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A legacy of happiness

Thursday, January 9, 2014

In one of your articles you mentioned that Sam, your son, is a filmmaker. I deduced that you’re okay with that. Well, if Sam were African, he’d have a difficult job convincing his parents to allow him to pursue this path. And it would be much harder if his dad were wealthy and famous. What gave you the courage to let Sam do his thing, and what advice can you give to prominent African entrepreneurs whose children desire to follow their own paths, away from the family business? 


Festus Mbuimwe, Nairobi, Kenya


Parents faced with this question need to ask themselves what’s important to them. My family comes first, and helping and supporting my wife, Joan, and our children, Holly and Sam, is at the top of the list. Joan and I do not consider our legacy to our children to be wealth or fame, but the opportunity to pursue happiness by following their own paths.


Just as Joan and I both made our own decisions about what we wanted to do, with our parents’ support, we want our kids to have the same experiences. My parents were incredibly encouraging, hoping only to help me succeed in my endeavours. My grandfather was a judge and my father was a barrister, but they never pressured me to pursue a career in law, and I didn’t have the desire to follow in their professional footsteps. Instead, my mother’s passion for entrepreneurship turned out to be a major driving force for me.