Obama is here: Kenyans better watch your behavior

US President Barack Obama disembarks from Air Force One upon arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, July 24, 2015. PHOTO | SAUL LOEB |  AFP

US President Barack Obama disembarks from Air Force One upon arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, July 24, 2015. [PHOTO | SAUL LOEB | AFP]

A fairy tale is told of a poor woodcutter who lived for ages with his miserable wife devoid of any shred of wealth or fortune.  The destitute man lamented bitterly to Jupiter (the fairy).

“Some men have only to make known their desires, and straightaway these are granted, and their every wish fulfilled; but it has availed me little to wish for ought, for the gods are deaf to the prayers of such as I.”

Out of this cry, Jupiter subsequently granted the woodcutter three wishes that should have changed their lives.  The woodcutter’s wife, however, advised him to take some time to think before pronouncing his wishes.

“That is well spoken my dame,” the poor man said to his wife. “Meanwhile fetch a bottle of our best, and we shall drink to our good fortune.”

In this comfort zone, the man relaxed beside the warmth of his wife and the fire feeling relieved of their plights.

Thrilled and a tad tipsy, he said: “This is a great feeling and opportunity, how I wish for a good lick of black pudding here before me.” Unconsciously his wish was fulfilled and the place was brimmed with black pudding.

The wife was mad at him and rebuked him for such a brainless wish.  Offended by his wife’s comments, he wished all the black pudding to stick in her nose; hence the second wish came to pass.

They were left with only one final wish. The budding was in his wife’s nose, and the only way to get rid of it was through the last wish.

And so their lives never changed despite the opportunity that was presented before them.

Prominent American business writer Tom Peters said that if a window of opportunity arises, don’t pull down the shade. I can bet most Kenyans, even now, are still not aware of the key mission of President Obama’s visit.

The United States embassy in Kenya has received an influx of invitation letters in which every Kimani, Oluoch and Mohamed is requesting the President to pay them a visit in the comfort of their homes.

I am not trying to condemn the African culture of hospitality, however, this is no time for Kenyans to sit and relax hoping that all their lifetime wishes will be fulfilled by President Obama.

The frenzy about Obama’s homecoming should not make Kenyans lose sight of their window of opportunity. This is obviously the last time Obama might be coming to Kenya as the President of United States. There are many strategic minded entrepreneurs who may not even shake the hands of the President but their life will be transformed with this Jupiter’s visit.

These entrepreneurs are aware that while Obama will be discussing economic co-operation and security issues with President Uhuru, real investors will be in the grassroots fishing for those who are prepared for success.

There are numerous investors including the Shark Tank billionaires who are coming to hunt for potential entrepreneurs and investing grounds. Obama’s visit is just like the blue moon that appears once in a while, but we must not forget to remember the stars that shine along with the moon from twilight to dawn.

When Moses wanted to lead the Israelites across the Red Sea, God asked him “What do you have in your hands?” Opportunity cannot knock on house without a door and a famous Swahili saying asserts that an empty hand cannot be licked.

What doors of opportunity are Kenyan entrepreneurs prepared with to solicit for investors?

This is a time when entrepreneurs from our universities such as JKUAT should be preparing to market their Taifa laptop in their pursuit to compete effectively with Hewlett Packard or Apple brands in the global market.

Some might call this a mere illusion or lunacy yet they believe that it is possible to marry Malia Obama in exchange for 70 sheep, 50 cows, and 30 goats.

Me thinks it is not too late to send a letter or write an email to the Embassy, but even as we do so, let’s be objective in our requests in order to avoid exposing ignorance and shame at this juncture when visitors are in the house that is Kenya.

When we were kids, and visitors were coming home, mum would issue these warnings in advance.

“Make sure you behave! Or get out of here till the visitors are gone, because I don’t want you to embarrass me with my guests.”

As for me and my siblings we chose to behave due to the respect for our mother and home.

So Kenyans, make your choice as well. Shall we behave in the presence of visitors?

George Asimba is Sahan Journal contributor. You can reach him at asimbageorge@gmail.com

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