Women in Business (WIB) Kenya Chief Executive Officer Mary Muthoni Jason is an epitome of success, both to the society in general, and the young girls aspiring to defy the odds and have a sit at the “big table.”
However, her rise to being one of the most respected women leaders in the country is without a heart melting story of her early struggles and the sheer determination to achieve greatness.
The WIB CEO attended Ngiriambu Primary School for her primary education after which she was enrolled at Kabare Girls High School for her O-levels. She joined the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) where she graduated with a Degree in Bachelor of Education.
Ms. Muthoni rejoined CUEA for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) with a major in Management and Marketing.
Her journey through college was not an easy one. On July 16, 2019, while appearing on KBC, Ms. Muthoni revealed that she had to run a number of hustles just raise money and help fend for herself and raise extra pocket money.
“A business I started was plaiting hair. I used to find the pocket money I am given as too little. I used to go out of my way, plait hair on the side and make Ksh100 per head, and at the end of the week I had Ksh500,” she said.
Ms. Muthoni first worked as a primary school tutor. She earned Ksh5,000 a month teaching computer studies at a school in Embu.
On the side, she had a talk show. She would travel to Nairobi every Friday to host the show in Ngara. She made money from entrance fees, but the show later on collapsed, as she was facing a myriad of challenges.
“It something that had come to me and I felt I needed to talk to women, young people, and young couples. And they would come to listen to me.
“Unfortunately, because of the distance, I also did not have a mentor, it was in 2004 and it was a whole new idea, so there was nobody to talk to me, nobody to guide me. I didn’t even have the finances, the business was not even registered. So the business died,” She narrated.
Self-Employment & Business
Ms. Muthoni was not deterred by the challenges she had encountered, so she embarked on a new entrepreneurial journey, starting her own school. After a month of operation, she had thought to herself that she had made the wrong decision.
She encountered costs that come with construction, teacher salaries, registration fees, and at the time, she was not well off financially. However, he desire to impart quality education in society, propelled her to achieving success in the education sector.
“While I was still a teacher, I had this feeling that we were churning half baked kids, and the parents don’t understand. I felt there is a lack of character from the kids who are taken to high school.
“I was feeling if this were my children, I wanted that model kid I would love to be my child. A child who has character, a child who has an attitude for excellence,” she narrated.
This is how she founded St Petroc Premier School in Runyenjes, Embu county. It is one of the most prestigious schools in the country, and a top performer. The school is a mixed institution offering both boarding and day schooling services.
President Kenyatta’s Adopted Daughter
In April 2014, a brave young girl recited a poem for President Uhuru Kenyatta. Her name was Emily Wanjiru.
The Head of State took her out of her former school in the Gachororo slums in Juja, Kiambu county, and enrolled her at St. Petroc Premier School. She was accompanied by Jomo Gecaga.
Adding to her remarkable fetes, she was the first Awardee for the Devolution Warrior Award by the Council of Governors in Promoting Women Empowerment in Delivery of Public Services in Kenya.
Ms. Muthoni was nominated by the British Council as a Representative of Sub-Saharan Africa for a convention that was held in Corn Wall, London in 2011
Mary Muthoni Jason made history as the first ever female national director to be elected on theboard of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.