I was born in the center of business minded people in Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya, two decades ago, four years later after my parents had deemed themselves “well off” and moved from Taita Taveta where my elder brother was born and where they had learned to call home. Life in the middle class family taught me valuable lessons, lessons which I still deem useful years later. I took my first lessons of alphabet and basic grammar at New Eastleigh Primary school, a public school owned by the Nairobi City Council. I quickly discovered that I was a talented poet though shy when dealing with crowds. I took up writing nursery rhymes due to having a good command of language.
In school, I registered high scores in Languages and Humanities. Science was a challenge to me though. I was finding it pretty hard to improve my grades as it proved to be a stumbling block. At times I would be so frustrated to the extent I would contemplate sneaking out of science class, but this was a public school and with the danger of a thorough spanking and looming, I had no choice but to stay put and struggle with the subject. Despite this, I still managed to hold on to the top positions in my class. My parents had not had a chance of formal schooling though my father who had a little formal education struggled with the Kenyan Education System to make sure my homework was right and done. He supervised my education, followed my progress and dutifully he made sure that together with my mother they had played their parental roles. Sometimes it would occur to me that they too in a sense were gaining something through the roles they were playing in my education!
With the advent of free primary education, I was moved to Racecourse Primary School, a prestigious primary school. I continued with my lower primary in the school after my parents moved me to another school, which now was private, I struggled adopting to this new environment but managed to finish my first leg of the 8-4-4 system attaining 371 marks out of the total 500 marks. To say the truth, I was not really upbeat about my results, it would seem to most people that indeed it was a great performance but I felt it was not the best I could do, not that I was regretting it or being ungrateful but I really knew I was intelligent enough to break a record. I attended computer classes before joining Nairobi Muslim Academy and finished my four years of high school in 2012.
It’s after high school that I first sought a job. With an interest in humanitarian and social work, I applied for internships and volunteer opportunities in humanitarian and non-governmental organizations but to no avail. Seeing this opportunities slip by and not having anyone to consult, I took the initiative to run my mum’s boutiques in Eastleigh. I had a number of duties on my job description; I was to record new stock, write financial statements and deal with customers. This job has given me experience in book keeping, marketing and public relations for which I am thankful to my mum.
Despite working in this sector of the economy to date having pursued a degree in Journalism and Mass Media at Mount Kenya University, I still have the passion for volunteering. I believe in service to people, service without expecting anything in return, this is my way of giving back to society. I attribute my modest success to the people around me, to my family, community and society in general. Through my life, I have tried to dedicate my time, skills, talent and experience to make a difference. Since finishing high school, I followed my interest in Poetry and now I am happy about this progress of going on stage every Friday evening at PAWA 254, a session known as Fatuma’s voice that encompasses young poets, musicians, graffiti artists and all forms of artists and art lovers.
Fatuma’s voices ’ audience are now pushing to become a talk show and fighting for airtime in TV programs with the help of a renowned Photojournalist, and a philanthropist Boniface Mwangi who gave us space for free. Aside from this I manage to run two blogs one purely for poetry and the other for articles. I found company in writing and regard myself as a solitary person which is partly the main reason why friends say that I play superior to them among many other displeasing comments but throughout my life I have considered my father a mentor who in those times gave me an advice that I apply in my everyday life.
These beautiful words that,”In life we have no perpetual enemies nor eternal allies, our interests are eternal and perpetual and it’s our duty to follow”, will continue to be engrained in my life as I am already beginning to see my future beam.