Media personality Edward Kwach is one of the most prominent FM radio veterans in Kenya. He recently penned a letter to his younger self, in which he detailed how he lost a job after fighting rapper Collo over his lost wallet. Apparently, Edward Kwach punched Collo at the Kiss FM studios, leading to his dismissal. Below is the letter as he wrote it:
This journey in media communication will be a life-long passion that will start in a couple of years when you will do a Coca-Cola ad campaign for Africa. This will lead to various campaigns while still you’re relatively young.
Don’t fear. Don’t fear your father and what he thinks of you. Don’t fear your potential even when you failed it.
In St Marys you will be bullied because of your privilege. Don’t become a bully yourself.
It will all start with alcohol. The decision to drink with some rowdy boys from St Mary’s School, then pitching up to the rugby match and being drunk and disorderly. This will probably be the best time to stop associating with bad company, to stop the group mentality and to stop bringing alcohol to your lips.
When you go for your further studies in South Africa you will form lifelong friendships. You will gain a global view of life and you will change. Try keeping your head in your books, though. Try and finish your law degree as planned, but of course you won’t. You will get into the media.
Your mom, the queen, as you and your brothers call her. Listen to her more. Appreciate her more. Most of the things that will happen to you will happen because you didn’t listen to her. There is a reason she is the queen.
You will start your media career at Capital FM, Kenya’s first independent radio station. Don’t take it for granted. But you will, and fame will come at you like a hurricane. You will leave Capital because of family pressure, don’t be bitter.
The words ‘celebrity and fame’ will continue to hound you. It will be very difficult to comprehend fame and celebrity. There will be a point where you will be the number one, you will have the number one show on radio and on TV. You will be the number one EMCEE and the most sort after voice Some days you will embrace it and on others, you will shun it. Fame will bring stubbornness, entitlement. It will see you languish in many police cells because of your history with the police, you will imagine they are picking on you. But you will also get a lot of commercial work.
Learn to trust your instincts because then you will learn to play the long game.
There are things that will happen to you during your stint at Radio Africa that will change everything in your career. Because you will be doing daft things. Daft things involving alcohol and hubris. Don’t. You will lose your job and you will regret it until you land another job at East Africa Radio in Tanzania.
Don’t come back to Kiss from TZ. Stay in TZ.
Don’t punch Collo of Kleptomaniac because of your lost wallet. Don’t fight him. Walk away. You will be dismissed from Kiss for the second time and that will nearly break you. You will walk around in anger, drinking and wallowing in self pity. Don’t be so mad.
There are good people and there are bad people. Not everybody is good. And not everybody is bad.
You will lose a few years being there, physically but not mentally going through the motions at Royal Media Services. Dude that New Year’s flight back to Nairobi don’t miss it. Then it’ll be time for the most professional media organisation NMG. You will learn a lot. You will thrive You will grow. Capital FM will come calling again don’t dilly-dally take the job because Ironically you’ll be months away from retrenchment. As all that is happening you’ll make a decision that will haunt you for years to come by partnering to open a station in Kisumu.
Don’t lend money to relatives or friends. Dude remember what you learnt during your gap year when you interned for a bank Focus You will lose a lot. Don’t lend. If you plan to give, grant it
There will be long periods of time when you will be off radio because of some shit you did to lose your job. Spend that time reflecting on who you are, what you want.
When you go to China, just after 2010 and someone says, “let’s buy sex toys and stun guns and sell them back home,” don’t make a face. Buy those sex toys. Buy them in dozens.
Learn to say no. Learn to be more selfish with your time because the more you give of yourself to people who don’t deserve you, the angrier you will get.
Again, give your mother more respect. Your dad will be the person you look up to and you will regret losing his friendship and you will spend a lot of time trying to do right by him and not for yourself. What he wants for you is happiness.
Trust your brothers more. None of them loves you less.
Concentrate more on your hobbies. Buy more books, breed more dogs. Drinking isn’t a hobby. When you hit rock bottom appreciate it and stay there for a bit. When you stop drinking and you will for a couple of years, things will be absolutely top of the pops. Don’t go back even though there will be a huge financial incentive. Sometimes we need to stay at the bottom to truly appreciate the top.
Stay away from spirits. If you have to drink, have a beer or a single malt whiskey.
You will start businesses when you’re young. Some will be innovative. Try and have more patience. Patience will pay off in the end.
Money is the devil. Money is a means to an end. Money will make you so unhappy at times and so happy at times. Stop being too kind with money.
Daddy will tell give you a lot of sage advice. The one that I beg you to please please listen to is slow down my son you’re moving too fast.
Be happy with yourself, nobody can make you happy like you do. Your happiness isn’t in the hands of someone else. As far as relationships, goes please try and trust your instincts more, it’ll save you a lot of time and don’t be too cynical about love. Ralph T says, every good relationship starts with a happy man.
All in all remember this vocation is like the journey you will have 25 years from now when you summit that beautiful mountain called Kilimanjaro and get back to base camp. A memorable quote that you will never forget will be made by one Emmanuel Juma she is like life you go up you come down you go up and again you come down again finally you get to the top. Once there you realise after taking it all in, that that is simply half the journey. You still have to get back down.
DON’T MISS OUT!
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