This is as a public speech delivered by Polycarp Agoi during the Cohort 2 Graduation
“Who took my money?!” Our class teacher asked, Ms. Phyllis asked. I was in class 4 yellow at Forest View Academy. We had just come from lunch and the class teacher had called the class immediately to order to carry out an inquest of who has taken her money from her desk.
She asked again this time more loudly and with signs of anger,
“Who took my money?!”
It was clear that class was not going to proceed until this culprit, this thug, this day time thief was found.
Then I noticed students from various positions looking behind. I also decided to look behind, only to realize that I was the one who sat at the corner of the class and there was nothing really they were looking at. The innuendo in the look was that they were suspecting me to be the person who took our class teachers money. Then suddenly someone said it is Polycarp, things moved so fast and sudden everyone said it is Polycarp, another said I saw him, and it is Polycarp. It caught me off guard and toppled me out of balance that even I could not say anything about the accusations being stoned towards me. I looked at the class teacher, she gave me a sharp stare that made me fill so shy that I just stared at my desk.
The shouts of my name had grown louder and teacher Phyllis shouted, no! It is not Polycarp say somebody else. But the students could not listen they continued saying it Polycarp! At that moment my name was making headlines, that Polycarp had stolen, I felt like a mouse cornered with angry cats that were just about to pounce on him and tear him to pieces, I felt as if the world should open and swallow me alive. At such a tender young age I felt betrayed by my very close friends and class mates. I had never stolen from anyone before and I wondered why someone would even think of me being a thief. My self-esteem was crushed. This was unfair, it was unjust. I needed justice, someone must say the truth.
To my rescue…
Teacher Phyllis then majestically walked straight to another student, Joseph. He asked him, “Did you take my money?” Joseph was silent and said nothing. Then she took his bag opened flap after flap. There it was, she removed a five shilling coin. She lifted it up and said here it is. She had marked it with a black felt pen and sure it was her coin. Teacher Phyllis had intentionally left the coin on her table and marked it with a felt pen to see what would have happened.
She then said, “I knew it, it was not Polycarp. Polycarp is a good boy”. I felt relieved. Justice had been served.
I felt so happy, the same ground that I had felt should open and swallow me alive, I felt like a volcano should erupt so that there would be a great mount and it would lift me high to announce to the class that they had accused me falsely. The icing of the cake was the fact that she had called me a “good boy”. It was a term rarely used to refer to me. She had sowed seeds of joy in my heart. From this day everything around me and in me changed. My friends never called me a thief again and actually my class performance even shot up.
The impact of that one moment
To date I do not know why she did that test on us? But I know one thing; that one action of my teacher standing to find the truth and give me justice was the reason that I graduated from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa with a law degree; with a vision to fight for the truth and justice because the seeds of joy she had planted, had grown to be a tree that stands for truth and justice.
Just like she did for me and it was upon me to discover the great vision, how to activate truth and justice for others.
This great vision of mine seemed like a dark tunnel leading to uncertainty but then I joined Lapid. I saw a torch at the end of the tunnel. Through the thorough training I became more aware of myself. I now move each day with more clarity than yesterday of how to discover this great vision. This gives me courage, it removes the fear, and it gives me the courage to follow my vision regardless of the crowds’ opinion. It gives gets me focused to my goals and keeps me moving in the right direction because Lapid has unlocked my potential.
At Lapid I have come to appreciate the importance intentional networking, collaboration and mentorship at the workplace and the great skills that will make me outstanding. And how I can achieve my vision even faster and make the environment and the whole world an environment of truth and justice.
I have a dream…
That one day that teacher Phyllis stood for truth and justice. She handed me the torch to go light the world with truth and justice just like she had done to me. She had caused a ripple that will continue enlarging.
Ladies and gentlemen, I call each and every one of you to join these cause of truth and justice. If it was not for truth and justice people like Wangari Maathai would have not stopped the construction of a 62 story building at Uhuru park and we would not have a park for our families to go and enjoy our company; if it was not for truth and justice Langata primary school children would not have a playing field for them to play and have fun while have education to build their future.
If truth and justice was a reality a man could not spend 18 hours in an ambulance and later die because no hospital would admit him without paying money for admission.
It will urge you to fight for truth and justice to change this country, Africa and the whole world to a better place. If you only take a stand you will have taken a stand for the whole world. I challenge you today to take a stand for truth and justice at your work place and various areas in life.
Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Agoi Polycarp. I am a Lapid Leader. I will be part of Africa’s rebuilding story by taking a stand for truth and justice!!