Courage isn’t always the macho man on the battlefield with hot spurts of adrenaline pumping through his veins. His tools are not always a sword, gun or some high-tech machinery that paints fear on the faces of men. Courage sometimes isn’t even the even necessarily the loudest voice amongst us, the one that is always champion when it comes to the war of wits and words. Sometimes courage is that determined body riding on a bicycle delivering crisp radishes to the doorsteps of Mombasa.
He goes by ‘Muhammud bin Donge’, a nickname probably coined in fond reference to his ties to the popular Mombasa community based group, Donge La Mombasa Welfare Group. There are some pretty amazing individuals in Donge, but what really sets this guy apart is his determination to make a living for himself and his young family in the face of impossibilities. Mombasa’s economy is bad. A lot of young people are either finishing up high school, entering college, or handing out CV’s. Those that aren’t employed tend to sit at home and wait for something to come up. What does Bin Donge do? He grabs a bike and delivers the popular white radish to homes across Mombasa. I honestly would have never thought of venturing into a radish delivery business. This is, after all Mombasa, a city with its own metropolis chaos: crazy traffic jams, hot tarmac steaming in the midday sun, dusty exhaust fumes spewing in the air. Cycling can be a challenge here but doing it during Ramadhan (the holy Islamic month of fasting) is not for the faint of heart. It takes the strong of heart.
By the way, Muhammad is also an active volunteer in Donge. Every Sunday, he’s out with young wife and child, and the rest of the group visiting the needy and handing out vital food rations. If he’s not the living definition of a community role model, I don’t know what is.
Often times the people who leave me with the strongest impression are those that radiate joy when all the opportunities for depression are present; those who do not let their humble circumstances determine their outlook in life. They inspire others to the greater good not just through their words, but through their actions. And rather than complain about their misery and wait for someone to make their lives better, they take charge and do what it takes to provide for their families. They take charge and do what it takes to make their communities stronger. The world needs more men like Muhammad.
If you are in the Mombasa area and would like to have some delicious radishes delivered to you, call Muhammad: