Following a successful stint as a Presidential aide in charge of media Affairs, President Yoweri Museveni’s loyalist Faruk Kirunda was promoted to Deputy Presidential Press Secretary last year. But unlike many instances where people are promoted to the shock of many observers, for Kirunda’s case there was a general consensus that the man surely deserved elevation in every sense and spirit.
In the recent years, Kirunda has risked it all by positioning himself as the president’s ruthless defender. He has attacked anyone who has attempted to attack Museveni and/or his interests with the ferocity of a matriarch elephant protecting her calf. While on many occasions those envious of his position have tried to fight the man from Busede out of the president’s way, his track record of dedication and faultless service has kept him intact and endeared him more to his master.
Don’t be deceived however! Kirunda’s success thus far is not by mere winds of luck or patronage from an invisible godfather. The man has earned all he has through absolute merit, thanks to focusing early and keeping to his success script. This manifested during his thanksgiving speech in which the hitherto enigmatic young mover and shaker revealed what makes him special in the journey of his life.
Our Field Inspector attended the function which took place at Kirunda’s ancestral home in Nabitambala village, Busede Sub County, Jinja district; and now unpacks 10 points from Kirunda’s speech which form a success tool kit from which youths looking to succeed like him can pick useful life lessons:
- SEIZE AND JEALOUSLY GUARD THAT ONE OPPORTUNITY TO BE SOMEONE: According to Kirunda, he learnt this as a young boy so much that by 17 years, he was ready for his big opportunity and took it as soon as it presented itself. Kirunda narrated to his guests that by that time, he knew Ndugu Ruhakana Rugunda and some few government dignitaries and eminent elders from Busoga Kingdom. It is not by mistake that Rugunda would refer him to Hajat Sarah Bananuka who took him to Rwakitura for a meeting with President Museveni. “That visit of December 2007 was my turning point and ever since then I have not looked back… it gave me an opportunity to showcase my abilities to the president,” Kirunda revealed. It should be noted that apart from the presidential moment, Kirunda also served his Busoga Kingdom as a minister by 21, an age that which many youths don’t even know what they want to be in life!
- COPY AND EMULATE THE BEST:
Kirunda revealed to his guests that he has managed to remain consistent because he only learns from the best and then always strives to be like them. In this regard, Kirunda said he emulated President Museveni and his deputy al-Hajji Moses Kigongo, who are two men whose patriotism and love for this country has never waned even for a minute!
“I’m grateful for having worked directly with you including having been around both of you… Many persons of my generation have wasted their opportunities because they did not have a chance to work closely with inspirational leaders like you and Mzee Museveni,” Kirunda said of Kigongo who he chose as chief guest for his thanksgiving.
- PROTECT YOUR BOSS’S INTEREST AT ALL COSTS:
Kirunda advised his friends to be loyal to their bosses no matter what circumstance(s). He says such loyalty cultivates priceless trust which is hard to breach. This is evident as Kirunda has remained an ardent defender of the president even during times when almost everybody believes the president is in the wrong. And during the recent NRM CEC elections, Kirunda took on the mantle to defend Hajji Kigongo’s seat in the party — and successfully run the man’s campaign until his rivals chickened out and he (Kigongo) cruised to victory unopposed.
- LET YOUR CHARACTER AND ABILITIES (and NOT WORDS) MARKET YOU:
According to Kirunda, success got through displaying good character and excellent abilities at what you do is more sustainable than that which is earned through patronage or calculative scheming.
“All of you know that life is not given on a silver platter. I started building my career at the age of 17. What I can recall over the years is that I have not been introduced by anyone to anyone to ask for a job or favour… I am only marketed by my character and abilities,” he said.
To put this into perspective, State House’s Kellen Kayonga revealed how during the recent campaign the NRM mobilization machinery at the Kyambogo based Office of the NRM National Chairman nearly crumbled after Kirunda was grounded by a sick tooth and his mum’s critical illness (she was in coma).
“We were worried about his sick mum but we were even more scared that we had got stuck yet it was Kirunda who knew how to move the entire system at that time. We therefore began praying for a miracle to his mum but fortunately we were saved when he selflessly created time to come to office and coordinate the mobilization teams as his mum battled for her life in hospital. We thank God for having blessed you with such selflessness and devotion,” Kayonga said.
- CHERISH THE POWER OF INTERDEPENDENCE, HATE SELF-GLORIFICATION:
Kirunda revealed that in this world nobody is perfect because that’s how God designed us. He thus argued that we can only accomplish everything if we appreciate that others can do what we can’t do and therefore work with them to merge the different talents for any given task.
“Colleagues you should not deceive yourselves: we cannot do life alone. We need other people; none of us has it all; none of us is perfect; none of us is all strong; you’re strong in this area and weak in another but in the area where you’re weak there’s someone who’s strong in it and can help you there. That’s how God created life to be…,” he said.
- BE HONEST, HARDWORKING, AND FLEXIBLE:
Kirunda says honesty and hard work will soon make you stand out and also help you to steer away from curses which may follow you, from those you have maliced. “Success has no shortcuts. You have to work and prove yourself in order to be appreciated. Malice and intrigue aimed at pulling others down is futile… that kind of attitude is not going to help anyone… God cannot reward prayers of ill-intentioned people. Those who try to end careers of others in such a manner, their individual ends are even more devastating,” he said.
- CREATE FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE:
Kirunda says this will help you avoid stress at work and also cure you of the temptation to embezzle public funds.
He notes that he achieved this when he wisely invested Shs12m that was gifted to him by Hon. David Migereko in 2012. With this money, he secured a radio frequency and later started a radio called Mandela FM which birthed another one called Safari FM, all through hard work, discipline and focus. “I fought hard to maintain and expand my little businesses. As a result, I am now able to support others and even my political party. I do not fall in many financial temptations. Failure to create financial independence will result in stress at work,” he said.
- SPEAK LESS; ESPECIALLY WHEN NOT SURE:
According to Kirunda, this will help you to avoid spreading falsehoods against others. “To my colleagues in public service we have had the problem of trading in false information. This has led to the downfall of many of us, therefore, I appeal to you to be reserved. See and hear more than you speak out and avoid crossing your limits,” he counseled.
- BE EXEMPLARY, LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS:
According to Kirunda, living beyond your means is akin to always punching above your weight; which will make you sink in corruption and the burden of unrealistic expectations you heap on yourself. He thus urged his guests to always lead exemplary lifestyles.
“We should aim at being exemplary in our lives. We should desist from living above our means and aim at having side incomes that keep us from sinking in bad times,” he said.
- ENVY IS POISON, AVOID IT AND YOU WON’T BE JUDGED:
Kirunda says that jealousy is the first step to self-destruction and being judged by others. Therefore, he urged his guests to avoid jealousy so as to attain reflective improvement. “We should not allow others space to judge us. We too, should not be in the habit of constantly comparing ourselves with those around us. By doing this we relinquish control of our happiness…. Lastly, to harbor jealousy and envy is poison,” he said.