All posts in Success

Fare Thee Well Leonard Nimoy

The wise Nimoy in character as Spock

I have mourned him like an old friend. This loss feels so tangible, so real, and yet… we have never met. So, it’s really no surprise that I feel sad, at a loss, devastated even, and yet confused as to how his death can mean so much to me.

My childhood icon Spock is dead.

Spock doesn’t exist.

First Officer Spock was a character in the original television series of Star Trek, and the man himself, actor Leonard Nimoy, has passed away at 83 after living a full life… and I have sobbed as though I have lost a close friend.


Now, let’s hit the rewind button… back in the day when KBC was VOK or Voice of Kenya in full, we would rush home after school, keen to watch television. In those days tv started at 5 o’clock and I remember sitting in front of the the big box, the television set as we called it, with a bank screen staring back at me as white sound pierced through the otherwise silent room. At some point vertical colored lines would appear on the screen, this was an indication that it was nearly 5pm and the broadcast was about to start. After that I think we had the VOK logo and some music playing, then at 5pm on the dot the national anthem would play. I would gleefully fling myself on my feet, off the ground where I had lain on my belly, kicking my feet in the air, patiently waiting for ages for this very moment. Like a good citizen I would leap up and in our living room stand to attention, salute dramatically and sing our beautiful anthem…

“Oh God of all creation,
Bless this our land and nation…”

After the anthem a presenter would take us through the evening lineup and shows would then begin. Yes young’uns we have come a long, long, long way..

Well, back to Spock now and one of my most loved shows was Star Trek. The story of the starship Enterprise and its crew. The music would start and the epic voiced introduction would run,

“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

For the next hour we were lost in a world of adventure, aliens, danger, friendship, alliances, loyalty, leadership and the First Officer Spock who was half human and half vulcan and always relied on his knowledge and logic to steer the leadership decisions of the gallant but highly spirited Captain James Tiberius Kirk.

I was entranced with the whole idea of Star Trek and now, decades later I genuinely and deeply mourn an iconic character who gave me so much adventure, instruction and joy. I do believe Leonard Nimoy knew just how loved his character was, but reading his poetry I realize that the man himself was a treasure, a special, gifted and spiritual being.

And so, what is it that this man planted in my soul that makes me wail at his passing? What have I taken from Spock and Nimoy that so deeply touches my spirit? I am sure the list is endless but there are three things in particular that I would like to share with you.

3. LLAP The most famous lines uttered by Spock are “Live Long and Prosper.”
Now, I believe that the words we speak have great power. When we wish blessings upon each other there is a positive power carried in these words that translates unconsciously and deeply into our psyche. When we speak ill, abuse or attack each other, it has a similar but deeply negative power. Live long and prosper is a great blessing that Nimoy himself wrote into the character of Spock and the people of Vulcan. This spirit of moral virtue, wishing well upon others, speaks volumes of the man. I can’t help but think it has deeply shaped who I am today.

2. Seek Your Own Destiny
Temperance is a state rarely celebrated and yet so enchanting. It is is a representation of a great virtue, of incredible grace. Temperance is moderation, but more than this it encompasses aspects of self control, discipline, intellect, choice. Like Spock, Nimoy lived an incredible life of accomplishment and yet he did not give himself up to the extremes that so many of his colleagues fell victim to. Nimoy celebrated his artistic gifts as an actor, writer, producer, director, photographer and poet. He lived a life that HE valued, not that others expected of him. Walk your own path, he seemed to say, seek your own destiny.

Nimoy once stated,

“I think it’s my adventure, my trip, my journey, and I guess my attitude is, let the chips fall where they may.”

What an incredible lesson. What an incredible example.

1. Boldly Go…
As I ponder upon his most dramatic lesson for me, I can’t help but smile. There are so many reasons why this lesson stands out today. The media industry, that has been my home for 15 years now, is going through an intense period transformation. It is unchartered territory, and while we can project some trends we cannot predict the future. It is daunting… But as First Officer Spock would matter-of-factly say,

“Change is the essential process of all existence.”

While my true nature resents change, and seeks the comfort of familiarity, I have trained myself to live by the mantra ‘evolution is life’. I understand it is sometimes critical to let go, to transform, to adjust, in order to survive, to succeed and to thrive. This lesson is critical now as we seek to redefine television broadcast in Kenya and globally. Indeed, the power of content is incredible and this is a critical moment to take stock and boldly go into a new era. Thank you Nimoy for helping to mould me into a better and bolder person.

As I end my long and rambling thoughts on this man who I mourn and yet celebrate, I am determined to spread a spirit of positivity (Live Long and Prosper), embrace temperance and to boldly go where no man (or woman) has gone before, and in doing so to blaze a trail for others.

