Poverty made Sean Connery sleep inside a coffin but he left it behind to gift us James Bond+

The death last Saturday of legendary actor and movie icon, Sir Sean Connery at 90years caused a stir in many hearts across the world as many of those familiar with the exploits of the first James Bond, yielded their space to nostalgia. The visitor let its host recall with pleasantness some of the scenes from Dr No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You only live Twice, Diamonds are Forever and other movies in which Sir Sean transported viewers to many faraway places.

Many fans and admirers agree that he knew too well how to get into the 007 character and the other roles he went on to interpret so convincingly after his soar away success with the James Bond franchise. But not many know that he knew poverty up close and personal. He was so poor that he slept inside a coffin at a stage in his life. It was the best space available for him seeing that his only accommodation was the coffin shop where he worked to earn a living. Yet he refused to fall in love with poverty even though he had a close association with her.

Lady Poverty may have enchanted many, warping and rewiring their neural pathways with excuses and rationalizations but Sir Sean was not going to yield to her charm. He was going to push himself. He would beat his body into shape for all its worth. The mind ought to control the body and not the other way round. Somehow, he happened on the idea that being fit, fast and in-shape might attract to him opportunities that would not otherwise have been the case. His embrace of a fitness regime and wanting to keep his body in shape eventually landed him his first movie role. Fitness was not the only thing that got him the role but it was one of the important factors he leveraged as he made the transition from a former ally of poverty to a complete stranger to the ubiquitous stalker.

As the world mourns the passing of the great man, I am fascinated by the fact that many who have known poverty up close and personal like he did, might use this aspect of his story as fresh motivation to give their dreams another push. Another attempt. And another try.

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