Articles > John Gora

Just Start from There

By John Gora

Chak achaka nyathina* (Just Start my son)

Just after I received my fee structure from Moi University for my PhD totalling 850,000 in 2012 I met my dad, Charles at cooperative bank in Homa Bay. I explained to him that I had the admission letter and he smiled. I told him however, "Baba there is a problem, they need 850,000"_ He held my hands then slowly but reassuringly said, "my son just start"

To ensure his point went home he got into his account and gave me 14000 in an account that had 20,000. I was touched. I added 16000. I paid 30,000 to the account and my journey to PhD began.

Today having reached the dream I remembered the words of my father. In everything you do always remember ‘Just Start.’  Just begin no matter how difficult it seems to be. It appeared to be difficult but as time lapsed I realized dad was right. At some point, after my defence, I gave up. I still had a solid 300000 to pay, they won't give me a chance for final defence. Then came a very unlikely help. I had supported a gentleman to undertake a project evaluation two times in the year. I received his call cautiously asking me to meet him. He was carrying a brown envelope in his hand. He began:

"Benson you will forgive me if you find my action inappropriate. For two consecutive times, you have given me a job without asking a cent. This is very unusual with many people. I did not know how to approach you but am deep with gratitude. Please accept my small gift."

I quickly peered into the envelope and saw they were two bundles likely in hundreds. He confirmed that it was 200,000. I told him, _"I have helped so many people, many known to me, some were my school mates who never returned a cent. God bless you. Please don't give it to me. Pay it straight to the university account."_

I couldn't believe it. The words of my father Nyathina chak achaka (my son Just Start) rung on my head with familiarity. Don't worry how it will end, chak achaka (just start). If you are building a house, chak achaka. If you are planning to buy land, chak achaka. If you want continue your education, chak achaka. If you want pay dowry, chak achaka. Nothing is powerful as this word my people. We just need to begin.

I have revised this philosophy. Whenever someone is doing something I always encourage them, tem atema (Just Try). When things get thick I always say, wuoth awuotha (Just Walk). When things are intimidating, cha achaka. Let's keep trying my brothers. Don't give up in life just because it looks insurmountable. Do not be defeated before you begin. Whatever looks like a mountain soon becomes an anthill only if you begin.

Not long ago someone asked me, "Bennie to now this dormitory you want us to build in Mbita will we manage?" My answer, "wachak achaka" I believe in the power of starting. No one loses a race until they respond to the start gun and begin. The secret lies in beginning. Overtime God has seen me through a number of projects because of this philosophy. I have land parcels that I acquired by simply paying 5,000. Overtime these have become thousands. Many a time I can't even tell how I managed the big sum that is their value.

I persuade you this morning never to allow yourself to be threatened by the size of your problems. Begin in a small way doing something about it. If it is lack of money do a small thing to get something for yourself. If it is marital issues look for a small way to solve it. In whatever you face, chak achaka. Even those with big debts can do something about it, chak achaka and it will shrink each day.

I am not a millionaire but one time I wanted to have a feeling of being one. I drew a plan of how to hold a million in my account at least for few days. After few months of chako I discovered it was possible. A year and half later of savings I got my first ever million. Even though I scattered it later into investment and expenses, it felt so good. Wachakuru achaka my people. Let's ignore naysayers and doom predictors that opine low earners can’t invest can't invest. Wachakuru achaka nyithindwa.