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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Are You A Late Bloomer And Don't Even Know It?

From far right: Mario Puzo, Poster of The Godfather, Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, Jomo Kenyatta, Mount Kenya.

A late bloomer is a person whose talents or capabilities are not visible to others until much later than usual in life.

The truth is that the Kenyan political landscape is filled with late bloomers starting with Kenya’s first president and founding father of the nation Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

Kenya as a nation is just beginning to emerge from the abyss and will no doubt be a late bloomer, just how late is anybody’s guess because she is already almost 50 years old. Still many would argue that for a nation that is still very young.

But in this post I would like to focus more on individuals and what they have achieved. I stumbled on this information and I thought it would make a nice change from all the negativity that comes with the territory that is Kenyan politics.

There is no denying that genius and creativity is popularly associated with the freshness and vigour of youth and indeed there are plenty of examples. Mozart wrote his breakthrough Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-Flat-Major at the age of twenty-one. Orson Welles made his masterpiece, “Citizen Kane,” at twenty-five.

Closer to home Tom Mboya clocked many of his achievements while in his late 20s and early 30s. Mwai Kibaki was in the cabinet in his early 20s.

But I guess the truth here is best described by what a friend said in a recent Facebook discussion we were having with quite a number of old school mates. He said that those destined for greatness have to finally emerge no matter how long it takes. In other words time is not a factor in true genius and creativity.

So my hope is that if you are reading this and have always felt that you have passed your sell-by-date by a decade or two or even three, then let this be the post that inspires you to turn around your life.

There are some pretty amazing things very old people have done. Jomo Kenyatta did the intricate balancing act of leading Kenya to independence with all the political jostling and set a firm foundation for the new nation of Kenya when he was already well into his seventies.

In business Irene Wells Pennington became best known in her nineties when she helped straighten out irregularities in her husband's oil business after he went senile in his own 90s. Colonel Sanders began his franchise in his sixties and can also be deemed a late in life financial success.

And then there is my all time favourite late bloomer, Mario Puzo. That’s the guy who wrote the runaway best seller called The Godfather. For years Mr Puzo struggled doing the kind of writing where he could not even afford to put food on the table for his family.

Puzo's most famous work, The Godfather, was first published in 1969 (when Puzo was 49 years old). He based it on anecdotes about the Mafia organizations that he had heard during his time in pulp journalism. He later said in an interview with Larry King that his main motivation in writing the book was to make money. By this time he had already written two earlier books that had received great reviews, yet had not amounted to much. As a government clerk with five children, he was looking to write something that would appeal to the masses and make a killing. And it happened beyond Puzo’s wildest dreams because after the huge success of this book, others followed and then the films.

The story of the making of The Godfather is another Cinderella saga. Paramount was in financial trouble at the time of production and was very desperate for a "big hit" to boost business, hence the pressure director Francis Ford Coppola faced during filming. They were determined that The Godfather should appeal to a wide audience and threatened Coppola with a "violence coach" to make the film more exciting. Coppola added a few more violent scenes to keep the studio happy. The scene in which the character of Connie breaks dishes after finding out that her husband is cheating was added for this reason.

And the list can go on and on.

Quit feeling sorry for yourself and get out there and do whatever it is you were brought into this earth to do.

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13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very inspiring Chris,

You are very right - and I quote you:

"The truth here is best described by what a friend said in a recent Facebook discussion we were having with quite a number of old school mates. He said that those destined for greatness have to finally emerge no matter how long it takes. In other words time is not a factor in true genius and creativity.

So my hope is that if you are reading this and have always felt that you have passed your sell-by-date by a decade or two or even three, then let this be the post that inspires you to turn around your life.
"

Once again I, and I'm sure many other die-hard fans of yours, would like to thank you for coming back to kumekucha and posting articles more frequently.

I don't know whether I should say this - anyway I will. I was an old school mate of yours, although 1 class behind you at Lenana School. I remember you were in Kirk house while I was in CF (Carey Francis). For now let me remain anonymous.

All things considered, you have a great blog. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Amen to this very inspiring article, kudos Chris.
***************
Now, eti Chris was in Lenana back in the day just like the anon above? These must be rich kids who have never gone hungry or barefoot like me. Good for you spoilt kids!

Anonymous said...

I was not in Lenana H but Musingu H but we meet in KK.

Chris you are great and your come back is appreciated. Am sure that if you had a meter you would surely agree that traffic is flowing back to KK.

