I’ll keep this brief.
Earlier this week, we lost Mr. John Michuki. I never knew him; but I definitely knew of him. I had heard great things of him through his family and relatively harsh ones through those he crossed. Verily, he had done a great number of great things for the nation but was also credited with some relatively dark executive decisions. But out of respect for the man, I opt to not sully his reputation after his demise. He has done more for the country than most people I know, and for nothing else, some degree of respect is due. He was a ruthless manager in an unruly time who earned the love and respect from millions.
The nation was still mourning for him, when very early today morning, Njenga Karume passed away.
Now, Mr. Karume, I had the honor of knowing. Aside from the stories and the books; the legend of the self-made billionaire that went from nothing to something was more than enough to garner reverence and adulation. But more than that, he was a man of his word and a man of honor. He believed in hard-work and believed in the youth. One of the last things he said to my business partners and I when we last sat in the same room was “It is you who shall lead this nation.” He was referring to us, the youth, the online generation. He believed that we could – and would – change the face of the country and he stood behind his words by supporting our business aspirations in kind, advice, and action.
I was woken up by the call that he had passed away and during the short conversation on the matter something I had heard rumor of came to surface. My uncle once said that Karume had a family of a million. Not because he had a million children, but because he supported a million people; putting them through school, giving them jobs, sponsoring their dreams. It turns out this was true as I read email after email of how he had touched people’s lives. What was more impressive is that he did so humbly and without prejudice.
And for that, I think we should honor his name by not disappointing his dream for our success.
Rest in peace to any and all the great Kenyans that have passed on and strength to the friends and family they leave behind.