And to quote Nimoy’s beautiful poem ‘You and I Have Learned’,

You and I
have learned
the song of love…

The miracle is this
The more we share..
The more
We have


Dear Leonard, I hear the angels sing as they receive you, my soul looks forward to meeting yours in the afterlife. You lived a great life. LLAP.

Love, light & blessings :D

Ludicrous Ridicule aka Heavens Kiss


Ludicrous Ridicule aka Heavens Kiss

By Julie Gichuru

They thought they could abuse you,
They thought they’d take you down,
They didn’t realize each insult,
Was a thorn for a blessed crown.

He was despised and rejected;
Forsaken, and in grief,
Yet He’s the Lord and Saviour
Who washed His followers feet.

Humility & virtue,
And deep enduring love-
For God held him together;
From the fray, kept Him above.

Your pain is therefore treasure,
You walk the very same path
That He endured and never
Turned to the state of wrath.

They’ve called me many things
Some of which my heart embraced,
They hissed ‘Grandma’ and I was stunned,
For tis such a blessed state!

Did they think I’d be offended,
At the thought that I could be…
A grandmother of many,
With a blessed progeny?

It is in fact a blessing
To live so many years,
That you sit with your progeny,
And share their hopes & fears.

They called me a tribalist; me?
Really, such a cheek!
I’ve no time for human boxes,
Tis character I seek.

They attacked my Asian heritage
‘Pakistani woman’ they hissed at me!
I’m the child of an Afr-Asian marriage,
This blood runs deep, indeed!

My soul, like the African Savanah
Roams far and wild and free;
My blood’s like the Asian tiger
Fiery & passionate for all to see…

Like Malala – strong in grace;
Strengthened by her scars;
Beautiful, focused & clear,
As she reaches for the stars.

So don’t let them get you down,
You were created for big things!
In His image you were carved,
Your must fly on those great wings!

Embrace productive thinking,
Stare your mirror in the face,
Pledge with each whip to do great good;
He walked your path, He’s got your case!

And so do think on this,
When they try to steal your bliss,
What they call you is your blessing,
Each stone they fling is Heavens kiss!

Love, light & blessings :D

If— By Rudyard Kipling


IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: Continue reading →

Ugali Beans & Bullets & the Fail Fast Doctrine

blog julie

“Ugali, Beans and Bullets!” he said.

Wow! It was profound!

“Ugali, Beans and Bullets!” I thought… Hmmmm. Continue reading →

Awesome Kenyans: The Artist

photo (9)

I had the honor and privilege to go to school with amazingly talented people. We all experience that blessing as amongst us all are very gifted people, who often just need encouragement to nurture and grow their talent. Continue reading →

Secrets of Success III: From Epic Dreams to Reality


The date is July 2011 and I am attending the Aspen Global Leadership Network ACT II meeting of fellows that takes place once every two years in the small picturesque town of Aspen, located in the great Colorado mountains. It’s  been a lovely day of deep thought, discussion and debate and I arrive at my  afternoon session early, looking forward to much more of the same. I notice and greet the pleasant unassuming man quietly seated in the room. As we start to chat while others trickle in, I get to understand his remarkable story… Continue reading →

Secrets of Success II: Epic Dreams and Lessons From Moby Dick

photo (2)

Have you ever had a brilliant idea? A wonderful thought of a stunning possibility? Then, you catch that thought in a net, chide yourself for even thinking it was possible, and pack it away never to release it again? Or perhaps as a young child you had a great passion and and a great ambition to go with it. But people told you, “It will never happen, why cheat yourself?” They said, “You are dreaming, this is the real world!” …and with all this your inner voice whispered, “How silly of me, I should just let go, after all, it will never happen.” Continue reading →

Secrets of Success I: Cutting the Cord

photo (1)

Birds of a feather flock together, this old adage was drummed into me by my parents when I was a teenager to emphasize the fact that I needed to surround myself with hard working, determined, focused and accomplished people as that is what I sought to be. The truth is, this applies to everyone who seeks success, irrespective of age. For instance, the insight and knowledge I gain from being an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow is priceless and all my colleagues from across Africa have enriched my understanding of the continent and it’s challenges way beyond my expectations. I am so thankful to all those in my life who add knowledge to me, to those who challenge and stretch me, indeed they become a critical part of the journey towards achievement, or what some would call success. Continue reading →

Seasons: Part 2 – Purgatory

photo (1)

In university I took on several jobs to help ease the financial burden on my parents. During my Law degree at the University of Wales, Cardiff, I was a Student Warden at my hall of residence and I had various jobs at the students union.

Continue reading →

Seasons: Part 1 – The Trek


I secured my first job just a few months out of high school. I had some time before I was due at university and I heard that the International Committee of the Red Cross was hiring clerks for a big project. I offered my services as a volunteer and after stubbornly sitting at their reception on Dennis Pritt Road in Nairobi every morning for weeks, I finally got a position. Continue reading →