Hats Off!

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I’m no Saint.

This is probably one of the most useless phrases ever coined. I mean, it says literally nothing. It also sets the bar really low. The devil himself could use this phrase, and be 100% truthful! Think about that.

I know, you know what I mean – Ms. Look-the-other-way when a crippled beggar approaches. And you, Mr. Pee-by-the-roadside, you know better!

But hey, I’m not judging. OK, I am. A little bit. I mean, is it too much to ask that we not pee in public? Why force innocent passers-by to look hastily away, as if they are the ones being indecent? But you have your reasons, I’m sure. Just like I could easily explain keeping my eyes averted from every other beggar.

“I don’t have coins.” Oh, that makes perfect sense, because paper money is pretty much useless to beggars!

“Some beggars are frauds.” So true!

“My shillings won’t get him off the street.” So, so true!

I could go on and on. But here’s the clincher;

“I can’t help everyone.”

Bill Gates, with all his money, couldn’t help everyone if he wanted to. He is only worth 86.9 Billion dollars, and there are 7.5 Billion people in the world…mhhhh…

“Hey Gates…Pssst, I have some mathematical ideas (chuckle, chuckle)”

I can just hear Mr. Gates muttering under his breath “Can everyone just quit trying to divide my money?”

“Oh, sorry sir. I wasn’t going to suggest that all!”

“Right.” Eye roll.

Now there’s one thing I bet I could do better than Mr. Gates – eye rolls. I swear, if I had a penny for every time I’ve rolled my eyes…

Seriously though, what could I possibly do? My bank statement can hardly make a statement. Besides, there has to be someone better in the remaining 7.49 something, something billion people, right?

Someone better placed;

Someone smarter;

Someone born in the right continent;

Someone with the right skin color;

The right accent;

The right talent;

Someone raised in the right environment;

Taught the right things;

By the right teachers;

Someone with the right perspective;

The right opinion;

The right resources;

Someone better;

Surely, there must be!

But that’s just the thing – there is, and there isn’t.

I ‘m willing to bet my last penny, that almost everyone else is thinking the exact same thing. Laughing nervously and looking the other way. Holding their breath and waiting on someone else to do something.

Then, there are a few people – not saints or billionaires. Just ordinary people with yards of limitations and personal struggles. People who nevertheless, take it upon themselves to do something. Not publicly, in the way of politicians wishing to be reelected. Not selfishly, in the way of preachers, sowing only where they may reap. Not typically, in the way of good people, doing no wrong, righting no wrongs.

Today, I’d like to pay homage to one such person.

Francis Kinoti;

A man with passion the size of Kilimanjaro – You will find him unafraid in the heart of Baragoi.

Undaunted by cultural constraints, or the language barrier, he is right at home with the women of Nachola. For five years, he has worked tirelessly, to save the lives of the women and children. He has sensitized and adapted. He has built maternal shelters that conform to the Turkana culture.

He has lobbied and pleaded. He has dipped, many times into his own not-so-deep pocket, for a cause he believes in. Sending new mothers on their way, with care packages – second hand clothes for the newborns and some food for the family back home.

“We have never lost a baby or a mother,” He says with pride. The same pride with which he speaks of the flowers and vegetables thriving outside the maternity ward. The praises he lavishes upon the women who water them, in spite of the drought in this region. The women who cook for the laboring mothers. The women who stay with him, sometimes all night, while he helps brings to light, yet another miracle of birth. The women who protest loudly, when he tells them that he’s taking a short leave – the first in five years!

This man leaves me in awe.

If I never meet Barack Obama or Bill Gates, I’ll still know, that I’ve met a truly great person. A man who takes the little he has, turns it into something, and touches countless lives.

Take your hat off for Mr. Kinoti, won’t you? And while you do, ask yourself as I often do –

“What do I believe in, and what am I doing about it?”

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  1. As a development worker who is very familiar with severe challenges in health service delivery, I couldn’t help but get a little teary… I am passionate about bringing total transformation in the way that Ugandan duty bearers respond to Pediatric HIV care, Nodding Syndrome disease and so many other things like gender equity that ‘the great’ men and women in my country want to wish away. Every I get up with the hope that I will meet another Francis Kinoti who carries the same passion and drive enough to bring even a little change. Pheew, I am pleased to have read this post this Monday Morning. Thank You Martha.

  2. Hats off to Mr Kinoti. …..and hats off to me…..yes me…..for the little things I do that go unseen but are appreciated. It does not have to be as large as an iceberg even if it were as tiny as a snow flake……..it helped somebody somewhere. Enough said. I will continue being kind and care for those that need it as long as I have my energies in place!

  3. Hats off! This can only be a calling from the most High! May God continue to bless the work of his hands!

    Hats off!

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