t see the sky. In these parts, the sky and God are synonymous. So they named the village Ormelio Enkai . That loosely translates to ‘ You cannot see God’.

As I sit here , I notice how a flower has defied all odds and grown just next to the big tree. It was pricked by thorns, there was barbed wire that was in its way and a huge chunk of metal put the nail in it’s coffin. Yet somehow, it grew. Making what seemed impossible normal.

When you really think about it, that’s the mark of greatness. That’s the highlight of achievement. Overcoming. You need to defy odds in order to really realize your full potential. More often that not, that requires that you chart a new path, be a little ‘crazy’. It’s what I am now used to thinking of as Double M. Mad move. Let me explain.

In 2011, there was a secondary school here in Narok County that had an average score of 1.2 in the KCSE examinations. The school welcomed a new principal in 2012. He took the school by storm , dishing out several expulsions almost instantenously. He set about reversing the culture of the school and fast forward to 2015, the school led the entire county with an average score of 8.4. Double M.

You have to really normalize what would averagely be categorized as impossible or the reserve of a few. Now more than ever , in this inventive space that we are in, it pays to explore.
Have you ever imagined how crazy the idea of a computer might have sounded in 1920? The truth is this: All around us, we are living an idea. Everything the world cannot do without was once a figment of somebody’s imagination. So on top of normalizing doing impossible things, it would appear that thinking of ideas that would crazy even to you is very sane!

The last thing I remember thinking was that if at all you only think of these ideas but fail to do anything about it, then you’re wading into the waters of wishful thinking. I don’t know if you have heard the story of how people came to yell ‘ Eureka!’ when they had a brainy moment.
This is how the story was told to me by Mr. Mburu, who taught me science back in primary school and here’s an early disclaimer. Mr. Mburu was easily the most dedicated teacher but he had a flair for the dramatic and told such stories with much élan.

Apparently , in the period of enlightenment in Rome, you could not just say anything and not prove it. Yes, that actually happened. If you said you could do something, you had to prove it or you would be executed. Jesus, those guys took the crusade against small talk to another level. So this guy whose name I’ve forgotten gets drunk and brags about how he could find the volume of an irregular object. The formula for that as we know it had not yet been put together. I really don’t know what he was drinking, because the liquor that is available to us sons of the soil makes people sleep in awkward positions and it turns a lot of emotional switches on.

You don’t know what I’m talking about ? Oh, then you don’t have one of those friends who get drunk and all of a sudden they’re telling you how much they love you and respect you.
” Salaton.. Aki, (gulp)…eeh..(staggers) ..If aaaaaanyyybody touches you…(gulp)..they”

Anyway, in his drunken state, he promises to show everybody how it is done. The next day, he woke up and realized his folly. He said goodbye to his relatives and decided to take a shower before going for his execution because , he clearly wasn’t anywhere near finding a formula. Perhaps this guy is the genesis of that saying ‘ Cleanliness is second to godliness ‘ . Haha.
So he takes off his clothes and throws the stone he used to scrub himself into the pail of water. It landed with a splash and water spilled outside the container. It hit him faster than a Cobra bite. That was the Volume of the object! It was equivalent to the water that it displaced! So if he collected that water and calculated it’s Volume, voíla! Thank God they knew how to do that!

It was a few minutes to execution, and as you might have guessed, these weren’t the sort of people who missed a minute. He ran naked all the way to the execution point and proved his point. He ran shouting ‘Eureka! Eureka!’ He was showering from a Eureka can.

So yeah, it pays to not only think about things , but to also try and do them. Build something. When we were young, we would build toys from wires. Some guys were really foreshadowing Robert Downey Jr. Somehow , when we grew up, that hunger for creation, for building, for challenging normalcy faded. We can blame the system, we can blame the elites, but we can’t run away from doing what we must in the end regardless of our disposition- We must explore. We must make the impossible normal. It’s the only way forward. I’ll leave you here with one of Zuckerberg’s famed slogans.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

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