Calm and Composed. These two words best describe one of the tallest people I’ve ever met. A man with hope written all over his existence. You could cut him with a razor blade and hope would come out instead of blood. Clinton Nyamongo is unrivalled when it comes to positivity. He is like one of those good guys you see in movies who can talk a suicidal person out of jumping off a 50 storey building. He is also the guy Pepe Minambo had in mind when writing those redundant motivational books. Remember those quotes? The “inspire before you expire” or “aspire to succeed” or the “always have a positive mindset in this world no matter what kind of abyss you find yourself in”.
He went to Alliance. This is a thing nowadays. People who went to Alliance are ‘untouchable.’ At least that’s how they see it. Alliance people, please sit down. (I can almost see Jerry Mageto reading this loudly and saying to himself NO BANAA. Ooh. And there’s that guy Njuru Ben. How on earth can someone be so obsessed Alliance like that!?)
January 2017 is the time I met Clinton. He was in the library. His head bowed to a big law book as if searching for some hidden treasure or meaning. Do you remember that boy from Paulo Coelho’s book The Alchemist? The one who was constantly looking for treasure across the world like a mad man. I saw him in Clinton that day. I said this to myself “the world will conspire to help this guy achieve whatever he wants”. Isn’t that what Paulo Coelho suggests boldly in his bold book?
Clinton’s personality hasn’t changed a single day. He is still the calm and composed guy Ian Keganda introduced me to. (By the way, Thank you Keganda.). He is still the guy who sings loudly in church every Saturday. He is still the guy who meets up with Dale Pascal to play FIFA every Sunday evening. I used to join them. But I stopped for personal reasons. Okay. I stopped for not-so-personal reasons. (They are so lethal in FIFA. But my A game is back. So let them weary of that new development, for I will make a dreadful comeback).
Clinton is in the toughest phase of his life. He is in KSL. KSL here does not mean Kline Science Library. Neither does it refer to Kitchen Sink Language. It’s the Kenya School of Law. If campus was Mount Kilimanjaro then KSL is the Everest. And anyone who feels like campus is a full-blown sea wave should know that KSL is a tornado. Or a typhoon. Like the deadly one that hit Japan. KSL hits like a fat Japanese wrestler would hit an opponent. I have friends in KSL so I know this. (Clinton is one of them). Peace is not something they have known this past year. Sleep has been scarce for them. Their nights are short and days longer. If there is ever a time that one could call it quits, then this is that time. I can’t state how proud I am of them for keeping it together till this moment. (Best wishes to everyone with Bar exams this November).
Clinton showed up for Q and A despite his tight schedule. What a man. Listen to what the man had to say to me.
Clinton. Describe yourself in a few words.
I am a hopeful man. Always believing that when tomorrow comes, the sun will shine brighter.
What’s your main source of motivation?
I’d say the urge to make myself better. That motivates me day after day. I have no mentor. I just mentor myself.
Do “people who went to Alliance” breathe the same oxygen like we all do?
Not at all. (Cheeky laughter follows) We breathe special kind of oxygen. Being an old boy of the school in the thicket elevates you automatically to be a leader in society. You may not understand what I say unless you went there.
How old were you when you started listening to Gaither?
I cannot remember the precise year. At first I never knew that they were the Gaithers. I thought they were a bunch of old people just passing time in their old age. When I realized what this Gaither Franchise was, I was taken aback.
Name one person you can live without
This is quite an interesting question. Who can I live without really? I’d say my landlord. I dread him. He is too petty. We always argue over issues. I understand that I am in his house but then he needs to give me some peace.
Have you ever gone bungee jumping?
Definitely not. I had to Google what bungee jumping is.
Do you have a best friend?
I’d not say I have one best friend. Instead, I have close friends in my innermost circle. Like those who would be at the earth’s core.
Are you a pet person?
Not at all. Unless I’m petting my girlfriend.
(Laughs loud. Irresistible) Do you miss dating?
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to a person?
There was a day I abused an old driver. I was from Galleria headed to Rongai. I gave the conductor 100 bob only to be given less change. I should have reprimanded the conductor. Not abuse the old driver.
What’s your all-time favorite book?
The Bible. It’s the book that I have read and always read.
Who inspires you most in the Bible?
Paul. He proved that even the baddest gangster can be saved.
Describe KSL in three words.
Nimeshindwa. KSL presents a bitter sweet experience.
What is your best 2019 moment so far?
The moment I got a confirmation that my LLM scholarship application had been successful.
Do you ever get lonely?
Of course. I stay alone. 89 percent of my time is spent in solitude. In as much as I appreciate it, I so miss people around me at times.
Your favorite Game of Thrones character?
Lyanna Stark. Her story was just alluded. However, I would have wanted to see how she single handedly made the seven kingdoms be up in arms.
If you were a superhero, who would you rather be?
I would rather be superman. He is the ultimate hero.
What did you take for breakfast this morning?
I haven’t taken any. CLE makes you forget food.
Can you sing the Amazing Grace?
Yes. I can.
What’s your favorite phrase to say?
“The Lannisters send their regards”
Last question. What words do you have for anyone who is reading this?
Ralph Enderson describes success in the following terms:To laugh often and much.To win win respect of intelligent people and affection of children.To earn appreciation of honest critics and endure betrayal of friends.To appreciate beauty.To find the best in others.To leave this world a bit better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition.To know that one life has breathed easier because you lived.This is to have succeeded.I consider this to be the ultimate test of success. The true test of happiness. It is prudent to aim to make the world a better place. By doing so, you will have attained success and happiness will be your portion.
Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Thank you Clinton.
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