(KDRTV) – In 1980, I passed my A-Levels and got accepted to study law at the University of Nairobi. However, during my last year of form 6, I led a troop of fellow students to various foreign embassies looking for scholarships to study in universities abroad. All said no. Undeterred, I still went ahead and applied to 20 universities based in USA and Canada, and received acceptance from eight universities.
I received admission papers and proceeded to apply for USA student visa armed with all requisite documentations. The American consular looked through my papers and then rejected them. So I asked him why he rejected my papers which he replied casually,
“You are a flight risk”.”What do you mean am a flight risk? I am just going to study and then come back home”No! Came his replied.
“You look like a candidate for flight risk”. And that marked the end of our conversation. I left USA embassy a dejected person, helplessly seeing my dream crushed by the consular.
Two days late, on a Saturday afternoon I was playing a tennis interclub competition at parklands club, and guess who I find myself playing against? The same consular officer who had rejected my visa application! Luckily I defeated him.
After the game, the man looked at me and said,”I have seen you before”.
I replied, “yes, I came to see you on Thursday and you rejected my visa application”.Why? He asked.”You considered me a flight risk”.He laughed and invited me to his office on Monday morning.
So on Monday morning I went in and got my visa courtesy of my tennis playing skills. I have never felt more relieved in my life! Interestingly enough, the game of tennis was to open more doors in future including a life changing appointment with the ruler of Qatar (Story for another day).
Here is the key;Although I had excellent academic grades, they could only get me scholarship to study in USA. To get a visa, my tennis playing skills came into play.
We all have many talents; some of us are good swimmers, singers, writers, orators, artist, athletes, sportsmen etc. work on your talents. Don’t let them rust. They are unique sets of skills given unto all of us to help us survive in this world. All life failures are failures to recognize what we are good at and lack of perfection our skills.
I watch with amazement when I see young men and women get jobs after college and then completely forget about their talents. Being employed isn’t talent or skill! I watch them concentrate on their careers but completely ignore their talents. Ask yourself how many Kenyan athletes have made it to the world stage, making millions in return while still serving as policemen and soldiers? Talk of Eliud Kipchoge and David Rudisha…
My Tennis playing skills was to open for me the door to meet the Ruler of Qatar. This changed my life in a major way! It is this single connection that enable me to make loads of dollars so that at the age of 29 years, I was a dollar millionaire!
Look at Michael Olunga who currently plays football in Japan, assuming that he decided to stopped playing football to focus on his Engineering degree, would he have made it this far? Work on all your talents. You never know what opportunities it can open.