Jemimah Kutata

Physically challenged student from a marginalised community of Massai people in Kenya

Course: Business English with Spoken English Diploma Course Advanced Business English Diploma Course

This student achieved a Distinction in the first course she completed with us and a Credit in the second – but we think her own words say it all! We have, in addition, chosen her as our most recent ‘Student of the Year’.

Jemimah says:

“I come from a very marginalised community of Massai people in Kenya, East Africa, who never recognised the value of educating girls. I am number six in a family of ten and physically challenged, walking with the aid of two elbow crutches and a caliper on my right leg. My dad passed away in 1996 and we were left with our mother, who is a peasant farmer so it was difficult to access education.

“Through the kindness of well wishers, I was able to attend primary and secondary school. But, with a lot of school fee arrears I was sent home several times. After completing my fourth form there was no money for college fees and I had to stay at home. I never gave up hope and finally a good Samaritan offered to pay for me to participate in a secretarial course. However, I only sat for stage one exams.

“While I was flicking through the Daily Nation Newspaper in 1998 I came across an advertisement for Business English with Spoken English. I applied for the information, but could not afford the school fees.

“However, by 2008 I was working as a receptionist for a charitable organisation helping disabled people. The salary was low as charitable organisations rely on donations from well wishers. But when I received a scholarship enrolment form, and a little financial help from a friend, I was courageous and applied for the course.

“Finally, and despite all the challenges, I managed to earn Diplomas in both the Business English with Spoken English and Advanced Business English courses.

“I was promoted from receptionist to telephone operator, then again to become the company’s secretary and my salary has increased accordingly. I have also been chosen to train disabled groups on how to start and run successful businesses. This is a voluntary position as the participants are not able to pay.

“On a personal level, I can now afford to live in a house with electricity and I take care of my mother who depends solely on me for her basic needs.

“In the future I would like to continue my education and my boss has advised me that if I am successful he will promote me to be his personal assistant.”