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What would you do if you weren't afraid?

Recently Hope* and I were catching up when I mentioned a project I am working on.

Her first reaction was “Won’t the people who support 40 Days Over 40 Smiles Foundation think you are using their funds?”

Much as I would have loved her to tell me what she thought about the actual idea, I understood where she was coming from because I have dealt with several related insecurities in the past (Still do. Thankfully, to a much smaller extent)

One example was my decision to try my hand at business. Kemi Gloria and I started House of Penda with savings of $100 each, at the time.

I was so concerned about what people would think/say that for almost 2 years, I didn’t disclose my stake in the company except to close friends and family. It just seemed like I was supporting a friend’s business and I wanted it that way.

Do you know what happened when I finally shared the full truth openly? More people came out to shop in droves; acquaintances, friends of friends and yes, 4040 supporters too.

They might love the products but they are also going out of their way to support me, us, when they have so many other available options.

Along the way, other clients have discovered my ‘main hustle’ and it has resulted in some interesting conversations and ‘cross-company’ support.


We are multi-faceted individuals who should be able to do as much, or as little as we want in this one life; without judgment (even from ourselves)

You can be a doctor who plays guitar for a band, a mechanic who is also a makeup artist, an accountant who bakes and sells pastries, name it!

But also, if you choose one career path for 5 decades, you should not be shamed by the multipotentialite brigade

You are still a whole other human being away from the work you do.

Also, can we not reduce people/ourselves to the education (or lack thereof), jobs and other positions which are really privileges not everyone is lucky enough to have?

I digress.

Like I told Hope, “I cannot waste the time I have left worrying about what people will think when I could be doing all the things that I love instead.”

When you get to the evening of your life and look back at the journey,

I hope that you will not have to blame yourself for the things you didn’t do; not because you didn’t want to/couldn’t but because you made it a priority to live according to the standards of your family/friends/partner and/or ‘society.’

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?


What do you think?

Written by Esther Kalenzi

Celebrating life and humour; attempting to make a difference in deed and through my first love, writing.

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