Birth and Childhood Life
I was born in a small village called Katoloni, in Machakos County, Kenya, East Africa as a third child in a family of four beautiful girls, my mama and my daddy. A hospital social worker at the Machakos General Hospital, my mama hailed from Gatundu South in Kiambu County (Kenya currently comprises 47 counties since the start of the 2010 Constitution-led devolution). So industrious, soft spoken and dark as coal was my mama, while my daddy, a general practitioner (GP) at the same institution was brown-skinned, as tall as a flag post and a sharp dresser. My daddy was from the then eastern province (Machakos County is now part of that wider region) and I was named from his side as culture demanded.
We lived happily and within our means as provided by both parents until suddenly, out of the blues, when my parents differed and separated. Our daddy resigned to avoid child-support litigation and we were left with only our mama’s meager wages for support. Problems getting enough to eat and to pay school fees among myriad other childhood needs became the order of the day. We struggled on and I was often in and out of school.
When I joined Trika Girls School, in Thika, Kiambu County for my form 1, life was not always easy for me. Often, I sent away to collect school fees and when my mama would pay, I would resume classes and work extremely hard copying notes and trying to recover the lost time. When we took the examinations, I would lead the class and confirm that I had recovered lost time. I left the school due to fees problems seeking to learn in a rural school and hoping things would be better. For Form 2, I joined Panafric Girls’ School in Nyeri. Still, I was in and out of school due to persistent lack of fees but I remained determined to fight on. Fortunately, my teachers quickly noticed my good character and discipline and soon appointed me as the dining hall prefect.
In form 3 and 4, I was promoted to school head girl but still lacked school fees. Determinedly and courageously, I decided to talk to the school head teacher and requested that I be allowed to finish my education but upon which the school would withhold my certificates until I cleared the fees balance. As fate would have it, the head teacher agreed with my proposal and I completed school. Later my mama raised the fees balances and I recovered my certificates. By God’s divine grace, we had eventually overcome the odds.
After completing school my next phase was an uphill journey albeit with minor setbacks. I secured a waitress job in the coast region and got mentored by a great man until when I ventured on my own as an entrepreneur. At last my many years of experience came in handy giving me the thick skin I needed to thrive in the business world.
Before venturing on my own I continued serving as a waitress in prestigious hotels and restaurants. This later led me to the beauty industry where I secured a job at a high-end salon and barber shop. From this station, I was inspired to open my own salon and barbershop. It was not easy! Competition was stiff and loyalty was a privilege. I failed thrice but I kept the faith and continued learning. As I progressed, I saw a niche in the cleaning industry and decided to try my hand in it. Boom! It was a gamble but it paid off in the long run. With long hours of class and juggling being a wife, a mother and a business owner it was never easy; but I did it!
In my current business, I’ve continued to expand my networks and learnt a lot about the businesses world from short and long seminars, conferences and training workshops including the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women business training offered in partnership with the Centre for Excellence in Entrepreneurship (CEED) program at USIU (United States International University) Africa.