AKINYEMI: Adversity is the mother of creativity


Last week I started by asking what you can do with Sh2,000 and I talked about a fascinating lady who started a business with Sh2,000 and is today worth millions. Today I ask, ‘what you can do with Sh1,000?’

No one goes to the bank asking for one thousand to use as startup capital for a business but to Rachel one of my mentees Sh1,000 has a totally different meaning.

She was out of work and broke but had a dream and one day she took the first step by writing proposals to companies. She got invited to Nakuru by one of the companies that received her proposal and she had to get a loan of Sh1,000 to make the journey.

She was not deterred by the fact that she was rained on and that she looked a terrible sight when she got to Nakuru.

She made her presentation to the CEO of the company, got the job and also got a lift back to Nairobi armed with a cheque. She had no bank account and had to persuade a bank to use the cheque to open the account for her. That was then.

Today she owns a company that is in about six countries and is turning over millions and all this before thirty.

What do KFC, Duracell Batteries, Walt Disney and Sheraton Hotels have in common? They were birthed during the great depression — a time when many people committed suicide because of the adverse times.

What do Israel, South Korea and Singapore have in common? They are small countries that grew into economic and innovation powerhouses in spite of long standing threats to their very existence. From all these examples it does appear that there is a correlation between adversity and creativity.

One day Jesus took bread, broke it and multiplied it and fed a multitude with it. Does this mirror something in life? Does this in a way imply that between being blessed and being multiplied there may be a season of being broken?


If so, it is great to know that the breaking was not an end. It was a means to an end. The only reason the bread was broken was so that it could be multiplied. But then, why is it that many never make it through the tough times?

Too many people are focused on where they are instead of where they can be. They are so consumed with the realities of the present that they choke every vision of the future.

They allow themselves to be defined by their realities instead of being inspired by their visions. For many, this is where the journey ends.

Adversity is the mother of creativity. The book Start up Nation by Dan Senor and Saul Singer discusses how Israel has become a global innovation hub in spite of the threats and hostilities that surround the nation.

Former Israeli president Shimon Peres said in his foreword to the book that, ‘As a poor people coming home to a poor land, we had to discover the riches of scarcity…the only capital at our disposal was human capital.


The arid land would not yield to financial contributions. When they discovered that the land was infertile and the water insufficient, they turned to invention and technology.’

In reality, creativity does not happen in spite of adversity. It happens because of it. Adversity induces creativity but many waste the opportunity.

Join me and others like Rachel who will share inspiring stories on Friday 6th of November at 6pm. It will be a night of infinite possibilities where we will be showing you how to unleash your creativity.

Venue is the beautiful 3000 seater auditorium of St Andrews PCEA church and admission is FREE!

Everyone is creative but the vision for what is possible must be greater than the experience of what is happening around you. Adversity is a terrible resource to waste! See you on the 6th.