Writer: Pamela Makumbi

Ever heard the English saying “Bones and sticks may break my bones but words can never hurt me”? Nothing could be further from the truth. Words matter, when I look back at my life, I can remember so many scenes where the most hurt I felt and the most hurt I inflicted was through words.

When I was a young girl, one of my teachers said I was an intelligent girl, I believed it and I indeed excelled in my education. When I joined A level, I was given a subject combination which included history, I did not quite like it and frankly speaking it was a difficult subject for me. So I asked my mum to request the headmaster to have it changed. When she went to him, his comment was “Pamela, is an intelligent girl. She is able to excel in any subject combination she decides to do” This gave me the courage to carry on with my combination, as expected I excelled in all the other subjects except History, but because I had heard that I was intelligent and could do any subject I did not give up. I could not let myself fail history and lo and behold I passed history with flying colors. I do not know what would have happened if I had been told I was not a good student of History.

Words are powerful, they can create and tear down. A lot of us are what we are because of the words that were spoken to/over us at some point in our lives. In my culture, when someone amounts to nothing, the question asked is “Bakuloga?” translation “did anyone curse you”? In other words curses/negative words spoken over/ to you have the capacity to mess up your life. Before you start thinking I am superstitious, let me make reference to the bible.

From the very beginning we see the entire word created by the word of God. He literally spoke things into being. His words are spirit and they are life. We are created in the image of God, so our words have power. The wise teacher, King Solomon taught a lot on the same. He said, “death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it”. The words that we hear form a belief system by which we live, which in turn shapes our decisions and choices thereby shaping our lives. The truth is you cannot have thoughts unless you first hear words. The words you hear from pictures or images in your mind that become what you think about. What you think, you will eventually become.

As a man thinketh, so is he!

Words set the course for your future, they become you, being sick, ugly, broke, stupid as a result of the words you have heard or being beautiful, healthy, abundant, smart because of the words you have heard.

There’s hope, ultimate power is resident in God’s words, and they create a new picture or vision in our minds that we can think about and as a result change the whole trajectory of our life.

Leah Grace Oketcho, is a highly talented Communication specialist, gifted in leadership with over 3 years of leadership and management experience at different levels. She is a team player and has demonstrated ability in mobilizing and organizing others to achieve desired goals. Oketcho is well vast in the art of creating alternatives for ways to get results. She has over the years grown in the art of corporate communications and also participated in the development of performance management materials for various professional institutions. Leah received training in research, scripting, international relations, and data analysis as well as public relations. She is passionate about solving public health related problems. She has offered training to youth in oral and written communication, people management and mentoring, editing and documentation skills, public speaking.


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