Stars shine bright in darkness


By Patrick Achitabwino:

When night falls, at the time that the blanket of darkness envelops the earth, walk out of your house and gaze into the sky. As long as there are no clouds shielding the sky, you will see the shining stars. When dawn cracks, the stars are no longer as brighter as they were during the night. In life, if the shining ability of your potential and greatness has to come to people’s attention, then be a shining light when all is seemingly gloomy.

All the innovations we cherish were a manifestation of defying darkness – providing light in the midst of deep darkness. Mother Theresa of Calcutta became the icon of humanity when she was the shining star among the darkness of the desolate. When we were all in the dark, thinking that we did not have enough resources to own a bank, Dr Thomson Mpinganjira shinned brighter than the rest and we all know the results. The story of William Kamkwamba is well known world over. Languishing in the darkness of poverty, under-resourced and less educated, he constructed a windmill. He shined brighter than others in darkness and, no wonder, his life story has ended up being on video to inspire more generations to come.


Do not just mourn when the organisation you are working for is making losses. That monstrous darkness of losses is a challenge to you to be the shining light. If only you could bring in ideas and strategies that may lead into a turn around, you will become a household name and will easily rise to the top. Great leaders are noted not when all is fine and good but when challenging situations threaten the survival of the entities they lead.

Kwanele Ngwenya of NBS Bank is called a turnaround strategist. He was hired during the time the viability and sustainability of NBS Bank was under the hammer. Now NBS Bank is reporting profits. Kwanele would not have been a respected figure in the financial services sector is he had not shinned bright in the darkness of perennial losses. Stars provide a solution and demand for them is high. The fact of life is that you are already a star, only that you decide not to shine brighter than others when darkness engulfs situations you find yourself in.

Rene Carayol reminds us all: “We need to remember that opportunity comes disguised as trouble. …we do the best job of managing change when our mindset is relentlessly positive. Hope for tomorrow enables us to transcend the problems of today.”


On the battle field, the most decorated soldiers end up being those that face a volcano of bullets but never give up in a bid to rescue their comrades. Even as they see colleagues falling to bullets, blood coating the earth, they soldier on with the belief and conviction that victory will be theirs. In the deep darkness of death-smelling bullets, raining bombs, fatigue, hunger and thirst, they shine with resilience and tenacity to fight on and help save lives of their compatriots. Their medals have a silent meaning – those that shone bright in the dark embers of death.

You smear the bright side of your star with the grease of self-doubt, self-belittlement, lack of confidence, concentrating more on your weak points than your positives, easy giving-up spirit among many other vices. Stars defy deep darkness to flicker from millions of miles in the sky.

No matter the darkness you are in, look beyond the bleakness of the moment and envision a brighter tomorrow. Carayol even advises: “Search for openings that can lead to a better future.” Wherever you are, there are many opportunities circling around you, only that you concentrate on the dark side instead of shinning bright. The problems you are facing await a solution from you. The financial quandary your organisation is in waits patiently for your star of brilliance to inject in new ideas that will write a new progressive chapter for your organisation.

When you are hopeless, when everything seems to be heading for the bad, remember the stars shine in darkness and consider that to be your source of inspiration.

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