Living off talent.

31 Mar

Living off talent. I have been thinking lately, about Wahu, Tanya, Nameless, Chizi, what do these people have in common? They have an education but on top of that they make money off their talents too! Wahu is a mathematician, Tanya just did an actuarial degree, Nameless is an architect and so is Chizi. These people can be/ are feeding off their professions and talents without breaking much a sweat! That got me to the thinking bit, what is it that I have apart from that academic resume that add a few shillings in my wallet? Do I really have a talent that people will want and which they will be willing to spend a few without much thought or are they plain hobbies?

We all have hobbies, but are these hobbies based on a talent? Don’t get me wrong here, I am not saying that a hobby is a talent, oxford dictionary says that a hobby is an activity a person does for pleasure away from the normal business while a talent is a natural skill. Is it possible to have a hobby then based on that talent?

I tried to strip myself of the academic part and the other avenues that would allow me find an ends were more like hobbies and here they are:

a) The Guitarist

Sometimes back I got the interest in guitars, I tried to go for lessons which lasted for a few weeks before I started skiving the lessons, I still find it hard strumming a D major and the minor, and also many other majors and minors too!! I find being able to play an instrument rather fascinating and I still harbor the thought that one day, one shiny bright beautiful day I will be able to strum along The Beatles songs with ease but for the moment I know the reception I would get if I tried to live off the life of a guitar. I can picture bottles thrown at me instead of roses. Aha, but I have an idea, you know how almost every musician started off in church, singing for the choir? Even the (in)famous Mike Rua! That will be also my testing grounds, if the reception goes well and am made the lead guitarist then I put both of my legs in the water! Ha but first someone has to know his majors and minors. For the moment Mackel the guitarist would have several hungry nights if he won’t succumb to the hunger!

b) The music enthusiast

Well this would be a still born, so let me skip it.

c) The athlete

Since January I have been trying to do a little of running/jogging. If there were award for coming last maybe I could be able to live off athletics, because the Rudisha in me simply fails to come out. My jogging partner James once gave me a head start of 50 meters and still managed to catch up and zoom past in less than 2 minutes! The one hour affair usually leaves me panting leaving a big doubt on the ability to live of athletics, hehe.




d) Karate kid

Yeah I know, I actually do some Shotokan karate. This is a martial arts specially for self defense but as a sport I do not know many people who live off it except from the sensei, so hhhhmmmmm can I really  be a sensei? No, I am not that good at passing on a skill/teaching/coaching. That analysis has made me start thinking maybe those four are just plain hobbies that could never be talents. Since I really force myself into them they aren’t natural skills.

So my search for a talent continues if you know yours, you can tell me about it and help me find mine… wish me luck.


Posted by on March 31, 2011 in Comfort zone.


4 responses to “Living off talent.

  1. OtienoHongo

    April 1, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Unfortunately thousands of us will never discover what our real talents/intelligences are. Though initially on the fringes but now being widely accepted, research has shown that humans possess a vast array of intelligences, commonly clustered as 8 intelligences. the education system apparently only recognises and attempts to nurture only about 3: the mathematical – logical intelligences, linguistic intelligences and to some extent musical intelligence. here is Kenya it is the first 2 that are mostly recognized and anything else is extra-curriculum. Of the array of intelligences, an average human being mostly displays at least 2 or 3 types. so if you display the other types but not the 2 I have mentioned, you will most likely fail in the schooling system and if you are not a strong character, end up lacking confidence in your ability to do anything else, hence the mentality of “tunaomba serikali”…statistically this would be 20% of students worldwide (80% of students generally fail while 20% rise to the top). It is therefore no coincidence that 20% of the people own and control 80% of the world’s wealth and resources.

    The question we should be asking in our education system therefore is not how intelligent / smart student the student is but how is the student intelligent/smart? Then we would have more of us making a livelihood out of our intelligence / talents. Apologies for a long comment!

  2. Mackel9

    April 1, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    You shouldn’t apologize, infact indulge me, you have elaborated on three intelligences, what are the other five and what should the schooling system do to bring them out of the students?

    • OtienoHongo

      April 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm

      Some of the other intelligences identified by Gardner, in the book The Unschooled Mind, 1991, include Spatial Intelligence (think actors like Denzel Washington), Bodily kinesthetic intelligence (think Sachin Tendulkar, Michael Jordan, Ronaldinho), Interpersonal intelligence (think Oprah Winfrey), Intra-personal intelligence (think Dalai Lama), and Naturalistic intelligence. Other researchers have classified them differently and even identified other forms of intelligence such as emotional intelligence. Though there are still debates about how these can classified in the mainstream and what should be agreed on as the meaning of intelligence, there is consensus that intelligence is not what we use to think it was and neither can it be measured by IQ and that human beings do possess multiple intelligences. You can find more resources on this subject here


      • Mackel9

        April 5, 2011 at 9:47 am

        Thank you Otieno that is really insightful.


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