‘THE COMPANY YOU KEEP SHAPES YOUR CHARACTER’ By Mwangi Ndegwa

Wafula was born in rural Kenya, deep in the county of Kakamega. His parents died when he was still young, leaving him under the care of his...


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Wafula was born in rural Kenya, deep in the county of Kakamega. His parents died when he was still young, leaving him under the care of his aged grandmother. She was not financially well off and barely managed to put her grandson through primary school. From there, the young Wafula had learned to fend for himself. He managed to pull through and despite the challenges, had taught himself different crafts which helped him support his grandmother and his family, later on.

Wafula was blessed with a three children (two daughters and a son who was the last born). One of the crafts that Wafula learnt was moulding, specialising in ventilation moulds. He perfected his craft so well that when the construction boom came in Kakamega town, every contractor was looking for his services, for they knew he would never disappoint.

Despite his success,Wafula had a challenge in the name of Juma his son who  was giving him sleepless nights. Having been brought up in a relatively comfortable environment, Juma had no idea what his father had gone through to get them to where they were. He was hanging around guys who had questionable characters and  had started assimilating their bad behaviours into his system. Wafula knew that if he didn’t act fast, his son might slide into an abyss from wheret he may never climb out. The construction boom was at its peak and Wafula was busier than ever. He had many orders and didn’t want to disappoint his clients. He had to enlist his son into the workforce as a supervisor to make sure that everything flowed smoothly.

During one briefing session to his son about a special order from a high-end client, an idea struck Wafula. It was his habit to design the first moulding frame and make the first ventilation mould to ensure his employees had a clear picture of what he wanted done and this is the same method he used with his son. Once he was done with his demonstration, Wafula rose up and looked his son straight in the eye and told him “My son, I have struggled a lot to get to where I am today. I had to go through much pain to give you the kind of life you are enjoying today. One thing that enabled me to make it this far, despite my little education and financial challenges I went through when young, was choosing the right associates. Most of the people we started out with, are no where to be found, because they involved themselves with the wrong company. I have realised of late that you are keeping the wrong company and this may destroy your future prospects. If you look at this ventilation mould, it has taken the shape of the moulding frame. In the same way, the company you keep will definitely shape your character and ultimately whom you become. If you want to have a good and successful future, your character is the determining factor. Friends can make or break you so you have to be extremely careful of anybody you allow into your life. Friends are like this moulding frame and they are the ones who will help shape your character. Good or bad character is wholly dependent upon the people you surround yourself with. They are your “mould”. To read more by Mwangi, read HERE

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