“Destiny is the push of our instincts to the pull of our purpose” T.D Jakes
It would not be right for me to tell my story without talking about my late mother. I am truly who I am today because of her instincts. I owe my all to her.
My parents ran away from Merti in Isiolo County during the Shifta War in North Eastern Province, Kenya that was a secessionist conflict in which ethnic Somalis in the Northern Frontier District of Kenya attempted to join with their fellow Somalis in a Greater Somalia. In this war they sadly lost all their livestock which constituted their entire livelihood. My father did not despair though and looked for employment and got a job at one of the ranches in Laikipia. By this time they had two children, my older brother and sister.
In search of education for my siblings, my mother made a bold move, she moved from Laikipia to Subukia in Nakuru County. Apparently she had once visited Subukia and noticed that schools were much closer to the homes, unlike Laikipia where there were no schools around. It is here in Subukia that I was born and I am actually the fourth born in a family of eight – three girls and five boys.
In Subukia, my mum learnt how to farm and would lease land to cultivate crops, mostly maize and beans. Now this was a significant turning point for her because she made a three sixty degree change from a pastoralist to a farmer! You can just imagine what this drastic change entailed! There were very few families from my Boran community living in Subukia at the time and you can therefore also imaging how much we stood out among the residents, with our height, hair and language. My mother however was very social and interacted well with everyone, and this endeared us to the residents.
My childhood was typical of any child brought up in a rural setting, going to school, helping with house chores and farm work and a lot of play. Life was however not rosy as my father lost his job due to an injury, when we were still young. I remember I was still in class one. This meant therefore that the small farm my mum leased was all that we had as our livelihood. Raising school fees was very difficult for all of us and we went through school through my mum’s sheer determination. She would knock on any door whenever the burden weighed her down, looking for all possibilities to get school fees to put us through school. She was extremely determined. I was very fortunate to get a part scholarship from the Nakuru County council and Jomo Kenyatta foundation for my secondary school.
After just completing my final year of high school I lost both my dad and mum. We became orphans. It was a very difficult time. The community was however very supportive, thanks to my mum’s legacy of interacting and socializing with everyone.
Mostly out of the fear of the fear of disappointing this institution that paid my fees and most importantly my mother I worked hard in school. I went on to get a Bachelor’s degree from Kenyatta University and later on a Master’s degree from University of Nairobi. I currently work at the Office of Auditor General as a value for money auditor. I am also happily married with three children a boy and two girls. I am happy where I am right now and although I haven’t reached the ultimate goal that I want to achieve in life, I know I ‘m destined to achieve more.
My Mum really did mould and influence our lives and I remember with clarity how she shaped our lives through her sheer determination to see us get education even though she never heard formal schooling herself. Most families in our ranks never really bothered about schooling. I also remember how her ability to interact with different people got us to where we are now. Naturally people from my community never integrated well with the rest, she was different. Very different. The support we got from our neighbors at the time we needed it most, as a result of her sociable nature, was overwhelming. Her life also taught me the value of adapting to change. Her resolve to take up farming and adapt to it, saved the day. We all worked hard
These three things kept us together after her demise. They were the greatest asset that she left us. Destiny was indeed really pushing her instincts to her purpose, to give her children a better life.
Halima is passionate about leadership and communication and making a difference by inspiring the next generation. She may be found on firstname.lastname@example.org