Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Promised Lad

You may have seen the quote that says: “My father taught me that nothing is more important than keeping your promise.” It is attributed to Nando and it is thus found at Nando’s eateries.

It sort of brings some good old memories of that advert run by Telkom that showed a devoted father leaving for a trip to what is seemingly a foreign state and telling his family that he would keep in touch. The next scene cuts to the phone ringing and the child picking up the phone and recognizing the dad’s Hello. ‘Daddy!’ the kid exclaims. What is the dad’s response? From the initial five letter word Hello, he goes to five words: A promise is a promise.

Yes that is the best way to ever describe ‘promise’. A guy else is quoted as saying a promise is a debt though in Swahili ahadi ni deni sounds like a forceful ‘dare you not keep a promise’ threat.

A defeatist attitude is one that thinks that the best way to not break a promise is not to make one in the first place.


It is a strong word. Perhaps it’s even stronger than any bond. It makes one know deep down: I will rely on you.

“You have my word,” some learned friends will say when they tell you that they shall not oppose your intended motion to adjourn a matter. It’s a promise and not some undertaking to be enforced. If they don’t keep it, then please induct them to the new circle of m’learned fiends.

So last year I made a promise in October to my friend that I shall take her son to the next Nairobi Trade Fair. I figured it was a year away and part of me was silently hoping she would forget.

She did.

But her son didn’t!

And so it came to pass on the 5th day of this month, I had just left surgery, when I found the missed call and dial back was a confirmation of a promise duly remembered.

Perhaps a promise is a net. You are truly trapped in it and only get freed when you fulfill it.

This lad kept that promise. And at the end of that hot Friday, I felt the happiest boy in the whole town knowing that I had been reliant and made a certain boy the second happiest boy in the whole town.

No comments: