Yes, with limited education, he broke the billionaire barrier…

Yes, with limited education, he broke the billionaire barrier…

It was 6.30am on one bright morning alone with the late Hon. Njenga Karume in his Jacarada office. He felt unwell and instructed his secretary to beseech, beg and plead with 4 people who wanted to see him to reschedule the appointment. Mark you, he didn’t need to see them. They needed his assistance. Notice his language… beseech, beg, plead…. Immediately I appreciated why a man who never reached class 4 was so successful. He learned something so critical in life: the way up, is the way down. BTW, he had one driver for 38 years. How often do we get rid of our house-helps, staff, etc? Here is a man who mastered the art of living at peace with people of all walks of life.

In the great Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught, ‘the meek shall inherit the earth’. Everyone who reached the top learnt the art of being in control of their emotions. It is the single greatest asset you will ever acquire to reach the top joyfully. So, how do I maximize my EQ to my decided advantage?


  • Seek to understand, not to be understood – The true mark of maturity is when somebody hurts you and you try to understand their situation instead of trying to hurt them back. Everything that irritates us about others can help us understand ourselves better. Those who judge will never understand; those who understand never judge. Be the greater person by seeking to understand others rather than being understood. Seek to understand your colleagues at work, customers, family members, neighbours, matatu drivers, restaurant waiters etc rather than coercing them to understand you. If you do so, you will be surprised how much they have positively changed! In reality, you are the one who has changed.
  • Learn to Apologize – ‘Ego’ is the only requirement to destroy any relationship; to be the bigger person, skip the ‘E’ and let it ‘Go’. Businesses are lost, career paths destroyed and vital relationships are broken because of massaging our egos. Ego draws a thick veil between us and our faults. Do not allow ego inhibitions between you and the next deal. Apologizing does not mean that you are wrong and the other person is right; it only means that you value the relationship more than your ego. Remember, it is easier to resolve issues than to dissolve a relationship. The most valuable asset you will ever have is people.
  • Accept Corrections – We all make mistakes. It’s just human. Accept corrections as part of life. If someone corrects you and you take offense, you have an ego problem. If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished? Remember, if you are arguing for more than ten minutes you are probably not discussing the underlying conflict. A boat can’t move forward if each one is rowing their own way. The invisible emotional threads are the strongest ties in life. Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of a journey. At other times, it is allowing another to take yours. Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me.

Is it the brightest kid in your primary school who is doing the best in life? Is it the most hand working person who reaches the top? Or, are there industrious people who only do so much? Did you know that reaching at the top is hardly a factor of your IQ or your personality type? While, undeniably, the two play a role in your life, their combined contribution is no more than 43%. While this may shock you, your IQ does not change with more information, education or age. That’s why, at times, you find a mkokoteni operator who thinks faster than a university professor in respect to solving life’s basic challenges. Similarly, your personality is a constant throughout your life. Put it this way, there is little, if any, that you can do to alter your IQ and personality. But, you can raise your EQ level…

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour.  Previous research indicate that 57% of success in life is a factor of EQ – not talents, gifts, skills or level of education. To paraphrase President Calvin Cook, nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talents, the world is full of educated dialects and unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Master your emotions – be in control of your life.


Dr. Kinyanjui Nganga, PhD – Corporate Trainer and Motivational Speaker

One thought on “Yes, with limited education, he broke the billionaire barrier…

  1. Beatrice says:

    I listened to you a few days ago and wanted to present a little scenario by you. Backb in the 80s the women of the world conceived and when the birth pangs hit hard they all boarded a plane to Beijing, China for the delivery what they gave birth to was a baby called ‘girl child’. As a woman I really appreciate and empathize with the challenges and injustices .But the term boy child does not even exist. Are you alive to the boy child crisis? And if so what is the way forward?

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