Milkah Mwasi is the true definition of hard work, resilience and determination. Brought up in a family of 9 and living in poverty, her dream of changing her life through education was temporarily shattered when she could not continue with her studies due to lack of fees. She pressed on and in 2022, aged 42, Milka graduated from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).
This is her story as told by WoK.
She studied at Mobamba Primary School before sitting her Kenya Certificate of Primary School exam at Sironga Primary School in Nyamira. She scored 405 marks but her parents did not have enough money to enable her join secondary school.
She asked to repeat grade eight rather than staying at home, wasting away her knowledge. Unfortunately, the headteacher refused her request and urged her to join secondary school. He felt repeating was not a good option for her.
Saddened by this, she put her dream on hold and lived with her grandmother. She was convinced to visit Marindi Secondary School and convince the principal to take her. The principal was impressed with her marks and allowed her to join the school.
She was admitted to the day school in 1995 during the middle of the term. She was asked to purchase the uniform and her fees could be paid later. She received free uniform from a wellwisher who had been a student at the institution. During the first exam, she was number 54 out of 57, and this just encouraged her to work hard.
Unfortunately, she got sent home for school fees on numerous occasions. One time, while in Form two, she was prevented from sitting for exams because of school fees arrears. Her uncle and some teachers came together and helped her to apply for a bursary.
Everytime she was sent home, Milkah Mwasi continued to study and even made her own timetable. She would also ask for notes from her fellow students. When she got a C- minus, it made her feel very bad as she felt she could have done more.
Life after School
Milkah moved to Nairobi and stayed with her aunt before moving to Mombasa to live with her sister. She joined a security firm where the pay was very little but she needed the job.
Her sister managed to save money and start a business. She returned home when her sister became sick and eventually passed away.
Afterwards, she moved back to Mombasa and looked for any available job. CPA holder did menial jobs, including as a house help, despite the poor wages. Eventually, she secured a job with G4s in 2007 where she worked for more than a decade.
“I wasn’t paid well (house help job) and I quit. Life was hard but I still did not want to give up and go home. I worked for some agencies and was lucky enough to get a job at G4S where I worked for nearly 15 years,” she told Kenyans
Fulfilling her Dream
In 2013, she enrolled for night classes at the Vision Institute of Professionals, Mombasa campus where she graduated with a Certificate in Certified Public Accounts (CPA).
In 2018, Milkah Mwasi joined Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Mombasa campus for a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance option). She graduated with a Second Class upper on 28th June 2022.