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31 Aug Breaking Limitations

How did a young boy who walked from his tribal village of Tumbuka in Nyasaland (now Malawi) to Khartoum, Sudan, a distance of 3,200 kilometres, seeking opportunities for further education become a professor of political science at Cambridge University in England and a widely respected author?

Yes! Professor Legson Kayira completed a perilous 3,000-mile, two-year journey on foot with absolutely no money or resources except for a five-day supply of food, a Bible and The Pilgrim’s Progress (his two most treasures), a blanket and a small axe for protection when he left his tribal village of Tumbuka in Nyasaland in October 1958. The truth is, because his parents were illiterate, they were not even sure the exact date that he left, but he should be sixteen or seventeen years old when he left for Cairo on foot in a bid to board a ship to America to get a college education.

Legson like many others in the village of Tumbuka believed that studying was a waste of time for a poor boy. So, he sometimes used his poverty as an excuse for not doing his best at school or for not accomplishing something with his life. Then on day he read in the books provided by missionaries about Abraham Lincoln and Booker T. Washington.

As such, Legson wanted to be like his hero, Abraham Lincoln, who had risen from poverty to become an American president and fought tirelessly to abolish slaves trade, thereby helped free the slaves. Yes! Legson wanted to be like his hero, Booker T. Washington, who was brought as a slave to America and had cast off the shackles of slavery to become a great American reformer and educator.

Therefore, being inspired by their stories, Legson like these great role models, wanted to serve mankind and to make a difference in the world. Hence, he realized that he needed an education to be able to see the fulfilment of his dream. And America was the best place for him to get this education. This was how Legson conceived the idea for his walk to Cairo where he would board a ship to America.

As he engaged in his perilous journey, most times he walked alone and at other times he walked with strangers. Oh! Many nights he slept under the stars. But at other times, he found work and shelter. Legson had this motor – ” I will not stop until I reach America or until I die trying to reach my destination”. Even when he became thin and weak due to feeding on wild fruits, berries and other edible plants, he never gave up his dream. When he ran out of food and water, when he had no money and when he was struck by fever and he became gravely ill, Legson was holding on to his motor.

I like to announce to you, Legson Kayira carrying his two most treasured books – The Bible and The Pilgrim’s Progress arrived at Skagit Valley College in America on December 1960 after more than two years his journey began.

Today, Legson Kayira has become a professor of political science at Cambridge University in England and he is a widely respected author. His first book was the autobiographical I Will Try (1965), and he has written four novels: The Looming Shadow (1968), Jingala (1969), The Civil Servant (1971), and The Detainee (1974). I like to ask this question: what was his success secret?

Success is not a destination but an adventure; which is accessible to all who dare to venture. So, you can break every single limitations standing before you and your future. When you dare to venture, no limitations can contend it.


The journey to your success is an individual’s choice or will. Hear me,

“Success doesn’t just ‘happen’ you set it in motion”. – Dr Mike Muddock

It is your choice that is the compass that point to your destination. It is your will that provokes the strength in you to do what you could not have done. For instance, there is a story of a pregnant woman; who being chased by a mad dog jumped over a seven feet wall! The will to live infused a strange strength into her. Therefore, your choice to succeed is what generates in you the force to succeed. Likewise, the will to succeed drives you to break limitations in life.

Occasionally, tears are allowed in your eyes but don’t allow it to tear you down. Once your choice to make it is in place, your enviable destiny is secure. Friends! All you need is to break your limitations into greatness by the power of the will.

Again, may I let you know? There is no such thing as a born-made person. Success is not a gift; it is a choice. Friends! You can’t choose to succeed and lack the drive. The drive is inherent in the choice you make. It is this drive that will break every single limitations contending with your success. Do not just wish to succeed. For a wish is an idle thought to which no commitment is attached? It is a mere daydreaming.

Nick Imoru

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