So, today, I have seen online ramble rousers castigating this year’s top KCPE student, Goldalyn Kakuya after she disclosed that, in future, she would like to be a psychiatrist.
Apparently, there are those who feel that this is a wrong career choice for her. That she should aspire to pursue a more ‘lucrative’ career.
Folks, I don’t just find this kind of argument misinformed but also totally baseless.
And why do I say so?
For a long time, our education system has been a leading producer of professional quacks and terrible non performers who lament each day about their job.
Consequently, many have queried why we have fellows who perform dismally at work yet their education certificates are well decorated with top grades.
It’s so simple.
Our system tends to wrongly socialize us, from a very tender age, that there are more important and lucrative careers than others; which is a total lie.
One of the most invaluable lessons I have learnt in life is that a career choice is more than just the money in it. A career is more about you. Your personal satisfaction. Your happiness.
Therefore, when choosing a career path, the first priority should not be the salary in it but rather, whether you are going to love what you do for the rest of your life.
Your happiness should always take precedence.
Let me illustrate this using my own story.
When I was young and stupid, many people wanted me to become many things. My own dad thought that I should become a
When I got to campus, after studying quite some Political Science and History, I decided to specialize with Community Development, the main motivation being the fear of ending up with a degree that would render me jobless. I was not from a well off background and I could not imagine going back to the village to nag my parents after graduating.
In Community Development, I knew I would easily secure a job in one of the NGOs around.
And then, as I was in my third year in campus, someone I had never met, noticed my Facebook posts. He went ahead and contacted me to know what course I was pursuing. When I answered Community Development, he told me that maybe I was in the wrong line.
That my destiny was not there. He challenged me to try writing.
Being the dynamic soul that I am, I decided to take up that challenge and alas! All over sudden, my eyes opened up. I realized that I had been sitting on a gold mine!
From that day onwards, I chose to follow my passion. The rest is history.
Today, I hold that mentor in high regard.
Every time I sit to reflect on my life, I realize how wrong a career path I had chosen before. I can now even easily connect it all. I have particularly been good in languages since primary school. One day, while in class six, I actually wrote an English composition that was read by the whole school, including those ahead of me.
I have also realized that during the internships I did with NGOs while in campus, my heart was never there.
I went ahead to graduate with my Community Development degree, with very good grades and could have secured a well paying job at some NGO. But that certificate still remains in my house.
Yes, when I began writing opinion articles for local dailies, I never used to be paid a dime. But slowly and patiently, my passion has mutated into a career. One that sustains my life. One that I enjoy. That is why, I can easily stay awake, late into the night and work, without my boss pushing me to do so.
Nothing satisfies me like penning down a good story. Putting pen on paper. When a good story presents itself, I will instantly pen it down regardless of whether someone is funding it or not.
The passion, not the pay, is my motivation. And it is so sweet.
So, if Goldalyn Kakuya wants to be a psychiatrist, let her be. It is that path that might enable her change the world.
I always say that life is not about money and wealth. It is not about marrying many women or bringing forth tens of children. All that I vanity. If in doubt, just ask King Solomon, humanity’s wisest soul.
Life is about building a legacy that shall immortalize you. And the best tool, bestowed upon us by fate, for free, that can help you build a legacy is that special talent. That passion.
Unfortunately, many people breath their last without having discovered that special gift in them.
No wonder, there are very few great souls amongst men.
I am happy Goldalyn Kakuya appears to have unravelled that mystery this early. Let her pursue it relentlessly.
And by the way, if it is making wealth, we have seen countless human beings make a fortune out of the humblest professions. The list is all for there to see.
Finally, in his wisdom laden prose poem of 1927, Max Ehrmann chronicles:
“Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.”