Gladys Kanini, 22, is a third-year student at Zetech University where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in procurement and logistics management. Gladys, who first earned a diploma in business before moving up in her education, has proven time and again that success comes to those who keep going despite the odds.
“Knowing how competitive the job market is, I knew that a diploma was just not enough to help me build a stable career. Thankfully, my sponsor and Moja Tu were very open to me furthering my studies. I chose this field of study because I’ve always been interested in managing my own business and dealing with finances. Also, a couple of my friends explained to me that it has great career options,” Gladys explains.
Gladys first sat for her KCPE in 2012 but was unable to proceed to high school as her elder sister had also completed class eight. There was no way her single mother would have been able to afford to send them both to high school at the same time.
“At the time, it made sense that since my sister was the older one, I should remain behind and wait as she proceeded to secondary school. At this point, I had honestly given up hope of ever going back to school,” she recalls. However, rather than just staying at home, a friend advised her to repeat class eight. Hard as it was, the act of repeating classes would prove very crucial in the course her life would take.
“I repeated class eight and took the summative Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams for the second time. Even then, there was little hope of me proceeding to high school as my mother’s financial situation had not changed,” she says.
Unbeknownst to Gladys, Moja Tu was looking for needy students in need of sponsorship at that time and her school was among those that had been earmarked for scouting. Her determination to go continue on to high school despite the odds caught the attention of the organization, and that is how Gladys came to be enrolled in the Moja Tu program.
“Moja Tu took me to high school and ever since then I have never lacked for anything that I needed to succeed. For the first time in my life, I went to school fully prepared. It wasn’t just that I had all my school and personal supplies – I also had the knowledge that someone was supporting me financially and emotionally, which gave me so much determination and hope. That support has continued all the way up to today, and I am so thankful for all the love my sponsor has shown me,” she reflects.
Gladys’s role model is Michelle Obama. “I’ve learned from her that no matter how humble your beginnings, what matters is to discover your passion, be true to your own heart, and be kind to others. She inspires me every day as I run Speakfully – a human resource tech tool that seeks to foster a healthy workplace culture, and to bring a more positive, just, and fair work environment to our corporate communities,” she reveals.
“Lately I’ve got this big dream of owning an academy. I also want to travel and experience the world,” she adds.
Gladys tells us that her sponsor, Jill, has been a great inspiration to her. “She is always advising me to work hard and to always smile no matter what. I thank you Jill and l love you and will always treasure your words and deeds,” she says.