Now we need a presidentrial candidate who is capable of uniting all kenyans from all tribes, religion,race class etc.The candidate should spearhead the overall national development with an objective of raising Kenya to the next economic level

KK should come in handy and start laying an awareness groundwork for all of us on such a candidate.

We wouldn't mind partyless or independent candidate for that matter.

Anonymous said...

Chris thanks for this interesting post once again.
Please answer for me the following questions
1)Why would anyone in this day and agae start anything from scratch and choose to ignore the prior satisfactory results to whatever problem they are tackling?
2)Shouldn't we seek to understand and apply existing solutions even if we don't necessarily have to use them exactly as they are?
3)Why can't we harness all the power that is available in this century to add additional value to our lives and country instead of acting like we know little or nothing?

I believe late bloomers can become early bloomers simply by learning preexisting lessons

Anonymous said...

The Head And Not The Tail
Deuteronomy 28:13

And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath…

Beloved, when God makes you the head, you will end up on top of your circumstances. Consider the story of Joseph. (Genesis 39) Even when he was a slave, he was the head and not the tail because God prospered everything that he did.

What you are going through is only temporal. Keep believing that you are above only and not beneath, even when you have hit rock bottom. It is God who always causes you to triumph in Christ. (2Corinthians 2:14) You cannot cause yourself to triumph. Only God can and He has promised in His Word that you will be the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath. So believe His Word in spite of your circumstances and expect to see victory!

Anonymous said...

My comment will be two fold.
First, I am excited that Chris has remained faithful to his word and has been posting regularly. I have already invited a couple of pals to KK.

Secondly, this message is very timely for kumekucha`s own pensioner mzee Taabu. If you are reading this, know that you can still bloom while in retirement but you have to be positive about life.

Taabu, there is a challenge.

Anonymous said...

Kalonzo Musyoka is going to win 2012.
HE President Kalonzo Musyoka sounds very catchy to me... Can't wait!!

Anonymous said...

Is that why it's always said that Age is just a number?

No wonder some people have 'it' and that's why the 'it' as in whatever special or unique talent maybe engrained in them, does emerge at one point or another in the course of their lives.

That's one of the main reasons why ...time is a factor in true genius and creativity and more so those destined for greatness have to finally emerge no matter how long it takes.

Certain individuals with special talents have the ability to potentially improve the quality of their work and at the same time distinguish themselves from most of their contemporaries.

However, the ability to improve on the quality of the work(s) of who would be famous inventors, creators, innovators, producers, authors such as Mario Puzo et al, is influenced by many other factors which maybe within our control or beyond our control for whatever reasons.

But the quality of life and condition of a person's mental health plus one's immediate environment (as in life-situations), can also influence how well great minds are able to birth their final product or even a series of many more quality products (body of work) during their lifetime.

Some great minds may require significant time and financial investment, while others may only require the 'ahaa moment' [the call within the call] to change or jumpstart the course of their creative lives.

Lest we forget, only a few extremely gifted individuals have the will, discipline, tenacity, focus, and ability to significantly improve their body of work with age, according to the experts.

Many other gifted individuals in our midst have little or no potential of reaching greatness, their peak, due to the fact that they never learned how to withdrawn from the "dumb phase" of letting other people's opinions, remarks, evaluations, gossip, views or usual rejection dictate, affect or influence one's life-long view of self in a very negative light.

Sadly, there is no denying that genius and creativity is popularly associated with the freshness and vigour of youth and indeed there are plenty of exmaples.

Anonymous said...

Chris,
Karibu Ganze, hapo hapo karibu Palakumi, Mitingani na Mrima wa Ngege. Kwa hivi sasa mambo ya mebamba huko Bamba.

I am not a late bloomer but everyone gets to be young once, and quitting while you are ahead of the game is not the same as quitting while your game is about to end.

Open invitation, karibu Ganze. Karibu.

Anonymous said...

My hat goes off to Mr. Mario Puzo, a late bloomer with a brilliantly sinister talent.

The Godfather sold more than 15 million copies in the United States alone.

Now multiple 15 million by $17.95 a copy and what do you get? You end up with a real genius, a godfather in Late Bloomers' Hall of Fame.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for later bloomers to make it at the Olympics by winning gold medals.

Anonymous said...

One thing is 4 sure, neither Rao nor any of our politician is a late bloomer

Anonymous said...

Chris, you forgot the dead bloomers.
People like E-sir who only rose to fame and sell many records ONLY after their untimely demise.

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