Engineer Antony Ng’ang’a Mwaura Shares Nuggets of Wisdom for Young People

June 13, 2020

We live in a time when everyone seems impatient. Instant gratification has become a big buzzword with millenials and Gen Z being the most affected.

It started in a seemingly harmless way on social media. Posting personal photos on Facebook and Instagram for strangers to give you their thumbs up.

These social media platforms have created overnight celebrities all over the world, in some cases making them fabulously rich.

When the photos of fancy houses and expensive cars are shared to millions on Instagram, many are inspired to replicate that success. But unfortunately, many are unable to.

This kind of attitude of expecting easy results and quick ‘wins’ has been carried forward to the real life.

The last decade has seen Millenials and Gen Z enter the job market bringing enormous change to business culture and processes. Most of it not positive.

Work ethics and values that were treasured in the old times are now taken for granted. This extends to both employment and business/self employment.

The desire to become wealthy overnight is something that particularly irks the older generations, many of whom toiled for years to achieve their success.

These are people who appreciate the value of real hard work. People who know that success is not easy to come.

Antony Ng’ang’a Mwaura is one of Kenya’s most accomplished engineers. His company, Toddy Civil Engineering, has undertaken numerous projects across the country particularly related to water engineering.

Growing his company from nothing to one of the biggest civil engineering companies in the country gives him the standing to comment on what he has observed with today’s young people.

Eng. Mwaura is also in a unique position serving on the boards of various high schools in Kenya including Maryhill Girls.

Here are 5 nuggets of wisdom from him.

Hard Work Beats Talent

There is a famous quote,“Hard work beats talent every time talent doesn’t work hard.”

You may be the best at what you do, but if you don’t do it frequently enough, it doesn’t count.

Talent is the natural ability or capacity to perform a function. No doubt it gives you some advantage, but when you possess talent in a given area, you are only gifted with the “ability” or “instinct” needed to perform a skill or display a specific quality. This means you have the “raw mechanism.”

You have the equipment, now you need to learn to use and manage it efficiently and effectively.

Successful people tend to be not only talented but also hard workers.


Pursue Passion More Than Profit

There is a growing trend especially by younger generations to chase the money first instead of building meaningful careers in something they enjoy doing.

While this may seem exciting, it leads to major disappointment if the money does not follow.

Eng. Mwaura advises young people to strive to build a career or business in something they are passionate about.

The formula is simple. Do something you love diligently and long enough, the money will almost always follow.


The best way to get started is to get started.

That great idea you have in your head is only good in your head.

Most people never follow their dreams and as a result end up living averagely. It is the people who took the first step that reap the fruits.

Capital or no capital, you need to figure out a way to get started.


Be persistent

Once you have made the start, the hard work begins. Any successful person will tell you that persistence is the most important key to their success.

As one man said, “Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.”

Many people fail just because they don’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

Find a way to rise up every time you fall down.


Take care of your health

Good health goes a long way when it comes to building any successful enterprise. It is sad to see young men and women today take this for granted, especially by taking in huge amounts of spirits and other types of alcohol.

Even in this time of Covid-19, young people have found ways to drink with reckless abandon. Notwithstanding the existential danger the virus presents.

Treat your body well and it will treat you well in your pursuit for success.



Finally according to Eng. Antony Ng’ang’a Mwaura, nothing will ever work without discipline. Particularly self-discipline.

Often interacting with school students, Eng. Mwaura likes reminding them that the real world is not guided by timetables and school bells and prefects.

You have the liberty to sleep all day, or watch rich people on TV all week.

It is your personal drive and sticking to it that will determine your success.

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