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Josephine Wairimu: Kenyan Who Left Country With Nothing, Rose To Become A Top Software Engineer In The US

Josephine Wairimu is a Kenyan software engineer based in Saint Louis, Missouri. The younger her never thought that she would achieve what she has been able to. Her journey to the top has had its fair share of ups and downs. 

Here is her story as told by WoK.

Early Life

Josephine was born the fifth in a family of nine children in Kiambu. Her father passed away when she was still young and her mum had to leave their home.

They settled in Chania where life was very tough. She recalled a time when she and her sister were sent home because of Ksh4 school fees and ended up staying a whole month at home. They would go pick tea in the tea farms and hide from their teacher to avoid being questioned. 

The family then moved to Kirinyaga before settling in Gilgil where their mum married their stepfather.

After primary school, she went to Sing’ore Girls where life was not any easy. She had to survive on very little money but remained focused on her education. 

Traumatic Experience

While in high school, she went through a traumatic experience. She recounted, while going home, there was chaos in Nakuru and she could not get transportation. A man promised to help her only to end up raping her.

She kept this secret for years. By sharing her experience with others, who have gone through the same, they will know it is not their fault. 

Having her baby 

After high school, she was admitted to Kenyatta University to pursue a Bachelor of Education degree.

Adopting to life in the University was not easy as she had been naive and in an all girls school.

In her first year, she got pregnant and the father of her child had gotten an opportunity to go to the United States.

After giving birth, she left the baby home and went back to school. Unfortunately her baby had passed away. 

Life in the US 

The father of her later baby helped her secure a student visa and she joined him in the United States.

The two lived together as husband and wife and separated when their son was months-old. By this time, she had finished her studies at a community college, gotten a job and was working on her degree. 

She got a consulting job with the Federal Bank and was eventually employed as a software engineer in the bank. She has risen through the ranks to become one of the highest ranking employee in her department and she is a team leader. 

Wairimu is married to a Kenyan based in the US and they have two children together. 

The software engineer, who never thought she would achieve much, hopes to inspire others that it does not matter where one comes from.

Josephine Wairimu siblings have also gone on to have successful businesses and careers with one of her sisters serving as the deputy governor of Kiambu county.

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