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The ‘Mr. Suleiman Shahbal’ Example – Shifting Paradigms…It’s all in the mind.

Suleiman Shahbal

It is easier to understand this, if you closely observe character and personality perceptions of politicians more than you would if you tried to study behavioural patterns of a family member.

Our pattern of perceiving different aspects about life, are solely very much dependent on the kind of upbringing we got exposed to in our childhood; the environment, social influences, academic and non- academic acquisitions – all these are major factors that play a big role in the paradigm of our trend of perception and thought.

Lately, I have been subjecting myself to listen to some recorded clips of politicians and businessmen in my country. This way believe I will be able to distinguish between certain basic paradigms from which their attitudes and behaviours flow.

For instance in one of such video clips, when asked why he wanted to be a politician yet he was doing great as a businessman, Mr. Suleiman Shahbal explained that having been brought up in Mombasa, he felt that the town needed major facelifts in terms of infrastructure, health and medical well-being of its inhabitants among other social-economic aspects that are detrimental in any citizens’ life.

  • Suleiman-Shahbal-Transformed Mombasa-dumpsite into a Park
  • Suleiman Shahbal - Mombasa City Pavements

On another of his speeches, Mr. Suleiman Shahbal passionately described how he knew that working as a team in the political arena would extremely work in the solving of most problems; specifically in the provision of better housing for Mombasa Township. To demonstrate this, he cited a scenario in his past life as a student when he worked with his classmates, friends and even neighbours to revise past exam papers. Did this work for him and his friends?  Of course it did! As we speak, he is the chairman of Gulf Group of companies! We understand that his mates all did as well…no one failed to be registered in a university.

Basing our conclusion of Mr. Shahbal’s attitude towards socio-economic dynamism on a type of paradigm which is the way things should be or values (another being-the way things are or realities), we can thus deduce that his upbringing has been one where consciousness of a progressive environment and necessity of teamwork have been core.

Thus, it is not a wonder that a successful businessman like himself, would venture into politics, his aspirations being to develop socio-economic status of cosmopolitan lifestyles in the country, whilst collaboratively working with his fellow politicians. (We are of course assuming that they share his character paradigm or at least use their personality paradigm for the sake of working in oneness, all for a good cause.)

The knowledge of how human relationships work in such a case as Mr. Shahbal’s is aware of, is essentially important.

Subsequently, it is paramount to understand that human relationships like nature, are systems based on the law of ‘harvest’. And not just ‘harvest’ but ‘good harvest’. Key elements to acquire this are, deep integrity and fundamental character strength of each partaker within the team. Teamwork calls for a paradigm shift as individuals. It enables leaders achieve a common objective.

Wondering whether you got me right?

Yes, a shift of mindset is apparently necessary for each stakeholder, in order to successfully sail through milestones that lead to a common goal.

Big question here is:  How do we know when to shift our paradigm; perception, and how do we go about it? What is Paradigm Shift really?

Paradigm shift is when someone finally ‘sees’ the composite picture in another way. When one is finally not bound any longer to prior perceptions or mindsets.  An occurrence of a shift of perception. Paradigm shifts can direct us positively or negatively. Irrespective of this, it moves us from one view point of seeing things concerning life …the world to another. At times it is instantaneous, other times developmental.

Consequently, paradigms cause a major change of attitude and behaviour that in turn affects our relationships with others. Hence a wake- up call from one person who is governed by the way things should be principle, could be propelled or hampered by the other persons attitude and behaviour towards the values that the wake up caller sees whilst the latter does not. The power of change of perception (paradigm shift) is the essential power of quantum. It can change be it instantaneous or a slow deliberate developmental process.

The point at which you make the shift of perception purely lays on the moment that you discern between realities and values….between ethics of character and those of personality! If you are able to make an instant realization at a certain moment and inarguably accept what comes along with the natural laws of paradigm shifting, then success is all yours!

How then do we know when to shift our paradigm and how do we go about it?

Accepting reality is critical for us to understand as it is a life-changing experience that if not heeded to, could cost our lives. The moment we recognize a moment of reality, we need not be goaded into accepting it. Shifting our paradigm should be relentlessly instant.


Now that we conscious of categories of paradigms and how we ought to instigate their shifting, we ought to deem ourselves pacesetters in this very dynamic world of ours ….especially now that Covid-19 happened.

Shall we enthusiastically endeavour to shift our paradigms if not blend them in order to achieve a common goal as patriotic citizens of our countries…of Mamaland Africa?

We have the DNA that makes successful and effective people…we know the rules of natural systems…and accept there is no short cut.

Good people, let’s get moving and shaking!

Sheila Munguti is a writer and a teacher. She hails from Kenya and is passionate about changing the negative misconceptions of the African continent as well as re-telling the African story from her own eyes. She lives in Mombasa, Kenya.

Konnect Africa
Konnect Africa
A Pan-African inspirational magazine that promotes innovation and development in Africa by sharing Africa's success stories and showcasing African talents in Governance, Entrepreneurship, Business, Technology, Energy, Fashion, Sports, Education, Arts and Culture. Follow us as we inspire Africans everywhere.

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