Dealing with Blindness: Amnesty International Director Shares Story

This is an excerpt of an interview of Irungu Houghton, the executive director of Amnesty International Kenya and a Landmark Forum graduate, given to Business Daily Africa. Read the entire interview here.

When were you most scared as a man?

In 2010, I was attacked in a car while coming from Namanga to Nairobi. It was at night. Five thugs with rungus and machetes. I was with my son Eric in the car, my eldest, who was 28 then. They beat us, cut us, and left us for dead. I was left with more stitches than a pair of Levi’s jeans.

Two years before my son had been attacked and lost one eye. Now he was beaten until he lost his one good eye. And that’s the moment I realised that this was going to be his future. It was probably the scariest moment of my life.

I’m a great fan of something we call The Landmark Forum, which is a personal transformation and training course. One of the distinctions is freedom from the past. That regardless of your background, good or bad, you have the power to reinvent yourself and to make choices in any moment now, tomorrow, and the day after. And that our choices are always more powerful than our circumstances, if we are choosing powerfully.

So within two months of that incident, Eric went through the landmark forum. He hadn’t even learnt Braille and we were…we were worried that… (He gets emotional. Takes a deep breath) Sorry, this gets me emotional. (Pause).

He chose blindness after that forum, he said ‘‘I choose my blindness. And I need to give up my eyesight in order to have my vision.’’ And I knew at that moment he would be fine. Eight years later, the four things which were very important to him that we thought he was going to lose, he has gained all of them.

He’s now married, the woman he thought would leave him became his wife, he invests, he has projects, he got his Diploma in Project Management. So I have seen the power of transformation. I have seen the power of essentially choosing powerfully.

Listen to the interview below.

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