Salome Chiira is the owner of Radiant Group of Hospitals.
However, her rise to the top was not easy, she got pregnant in her teens and despite completing school, she also worked as a house-help.
It was not until a good samaritan offered to sponsor her education when she revitalized her dreams of becoming a useful person in the society.
Here is Chiira’s inspiring story as told by WoK.
Chiira was leading a normal childhood life like any other child until she got pregnant when she was just 14 years old.
At the time, she was a Form Two student at Kangubiri Girls High School in Nyeri County.
The pregnancy forced her out of school and while at home, she sold vegetables as she waited to deliver her baby.
Chiira delivered safely and three months after the birth of his son, her parents rallied her to go back to school.
She left her son under the care of her parents and assumed studies at Mutira Girls High School, Kirinyaga County.
“I am a go-getter, I better crawl to get to where I want to go. I also rely on God to guide me. I don’t say, unfortunately. I use fortunately I got pregnant because my firstborn is my anchor,” Chiira said.
House maid job offer
Chiira completed high school and scored a mean grade of B.
By the time she completed her secondary school education, she wanted to become a medical practitioner.
However, Chiira’s parents were not able to enroll her to a medical school due to lack of school fees.
As a result, the mother of one got a job offer to work as a house maid in Nairobi to cater for herself and her baby.
“It was hard work, but I did it nonetheless. At this point I had no ambitions to further my studies beyond Form Four. I was okay,” she said.
Life-changing phone call
At her work place, Chiira was allowed to answer phone calls from guests as part of her day-to-day work.
One morning, she answered a phone call and while on it, the caller was stunned by Chiira’s fluency in English and wondered why she was not in school.
The caller, a bank manager at the time, invited her to his office and after listening to his story, he offered to sponsor her to further her studies.
“Upon narrating her story to him, without hesitation, he offered to pay my school fees and tuition fees,” she recalled.
Chiira enrolled at the Kenya Medical Training Institute (KMTC) in Embu and pursue a diploma in nursing.
She later worked for a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), before enrolling at Agha Khan University to do a degree in nursing.
Radiant Group of Hospitals
Chiira bought Radiant Hospital from its initial owners who had failed to get a financial rescuer to bail them out at a time when the hospital was going down.
She partnered with five of her friends and contributed Ksh 500,000 each to raise Ksh 2.5 million revitalisation capital.
However, the hospital failed to pick up immediately and the other investors wanted out prompting her to buy their shares.
“None of them was willing to dedicate their time to run it. They had given up on the business despite risking their resources in the hope of salvaging it
“I managed to pay each of them Ksh 300,000 in first instalments in the first year and the balance over a period of 12 months,” Chiira said.
Being the sole owner of the hospital, Chiira took a break from her NGO job to focus on reviving the health facility.
In the beginning, she worked as a receptionist, nurse and even a marketer, in a bid to solve challenges that the facility was going through.
Chiira was able to rebuild the hospital with the help of a local bank and additional funding from her partner.
“I approached a local bank for a loan. My father offered our only piece of land as collateral to the bank. I was also fortunate to get additional funding from my spouse,” she said.
Over the years, Radiant Hospital grew to have five branches spread across Nairobi County today ranked in the level 5, level 4, and level 3b categories.
It employs over 100 people across it’s value chain and it has a fully functioning board chaired by the good samaritan who sponsored her education at KMTC.
“My main target is the middle-class group of the nation who need affordable healthcare services,” Chiira said.