The longshore drift of life

By Christine Maina. Christine, 17, is a student at Daraja Academy in Nanyuki, Kenya. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And more important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs

“You will be wounded many times in your life. You will make mistakes. Some people will call them failures, but I have learnt that failure is really God’s way of saying, ‘excuse me, you are moving in the wrong direction.’ It is just an experience.” These are words that encouraged Tessy.

Tessy grew up in the outskirts of Mombasa, Kenya. Her family house was along the seashore. During the day, the calm of the ocean brought about a sacred feeling. At night, the warm breeze and rushing waves would bring the feeling of hope. Their house was built from white sand, and each day it would reflect the sun’s light like a mirror. The house was envied by many, as people referred to it as luxurious.

Tessy’s loving parents worked tooth and nail to make sure that she did not lack anything. Her father worked with the Kenya Airways company as a pilot while her mother worked at the Kenyatta Hospital as a cardiologist. Everything that she asked for, she received. She attended one of the most expensive schools in the country and dressed in the latest fashion.

It is everybody’s expectation that when a family is rich, the children will be brilliant. But in Tessy’s case, it was completely the opposite; nature showed her that her mind was not designed for studies. Her name never appeared in the top performer’s list. Disappointment was etched all over her parents’ faces. It seems very ironic that parents who would have demanding jobs could have a daughter who was not intelligent.

Tutors from all over the country were hired to help her boost her poor grades, but nothing changed. If there was a girl who understood the adage, ‘the roots of education are bitter,’ it was Tessy. Her efforts bore no fruit. She faced the darkest of days, having to deal with her relatives, friends, family and parents who considered her to be a loser. Many times, she locked herself in her room and cried herself to sleep. It was during one of these nights that the decision to drop out of school crossed her mind.

All of Tessy’s life, she sang like an angel and she wanted to finally nurture her talent. This idea gave her parents the shock of a lifetime. They took her talent to be quixotic and did not pay it any attention. Her loving father went to the extent of calling her a somnambulist, a word she later learned meant that she was sleep walking through life. Tessy’s parents were not ready to support her or to nurture her talent.

With the help of a friend, Terry met with a well-known producer and they formed a rapport. Her first album hit, titled ‘Who I am.’ The album changed many lives, and made her parents see her in a different light. She was warmly welcomed by her fans in the world of celebrities. Tessy’s virtuosity never went without notice. All of those who had despised her welcomed her back to the land they had taught her to hate.

When Tessy gave up her education, it did not mean that she was weak, but that she was ready to live with new challenges. She attested the fact that you don’t have to live in another’s dream, but in your own dreams. The feelings of hope brought about by the rushing waves near her home became her mirror.


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