May 26 2015

Dear 15 year Njoroge

Hey! How is it going over there? Have you adjusted to boarding school life? The cold showers in second term?

new food? harassment? making new friends? I know you are taking it all well. Enjoy the next 4 years, they are going to be some of your best...

It has taken a while for me to put together the words I wanted to share with you, primarily because I feel that you would be disappointed by me. As I edge close to having lived on this earth for 40 years, the dreams and aspirations you have for me, are far from reality. It is unlikely I am going to be President of Kenya anytime soon or control global financial markets with a wave of my hand. Actually the dreams and aspirations you have for me at 21 are far from reality. It is the pain of disappointment that has kept me from writing you this letter, because I felt I had nothing to offer you, but apologies.

Having said that, I do have a number of things to share with you, they are small nuggets I have come to value about this journey of life and some things I know you will appreciate


Those small habits you are picking up like cleanliness, organization, bookkeeping and leadership; those small habits become lifelong friends. They say habits start as cobwebs and then they become chains; so keep those habits going. There is one habit you should embrace right away, the love for books, start this one early. Especially books outside of the 8-4-4 regime.


I know how much you hate running, well believe this: one day you will love running! In fact you will be running up the Ngong Hills almost weekly! Life has a way of making the impossible, possible. The same goes for girls, especially her. Yes, her, the one you will meet next year. Yes her, she who will make your heart beat very fast and ignite a mini-career in manufacturing romantic poems. Well, life is full of surprises. Never take things too seriously, go with the flow. The same goes for your growing zeal for religion.

I could could go on about surprises, but there is one you will get a kick out of - you will discover family - a brother who is an American superstar - who is right now just beginning his extraordinary career, you will discover him on something called the internet.

Learn new things.

Kiswahili and Tennis. I know it is never too late to start or improve on something, but you, right now, have a great opportunity to become a better Kiswahili speaker and to learn an entirely new sport. Take it!


You will make some of your best friends in the next 4 years. Fully indulge yourself with them, the memories you are about to create together have a way of lasting forever.

Fear less

Yes, just fear less.

Your dreams are valid.

Although I have seriously fallen short of the very ambitious dreams, you are busy conjuring up for me, keep dreaming. Keep those dreams alive, they continue to prod me up to today. Some have turned out well and some are still in the making. Keep dreaming. It is a fuel that keeps you moving.

Lastly, and seriously

While researching on what to write to you (on this thing called the internet), I came across many people who have taken on this unique idea of writing to their 15 year old self, and one reminded me of something I must tell you. I want you to know about this early so you can plan and execute with precision. You will achieve one of your dreams of getting to Stanford University, while there you will meet some people from a company called Google. Do whatever is necessary to get into that company and buy its stock. That is all. That will set all things right.

Much love and respect



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