- Anna Qabale Duba runs an organization that aids her community not only in educating women and girls, but also in menstrual hygiene.
- She wears the tag of the ‘voice of the voiceless’ and has weathered a tough upbringing. She was almost married off at 14.
- Qabale who hails from Marsabit was born in a polygamous family of 19.
Kenyan nurse, Anna Qabale who hails from a sleepy village in Marsabit has been thrust into the limelight after securing the prestigious Aster Guardian Global Nursing Award in Dubai. This saw her walk away with a whooping USD 250000 (Ksh 29 Million) after emerging victorious in a contest that saw over 24000 nurses across the globe participate.
She received the award on 12th May, 2022 in commemoration of the International Nurses’ Day.
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Having smashed the glass ceiling, an elated Qabale took to her social media to express her joy saying: “I am just speechless. Thanks to Almighty God. I won the global nursing award. Thanks to everyone who voted for me.”
Tough Background, FGM and Early Marriage
But behind her victory is a moving story characterized by a difficult childhood in the arid Northern Kenya. In a past Ted Talk event, she detailed that having born in a community that practises the retrogressive culture of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), she was forced to undergo the cut.
The last born in a polygamous family of 19 survived being married off at a tender age of 14. Back in her village of Torbi, the privilege of getting an education is mainly reserved for the boy-child. However, being a last born, she was lucky to get educated albeit missing a number of classes due to lack of sanitary pads.
According to her LinkedIn profile, she pursued a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing at Kenya Methodist University thereby becoming the first female graduate in the village of Torbi.
Qabale Duba Foundation
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The inspirational nurse who holds a Masters in Field Epidemiology founded the Qabale Duba Foundation in a move to help women and girls in her village to beat poverty and get educated. The foundation which operates the Torbi Pioneer Academy conducts various community services including donation of sanitary pads and emancipating women from illiteracy.
Qabale who quotes Nelson Mandela popular saying that education is the most powerful weapon to change the world has a meticulous plan to ensure things run seamlessly. Under her school’s tutelage, kids’ classes are organized in the morning while women get to class in the afternoon.
The idea behind this is because of the challenges that the village women face especially in the onset of Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) where they are supposed to oversee the education of their children.
“Have you ever imagined how an illiterate parent would be able to help their kids with their homework or generally even see their performance?” she posed.
Qabale has previously been feted as Miss Tourism Marsabit and Miss Tourism Kenya. She also won the Global Citizens Choice Award in 2019.
- “Being a villager has never hindered me from dreaming big. I’ve always dared to dream.”
- “Let’s leave our comfort zone: do something, however small it is. You never know whose life you will be changing for good. The secret of getting ahead is getting started. Start where you are, use what you have and do what you can.”