Over the past year Samson Laizer has become an essential part of the NINAYO team. He started as one of our Grassroots promoters, and volunteered to quit the job because he was not hitting his numbers. I was impressed by his honesty and quickly found him a better suited role in the organization for him spearheading quality control.
Samson knows almost all the 30,000 farmers and buyers on the NINAYO network. He calls dozens of them each day to see how they are doing and make sure they are getting the best prices available on NINAYO.
Samson is an all around inspiring person. He is a preacher and a writer. He takes his life, his work and his country very seriously- but he’s always quick to laugh and be amazed. On April 14, he is launching his second book, called “Nguvu ya Fikra” “The Power of Thought” in Iringa, Tanzania.
I wanted to get to know Samson better, so I took some time to interview him. I loved getting to better understand the unique perspective that motivates him.
Jack: What was your inspiration for writing Nguvu ya Fikra?
Samson: I came to realize that most of Africans just use their muscles to get their earnings. But the mind of the person is more powerful than the muscles. I want to teach people that they will get more using their mind than their muscles.
Jack: Interesting, can I have an example?
Samson: Yes, let’s say Obama and his bodygaurds. The bodygaurds have big muscles but get paid much less than Obama. And they are not just protecting Obama, but the mind of Obama, which is what is employing them.
So if a person is trained to use his or her mind, they will earn more and do better.
Jack: Very true, I have to ask, how could this impact NINAYO?
Samson: Yes, I see that NINAYO is working with farmers. These farmers are just using their experience from their parents and traditions. They are not using their minds. They do not know where to sell their product, they just produce. I believe through this book they can find a market for their product. Teaching farmers to market through the website will be a part of it. I speak about NINAYO whenever I speak about the book.
Jack: Well I’m happy to hear it. Who are some of your role models and thinkers that influenced you.
Samson: The late Dr. Miles Monroe who was writing about the usage of man’s mind. And the power of that mind. The other very good model of mine was the late Dr. Joseph Murphy, an American, who wrote a lot about the conscious and subconscious mind. He speaks a lot about that and did research for 25 years on just the mind.
There is one man, Napoleon Hill, who wrote The Law of Success, who is the most important role model. He said, when you can use the mind to read the letters in envelopes without even opening the envelopes. He inspired me to go deep about the mind. He went 25 years finding about the mind. He came up with the answer that whoever is thinking will produce better quality than just the muscles.
Jack: Wait, what about the letters in the envelopes?
Samson: Haha, he sited an example that one time a person came to his office owed a debt. He was quarreling to get his money. He came to Napoleon, and Napoleon taught him to speak to the person who has his money as though he were there. So the man said aloud, “I know you can pay my money, give me my money.” And the next day the man who owed him came to him and said, “Oh I forgot, here is your money”.
The mind is so powerful, it can sometimes even travel and you can sit with your relatives in another country. Through the mind you can speak to them. That is what inspired me about Napoleon Hill, he explained the mind in very deep way. These days I can do the meetings in the mind with people who are not in my place. Napoleon healed a lot of people through his teachings.
He gave example of women who wanted to get a visa to go to USA. He taught her to ask for it through the mind, and just like that she got the visa.
Jack: What do you use this power of thought for in your life?
Samson: I use this to transform my fellow citizens. I love seeing people living the good life because of my mind. I love seeing children going to school because of my mind. I love making people who employ me see a good progress in their company
Jack: Please think harder
Samson: (laughing) I love my mind to give the best to everyone for which I work. I would love the people who are living in the forest, and have great ideas, to one day move to the president’s house and transform our nation.
Jack: Tell me about your book launch?
Samson: It’s not the culture of reading books in Tanzania. But I came to realize that books are food that everybody has to eat. So I have to force this habit to people to read books. So I am launching my book and will get at least 100 people who we will impregnate with this idea of reading books. The greatest idea is to get this culture to be reading and the advantages of reading books. We will then have 100 ambassadors who can spread the culture to many others.
Jack: It’s incredible how ideas can shape a culture. How do you hope to shape Tanzanian culture:
Samson: I grew up in a culture where to read a book is to be punished. I once read “If you want to hide something important from Africans, put it in a book.” (Laughter) So I decided I will speak to everyone, especially those in offices where they sign documents without even reading the heading. We prepare conferences and workshops and seminars and call people to come and listen to readers and authors who have been successful with the habit of reading books. If they testify to another person it will change the culture. We have started this since 2010. We want to inspire people to love reading books.
Jack: Why is it important to read?
Samson: Nobody knows everything. People have treasures inside them. There are people who can inspire people to know themselves. People do not know themselves, I am sure of that. It is impossible to meet the people who can tell you who you are. You can only find the treasures and wisdom of these people in books. You cannot meet the ex President of USA physically, but he can share inner most heart through books.
I have this story of Ben Carson, that was dumbest kid in the class, his mother inspired him to read books. He read two books a week and became top student in class. Why? He didn’t meet those people who wrote the books, he read the books and made himself better. You will meet people you cannot meet even through a miracle, and they can inspire you and take you to next level of your life.
Jack: Awesome. Looking forward to reading to Nguvu Ya Fikra, and I’ll do what I can to get it translated.
Samson: Asante Sana.