Africans, Develop a Generous Heart, it is a Requirement for Social Innovators.

Generosity is not a synonymy of financial providence; it is an attitude of selflessness. It is what I am constantly learning to inculcate in my endeavors as a social innovator. I guess the financial crisis of 2008 that hit the world must be a good lesson for all of us who think money is a solution to everything. I personally believe relationship is the solution to every problem. I call relationship a social currency that we can use to trade in a market of collaboration and partnership in solving our challenges. For if we are generous we will not want to see our kids butchered by terrorist, we will stand against the social injustice meted at our fellow human beings. Generosity is what will invoke our consciousness to fight against corruption that threatens the future of our continent.
The sermon by Rev. Ronald Wooten at Calvary Worship center entitled – IT IS ALL ABOUT THE HEART focused much on the subject of Generosity. In the process my mind rolled back to the year 2002 as a teenage aged thirteen, when I lost my father who was a servant of the Lord. We had experienced difficult life, we never had good cloths like other kids, we never enjoyed the luxurious life that you can dream of, while you are young but we had the hope.
The hope I had had been instilled in me after seeing how some people were generous and kind to my father. My hope was cemented by the assurance from my father that he will not die poor hence an expectation of once in life testing a better life especially affluence and material abundance. You can guess the frustration and hopelessness that crept in when I saw the coffin of my father being lowered down the grave. Then I realized I will never see him again nor the wealth he always told me until the end of the world.
With the kind of ridicule directed to my father from our relatives, I expected worse. I was not wrong for after a while, people had no regard for my mother. She was not accepted in the company of others, the so called well to do. I thank God for her, her heart was rich and full of good deeds. She never taught us to hate or harbor grudge. Out of her heart came no reproach for our relatives though sometime I will sense a bit of her frustration. However that didn’t dampen her spirit. She will always tell me that God will always take care of us, she will read her bible to us faithfully every night that I stayed with her, what you can bet she does up to today. She learnt to give us her best. The moral values, spiritual value and nourishment most importantly she taught us to respect and value others.
When Rev Ronald Wooten slowly but carefully went through, explaining, relating and comparing his texts with other writers, speakers and the happenings in the society today. I am sure he had no idea the memories his preaching invoked in me. It is good to mention that I have always believed that generosity is not all about money. I have for a long time held an opinion that generosity is sharing your story to inspire those who are hopeless, I have always held that generosity is using your abilities and talents to help those who are in need. I have held that generosity is sharing your smile with others. All these I have faithfully practiced.
It is because of one Madam Alice Mecha, deceased now, her soul rest in peace that I stay late this night to write this article. She, when I was in standard four, while feeling socially downtrodden -because of poverty- having attained position four, she called out my name in public acknowledged my respect for the teachers and other pupils. It was not the norm, but believe me that is why I had tenacity to seek more knowledge. That is why I seek that knowledge now and that is why I will be willing to share my knowledge to save the lives of people in Africa. Even if by just saying a word of encouragement.
Developing a generous heart is not easy. It is a laborious journey. You have to stand the ridicule of others. Sometimes people will see your concern about others and they will wonder why you could have sleepless night thinking about somebody’s problem. It can sometimes cost your live.
A case in point is when I was almost expelled from the University of Nairobi because I was asking the university to take responsibility of a medical case of a student who had jumped from the fourth floor of Hall four after a fire incident. She had sustained critical injuries. Together with another colleague and a university medical staff, after being dropped by the university ambulance at the hospital, it took the us more than eight hour before we admitted her to the general ward 6 of Kenyatta National Hospital.
The condition of that ward, with her condition made me feel sick, the innocent girl was in pain, I felt pain every time I went to see her; I will sometime skip my classes to go visiting. When it reached a point I could not stand seeing her cry I had to speak to the university administration. It was a tough time for me, it gave me stressful nights, and I remember one of the university management staff asking me whether I was her relative, I said no, he wondered, is she your girlfriend? I said no, why then is this case giving you headache? Why can’t you just leave it?
To clear the air this is the first time I had met this lady, it was just a coincidence that I was in the ambulance and experienced the agony she was going through. I only had one thing run in my mind. What if I am the only person to give this lady her life back, what if the worst happened if I don’t take responsibility, will my conscious stop judging me? Eventually you can imagine the university staff never went back to the hospital again to check the progress. Being who I am- socially alert and concerned – it could have been terrible if I could have not acted.
Thank God the lady is still alive and healthy, I saw her post those pictures when she was in ICU on her Facebook profile and I was so amazed. One thing I know for sure she will never forget that it is such an important thing to be generous.
My life is tied to the lives of others. Just like Joel Osteen wrote in his book becoming a better you, don’t “always work to make yourself successful, help others and yours leave to God”. I can confirm to you God is able to supply according to his riches and glory.
Two years after graduation, I have served as a personal assistant to the Member of Parliament. I have always made it my priority to help people wherever I can. I have made it my responsibility to handle everyone without prejudice. I know sometime it can be difficult but I have tried and I will continue to try. I count integrity the core element if you have to develop generosity.
Going into the future, as Rev Ronald Wooten says we have to know that selfishness attack us before we give, grief attack us after we give and that we have to guard our hearts on both sides.
For if we don’t guard our hearts we will not share our ideas, will not give our suggestions on how to save Africa from sinking into the den of terrorism. We will not stand against corruption which threatens the future of Africa. We will not stand against the social injustice that has been the hallmark of African leadership.
Finally as Rev. Ronald Wooten said, after we develop a generous heart we teach ourselves to be grateful. Dale Carnegie in his book –making friends and influencing people says “every human being is hungry for recognition and appreciation, anybody who learns and master the art will conquer the world.” As a social entrepreneur I am ready to learn and master this skill. Then use it to eradicate poverty, social injustice.


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