“Text 155 and kiss poverty goodbye!, I am divorcing brokeness with Kiika Too Good”. Those are the ads I have bombarding me even on my usually ‘safe’ radio station. The government itself dedicates entire programs planned for years and years to come to alleviate my poverty, and eradicate it once and for all. What I want to know though is this, when was I bundled up, packaged and wrapped ever so beautifully in lace and all things bridal and then handed over to this man called poverty.
What sort of parent would do that? What kind of bride price did poverty pay to have me? I consider myself rather beautiful and valuable by the way so please understand my confusion when in the morning I arise and the world is asking me to walk away from pennilessness and embrace the riches that Zain, Warid’s Mr. Pesa, and Barclays’ talking cheque book have for me.
You see, before you begin to explain to me how I have all the resources to rid myself of poverty, I must clarify a few things. I was born in Africa, raised here and had my eyes opened up around the world. It doesn’t make me less African but it does make me a lot more open-minded. I have had the privilege of seeing other people’s struggles and I call this a privilege with the utmost respect because these people’s pain has helped me avoid some of my own.
Being an African almost undoubtedly teaches you to strive for and or fight for something. I am not yet sure what caused this great generalization but like poverty, it has to let up and leave me alone. I am not a fighter and neither am I poor. I had no part in the deed that may or may not have been signed thousands of years ago and the color of my skin is no excuse for what I have or have not done for myself, my family, and my nation. Notice that I skip the ‘tribe’ aspect because that is of little significance in my world. I am part of the nation because of my contribution to the nation. If then I consider myself a tribesman but bring nothing to that particular kingdom, how do I gain from the greater nation or expect to gain from it only by enriching my tribesmen? Is there nationalism in that mindset?
As you can see, I am a being caged in and boxed in by a lot of descriptions but none of them were ever a point of consultation or agreement with me. I am not pleased with the hanging urge all over the market place and in any thing money related to use dishonest scales, over zealous shrewdness and claim that it is prudence to succeed. No, I am not going to cheat you of your true wages worth because I am trying to save a buck and that’s what makes me a good business person. Never will I make your idea my own because I have the resources to execute it and you do not.
This is why I am not poor. Nothing about me is connected to poverty. I was not born in lack and have not known lack in the most essential of things in life. Now I know a lot of you are thinking, how conceited this writer must be! But I speak the truth, I have never had my dignity stripped for me to survive and I would like to thank the Kingdom of Heaven for that.
Though there are sufferings in this world, the God I serve loves and adores me as a father does his only son. And because I am from the vine that gives life to the branch, I emulate the life of the Father and breathe His very essence. I am as His likeness and believe me, He is not poor. He is anything but starving. He is the giver of life.
Again, how does this relate to my earthly being? I have nothing at all to do with poverty and I do not need anyone to be explaining to me how to ditch one corrupted mindset for another falsehood. What kind of adulterous relationship is that anyway? I leave poverty to cheat with greed? No thank you. I will not gamble to win, I will not use my luck to make it because there is no such thing as luck in my life. I will not want a quick fix because the tears of today prepare the ground on which my empire is crowned in God’s clear ending for me.
Not only do I not expect my credibility to sky-rocket over night, I do not expect my bank account balance to double over night when I have not been prudent with the little I have been given. Think about this verse Jesus in Luke 16: “If you are faithful in little, you will be faithful in large ones, and if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest in greater responsibilities.” Read the parable here; Jesus is speaking about a manager who was not doing what he was meant to do and as a result lost his job. Instead of making right his path, he went on further into dishonesty and attempted to make his master pleased by corrupting the master’s debtors to reduce the amounts he owed each of them by half. The master, being dishonest himself and blinded by unrighteous gains, accepted his manager back for all the wrong reasons.
My dear brothers and sisters, I don’t know about you but I have woken up to a great new beginning. Much as I am not wealthy with worldly riches, I understand now that I must first be faithful in the little I have before I can even wish or be entrusted with anything greater than I have been appropriated. So, from now on, do not call me poor or broke, or even ex-poverty. Call me diligent steward, faithful servant, and purposed person.