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It is never too late to follow your heart

Sunday January 26 2020


Businessman Chris Kirubia in his home. He is in the process of putting up his ‘dream home’. PHOTO | COURTESY 

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Like many Kenyans, I was intrigued when I read that Chris Kirubi, 79, is in the process of putting up his ‘dream home’.

This story, which was published in Business Daily last Friday, was accompanied by a photo of Mr Kirubi seated behind a piano right next to a wide glass door leading to what seemed to be a spacious lawn.

From the little I could see, that might as well be my dream home. Anyway, I am not sure why I was surprised, maybe it was because of the assumption that by the time you clock 70-something, then you must have achieved all your dreams, and if not, given up on them, after all, youth long stopped being on your side.

Or maybe I was surprised because Mr Kirubi, who is no doubt rich, hadn’t yet built his ‘dream home’.

In December last year, I visited a friend who lives in an upcoming estate somewhere in Kiambu County.

The tenants here are mostly middle-aged couples with young schoolgoing children, and most of the houses are three-bedroom maisonettes.



At some point during the visit, my friend asked whether I had seen the “huge” newly-built maisonette two gates away from hers.

Indeed, I had. Compared to the other houses in the estate, this particular one was by far the biggest.

“You won’t believe that the couple that owns the house is over 70 years — their children are all adults, so they live there alone,” my friend said, wondering why such an ‘old’ couple would “waste” money building such a big house said to contain five bedrooms.

Though it wasn’t said out loud, the allusion was that this couple did not have long to live, so why put in so much effort and money into building a house that they had little time left to enjoy?

These two stories got me thinking that perhaps it is never too late to achieve your dreams, that there is no set age to build the house you have always wanted, or buy a car, or travel the world or succeed, whatever our definition of success is or how big or small your dreams are.

Think about it. If all you could afford was a hovel, and then you suddenly come into an unexpected windfall that made it possible for you and your family to live in a decent home with amenities that were beyond your reach for many years, would you still continue living in the same squalid conditions because you’re 80 years old and inching closer to the grave anyway?


I think not. Knowing me, I’d probably throw caution to the wind and spend my remaining time on earth living like a Saudi prince.

The fact is that we’re living on borrowed time; therefore, it makes sense to grab every opportunity to enjoy the good things that life offers us from time to time — even if it is a five-bedroom house that our neighbours think we don’t need.

These two stories reminded me of all the opportunities (and fun) that have passed me by because I told myself that I was not good enough, or young enough, or that too much water had passed under the bridge, or because I worried about what people will say.

At the risk of sounding like a bad motivation book, I say that the year is still young enough to embark on doing the things that we shied away from in 2019, go out there and start achieving your dreams whatever they are.