I just finished a speaking tour in the US. One of the places I spoke at was Amherst College, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s alma mater. I met with his academic advisor and he remembers him as a quiet student. I also spoke at Colby College in Maine and ended my visit with a talk at Harvard University.
At the age of 15, l was kicked out of school and only got to do my O-level exams last year at 34 years. Being kicked out of school at such a young age didn’t mean it was the end of education for me. Like Mao Zedong, Malcolm X, among other known public intellectuals, l am self-educated. I can honestly say that without reading, l would not be where l am today.
My love for reading helped me secure a place in journalism school without an O-level certificate. I sat for the college entrance exams, just like my fellow students, and passed. My college mates nicknamed me “the boy from Harvard”, because l possessed a lot of knowledge about what we were studying. I hawked books to pay for my college fees and I always delayed selling a book l liked until l had finished reading it.
The reward system in our home is books. My son read his first John Grisham novel at the age of 8. As a family, we have more books than clothes. Because of self-education, and following my life’s passion, I have given talks across Kenya, Ethiopia,Tanzania,Uganda, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands, Switzerland, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Congo, Ghana, Zimbabwe, United Kingdom, USA and at the United Nations. My work has taken me to South Africa, Rwanda, Peru, Belgium, Sweden, France, Canada and Scotland. My TED talk, “The day I stood alone” has been watched by over a million people.
My close friends know that you can never go wrong gifting me a book. The former Chief Justice, Dr. Willy Mutunga, sends me books and articles to read, whenever l share my ignorance on social media in a subject that he believes l need to read more on.¬
What’s my point? Books changed my life.
I want to give everyone a chance to donate a book to a school of their choice or alma mater. If you buy one copy of my book, “Boniface Mwangi UnBounded”, you will get a second copy absolutely free. This copy will be donated in your honour, as long as you cover the cost of delivery to the school. This 340-page book, which has the best of my photography, tells the story of Kenya from the pre-independence days of my grandparents, who fought for Kenya’s freedom, to modern day Kenya and my activism.
Just like me, that young student can have their life changed by reading books. Let us take this opportunity to share stories about our history, courage and the hope for a better Kenya. Never tell a young person anything is impossible. I’m a testament to the fact that even the impossible can be achieved. #BMunBounded
You can order a copy of #BMUnBounded at Sh3,000. M-Pesa Buy Goods: 880922. Phone: 0792788638