Back to class with Bikozulu

 

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An accounting and finance professional or a creative writer? I am asking myself.

I started this blog on a dare. I had been struggling with the predictable and endless cycles of my work. I love my work and I am a notably good at it, however the satisfaction in it was missing. Therefore I took up the challenge and after month of it, I enrolled in writing classes.

***

“Hello, have you had lunch, a dessert, a drink and some chocolate?”

“No chocolate yet, but I just had an enjoyable lunch” I replied with glee to the caller whose phone number I could not recognize.

“Don’t worry. It is Biko here. Are you ready for class tomorrow?”

“Yes I am.”

I said as I became aware I was talking to Jackson Biko. To say I was startled would not be enough. I was star stuck, like I a teenager who had received a call from their favourite movie star.

“Good, I look forward to seeing you tomorrow at 8:30am.”

I acknowledge that I would. We exchanged a few pleasantries and he hang up.

I have been a regular reader of his work for about five or six years. I have followed him through his tales about fatherhood; his mother’s passing away, the adventures of Doc, human interest, travel and life stories. In some I was carried way on captivating adventures, in others on a call to action, in others I laughed for days and in others I was moved to tears.

The prospects of doing the Bikozulu creative writing master class was huge, life size, intriguing, exciting. In fact I dare say a tick off my bucket list. I have always wanted to write more intentionally and did not think it was possible. The finance professional that I am could not entertain the possibility. However I knew how to tell engaging stories, especially ones that explained complicated elements in a simple way. Now all I needed were the skills to do it right the way.

I was in high spirits when I got to the class. Up on the 16th floor of one of the buildings in Nairobi’s central business district; some say the building’s design was inspired by a maize cob. I dropped all expectations of how it should be and determined to go along, capture the flow and ride it without any inhibitions. The other class members came in too with the look of anticipation on their faces. The 20 of us came from various backgrounds, careers, of different ages and gender, but with one mission; to be a better writer.

The other thing I had in common with my classmate was that we had never met Biko. Few people have, compared to his large following on social media. So the ladies made quick glances at the guys wondering which one he was and the guys looked at each other trying to figure him out. It was only after Bett the class administrator asked us to sit and settle down that he emerged as the only one standing; tall, dark with a runner’s body. Well groomed, wearing spectacles and suitably clad. The guy next door except that he is also an award winning blogger.

The class style was a mix of technical writing points, casual and interactive chats, writing assignments and reviews. My main take away points were; one practice writing often, two read widely and a lot, three when your following grows don’t buy into the hype instead use your platform for social good. Then on the last day we were treated to an enlightening talk by Mr. Oyunga Pala.  A superb ending to three days well spent.

***

I cannot unring the bell. The square peg that was me has become rounder to fit better, the glacier that was my hesitation turned into steam, the wheels of my vehicle have enough pressure to move forward.

An accounting and finance professional or a creative writer? Answer. I don’t have to choose.

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