My father was a businessman. He started his business at the age of 20; just before he finished his tertiary education. It’s funny because whilst his mates were spending the little money they had on high time school girls, he saved an extra pesewa. He was into computers and as a result, he’s managed to have some innovations credited to his name. After 50 years of being in this business in the country, he’s a guru and respected worldwide.

He would always counsel me “be careful of your friends. Some are not worth your time. When you have a vision, ensure you move with those whose hearts are right. And don’t marry a fool, my daughter. Don’t. I don’t want my investments to go down the drain”. That second part of his counseling always made me laugh. Anyways, I stuck with his guidance and I can say that he was the best dad I ever had. God was right to have given me him.

It’s been nine years since we marked his 70th birthday. Until he died, we were a family of six; himself, mum, my sister, my two brothers and my good self. On Thursday, the 27th of May 2008, my dad called all of us for a family meeting regarding the future of the business when he’s gone. It’s sad because it was the first time he had to let us in on a lot of things because we, his children were pursuing dreams of our own and only gave him assistance when he needed it in his company. That meeting was also very vital because he knew he was going — that he would die sooner than later. He had been ill on and off for about five years and could not control fully, the affairs of the company.

Two days after, a Saturday, my dad died peacefully in his sleep. It was the saddest day of my life but there was good news because now we could properly take over the affairs of the company. My dad had stepped down three years earlier before his demise as the Chief Executive and handed that position over to one of his longest serving managers. So we called him to make accounts. Amazing! The reserves of the company supposed to be billions of dollars were just ten thousand dollars and a lot of suppliers had not been paid for about three months but the top officials used the good name of my dad to cover up.

This meant the company was actually bankrupt. Jesus! I screamed. Apparently, huge sums of the monies meant for the business were diverted to individual pockets. They looted and shared and made themselves rich whilst someone else’s legacy went down the drain. We’ve called in the Police and hopefully, they should deal with all of them. The unfortunate thing is, it seems we may have to sacrifice a lot to bring this company back on its foot again.

But the question that remains is why someone sets up a business to help other people and crooks decide to defraud the person helping him. So those who do this; why do you continue to steal from your company? Can you answer why? Why are you so heartless to destroy someone’s investments? When even you, being at the top means you are paid much more as compared to the “ordinary” workers who take peanuts home? Why?

But let’s not forget that this is not just about those who are stealing money or involved in very unspeakable fraudulent deals in their companies but those who do not even report to work on time and yet want to close on time? It’s a government’s office so you can choose to get to work after 9 am and leave after 3 pm? And worse after 1 pm on Fridays because it’s a weekend and all other important activities can seize to exist? Would you have given the same attitude if you set up that business? if you were paid every hour?

It’s time to change corrupt and really unacceptable attitudes. You may not be caught now. But it will definitely catch up with you. Thieves are not known to be in suits but gradually, it seems thieves are now wearing suits. I read the story of Joseph in scriptures and something struck me. The king actually left almost everything in his care and he was not corrupt. The question I asked myself was “How many people today can do what Joseph did in that position?” Hard work pays. But so does integrity!


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