I had been dealing with rejection all along.
I now realize that.
Afraid to offend, eager to please, because I didn’t want to be rejected.
I didn’t want to be turned down or turned away.
Whenever I got to the crossroads of life and I had to say goodbye, I’d rather not.
I’d been afraid of being rejected by my wife, by my congregation, by my fans, by government…by anyone really.
I developed a mechanism to deal with it.
Great English, a polished look, a sense of humour and clever ways to delay or avoid rejection.
But too bad this time.
It’s actually ok if they don’t like me.
It’s ok if she says no.
It’s ok if he says no.
It’s fine if they-whoever they are-leave me.
I’m fine now.
I’m not afraid of being told “no”.
Not any more because I realize this is now and not then.
They, whoever they are…
They are not Mom and Dad that Saturday afternoon in 1974 when they went out as a family without me and left me crying at home.
It’s not 1982 when they said I’d fail the exams and then I didn’t.
It’s not 1983 again when they sent me far away to boarding school and I didn’t really want to go to.
They are not the kids in school that called me “zinjy”…”blackie” and made me feel so ugly because I was dark skinned and my brother and sister were not.
As if dark skin were a disease.
They-whoever they are, are not the leaders of the Nairobi Baptist Church who didn’t understand me and refused to let my new expression find place in their church in the 1990’s.
They’re not the Fellowship of Christian Unions in Kenya and the Pastors of the Church in Nairobi that wrote letters, exchanged phone calls and outright demonized and persecuted me.
They’re not KBC whose boss machinated to keep me off the air.
They’re not Capital FM who refused to play my songs.
This is now.
I know who I am.
I was always intelligent.
I was always attractive.
I was always gifted.
I was always called.
I was always special.
So too bad rejection.
Too bad fear…
Even when you do your worst, I will succeed.
The world will know my name.
The world will see my gift.
I will laugh loudly, express my opinion and exercise my gift…
I say goodbye to rejection and fear today.