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How Joho turned D-minus into a grade A lifestyle

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Winston Churchill once said: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

This rings very true when you look at Hassan Joho’s predicament but very few people can walk that path. The Mombasa Governor has admitted having scored a D- in his KCSE examination, the lowest rank in the grading system just above E, which is total failure.

But in a society where success is associated with high grades (B&A), it is understandable why many people find it hard to reconcile the D- with his current success. John currently holds a degree in business management, but he has been accused of forging a secondary school certificate to join university.

Joho’s reaction to the D- slurs against him has been so inspiring to many Kenyans, especially the young people who have scored low markets. He says he is proud of his D- score.

“I want to inspire other Kenyans that scoring a D- at Form Four is not the end of life. There are many people who have made it after getting a poor score. I am proud that I have been able to turn it around,” he said.

Just how did Joho turn himself around?

Whether he forged his papers or not is not the subject of this article, but to draw lessons on moving from zero to hero. Many in his situation would have given up but he was determined. After school at Serani Boys, Joho, born in 1976, has attended many fellowship programmes and has vast expertise in Information Technology. Knowing he had academic weakness, he went into business and learnt a lot about IT and logistics.

He then studied at Kenya institute of Management and earned Diploma in Management, what his D- would qualify him to study at the time.

Besides a rich political background, Joho has had an illustrious career as a businessman. He is the founder and pioneer of Prima Pest and Bins Limited, the first garbage collection company in Mombasa.

He is also the founder of M-tech Kenya Limited and East African Terminals.

He commands respect within the shipping and logistics business. Joho undertakes a lot of charity work. Through, the Hassan Joho Foundation, a non-profitable organization, Joho supports the needy members of the society. Giving back to society opens many ways on the way to success. Just ask Manu Chandaria.

“I take pride as a Kenyan for what I am today,” he said at a news conference in Mombasa, “And I want to inspire other Kenyans who come from poor backgrounds. I cannot give up.”

See Also >> 20 powerful quotes from those who turned failure into success

Here are three steps to turn yourself around, according to Anne Samoilov, author and motivational speaker.

  1. Reframe

Try to look at the situation from different angles. You might ask your friends or family members to give you their honest feedback. Don’t just look for the type of support that will feed your ego; seek out perspectives from people who may not have been supportive during the process.

The important part of this step is to listen, take in the information, and then synthesize everything you know of your failure into a complete picture of what happened and why. Try not to react emotionally to anything you discover or that people express to you.

  1. Revise

While you’re gaining a new perspective, be open to ideas for moving forward. People might offer them without you asking. Be prepared for that. Allow them to speak, thank them for their feedback, and move on.

When you feel like you have enough ideas to form a new plan of action, write them out on paper. You may have to detach a little bit and pretend you’re looking at someone else’s situation, especially when people are offering varied suggestions.

The word revise is a nice way to give yourself permission to let go of this failure or path completely.  Be willing to step back from anything that isn’t working in your life.

  1. Refocus

Once you have a new plan or at least an idea of how you want to proceed, the most crucial thing you can do to overcome feeling like a failure is to embrace your new path and focus. As hard as it may be, you can’t spend any more time second guessing yourself or replaying the pity party of why it didn’t work “the other way.”

My struggles with singing have not been so easy to reframe or revise, mostly because it’s painful for me to talk about this with anyone. I’m still trying to fully release my feelings of failure in the music industry so I can move on empowered.

Still, I know I accomplished what I set out to do on some level.  I wrote and recorded music with some amazing people — Grammy Award winning producers — and I was able to get a CD up in the iTunes store. For me, that’s really cool.

Next Read >> 11 global icons who turned failure on its head

Now It’s Your Turn

Ask yourself if you’re holding onto a failure or disappointment in your life. Why are you hanging on to it? Seek support from other people who know you and who you trust to give you gentle feedback—especially if the “failure” feels fresh, even after many years.

Decide how you will move forward and use what you’ve learned to create a new plan, to let the past go to make room in your life for your new dreams. In this way, failures don’t feel so final; they feel like a twist on a path of exploration.



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