White Shirts & Black Ties

Ties… That’s a major one. The last time I wore a tie was in the year 2009. Wearing a tie is a major thing, kind of – or was. My tie wearing history has been what most are accustomed. It has been concentrated only on school life. Now this time round, it has gotten into the career life.  After high school, I never wore a tie again. Even though I worked as an office clerk before I got to wearing military fatigues, I never paid attention to ties. That was back in 2006. The next time I used a tie was in 2009. This is the year I read ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’ in context. In detail later, I will tell you the other time I tried to read it – Boot camp. I had bought a tie as a “Just in case accessory”, that I might need someday – 2 actually. I had no coat and I had no active interest in suits. I like suits, but I have never imagined myself in one. In addition, it’s part reason why every time I hear of a wedding coming up… Anxiety is an auto outcome. You cannot afford to go wrong with suits. If it’s not fitting, that’s a wardrobe malfunction that the world won’t forgive.
Even if I was not doing suits, I was aware that being officially dressed gives you a certain elevation, both internally and externally. It was my first year in service and my dress code used to be what I would refer to as casual or even worse. I am not that fashion trendy; I used to wear just for the sake of clothing myself. Like Khaki side pockets, and unfinished tees which I would customize myself with the aid of tailors in gikomba and a 10/- bottle of Topex. Interesting times. Then the famous “Change of policy” which is a common tag on this blog happened and life had to change. So I started reading positive books and in the “Magic of Thinking Big” dress code issues started developing. I had to change my dress code if I was to succeed in business.
I had to do something on the side in my attempt to get extra cash to achieve my dreams. The salary was good for a 19 year old form four leaver, but it wasn’t enough. In the line of side hustle, I joined a Multilevel marketing Program & the Fountain Investments, and I started saving up. So again, in the Magic of Thinking Big, about associating with big-minded people, I signed up. At some point there was this dinner they organized at Intercontinental… Again Thinking Big, being a lad from upcountry, I wanted to have a feel of what the white collar society does in these five star establishments and I paid for this dinner… Ksh 2500/- at the time… I attended. The tie I had bought for the “Just in case” became part of me. I wore the tie and a windbreaker/ Half sweater… It felt weird. Like weird. I was also naïve to an extent. I got myself a table, at the corner, facing the door & waited… Anyway, dinner started and it wasn’t just eating and mingling with people, then the speeches. Food was great, I cannot do it justice at this point but if you have attended a corporate dinner at Intercontinental, or any other of the level, you would know. I was excited of course for it was a first time. 


I got myself a Keepsake.
The Guest speaker was S.K. Macharia, and of course Engineer Kithaka himself. The main thing I picked from that meeting was the lucrativeness of the real estate Industry. To that point, the experience I had with real estate was as a surveyor’s protégé – Surveyor Kinyua Mwai. Still my mentor to date, and I had “seen” the money. I wanted to own the houses that Eng. Kithaka was promising people they would develop on the then concept – Savanna gardens development. I bought the idea. I wanted those plots so bad. I went home thinking about it. After dinner, I met a former schoolmate who was already in campus and was in business so she was there as an entrepreneur. She still is and has grown in her endeavors a great deal. We didn’t talk much because somehow at that point in life we couldn’t catch up on issues dating back seven years. I also didn’t have a business by then, so I did not have any entrepreneurial background to exchange any ideas, besides the interest in real estate. The other two people I knew from the place, were at the time working at the company. One is now in management at another firm and the other studying abroad. They were busy and so I sat at my position watching what people were doing, chatting, exchanging business cards and moving into the next. I learnt this was networking.
I then went back to downtown Nairobi and took my mat home to my then residence Kariobangi. I decided to buy into Savanna Gardens concept and at the time a quarter was selling at Ksh 120,000/-. I spent Ksh 60,000/- on an eighth. I was very aware that people used to be conned silly in this city (Greed has also seen me get swindled. But in other avenues not real estate) and I even shared this secret with a few of my friends who wouldn’t see the sense in buying a plot somewhere in Ukambani and waiting for “I don’t know appreciation”… I never wore a tie again. I even realized it was was missing sometimes back. I had to tell this story coz; 1. As a long term throwback, (2009) 2. Short term throwback (Monday – My first day with a tie) and 3. Its relationship with the current tie trend. 4. I am marketing my property. – (I think I can say I have a business)
My dream was and still is to fly. At the time, flying was Ksh 12,000/- an hour. Currently it’s Ksh 15,000/-. I also wanted to fly so badly. However, at the time, I wouldn’t make it. I could have taken a loan from work. Say half a million, paid for my Private Pilot’s License and then waited for seven years to fully pay that loan and then do the next step. Take another loan etc… It would not work. So My mindset at that time had no otherwise than to buy into the appreciation of real  estate and how what I had in mind would be good for my future. I would just have afforded ground school with the 60K. Six years later, that plot is worth half a Million and that is what is at stake here. Enough hours to finish my PPL uninterrupted.
Checking the fuel quantity.
Somehow, with this determination, things fell into place and I started flying school. The details later. We were here about ties. So again, the last four months of ground school have been so, so, stressful, that I was almost crumbling. Somehow, the great mindset was depreciating and I needed to get it back on its toes. When I ‘graduated’ from the Simulator to the real things, I thought why not wear a tie and start conditioning my mind to start thinking like a pilot? And so I got myself several black ties. Its not much about what people will be seeing and perceiving of the tie wearer, but what it is doing in my mind. I am a bit more energetic about my days. I think more clearly about things that I would alternatively give up on, and I just feel that there is some place I am targeting to be and so I need to be a bit more serious with life as it is. & that is why, this is my new look and the first image of another season of white shirts and black ties.
White Shirts & Black Ties

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