- To pay for her studies, Njeri works as a night security guard at Murang’a Level 5 Hospital. She also wash clothes, scrubs floors and cleaning houses if she’s free.
- She hopes to join an investigative agency after she graduates. Helping her younger siblings financially is also her top priority.
Described as a story of resilience, a female student from Murang’a University of Technology (MUT) is defying the odds in venturing into what society views as not a woman’s job, more so for a university student.
But for Mary Njeri Kinuthia, a fourth-year student studying Criminology and Security at MUT, she juggles school during daytime and working at night, in her quest for education.
Some female university students have opted for easier routes of getting money by engaging in illicit relationships by dating old men or sponsors as they are commonly known. Others have resorted to prostitution.
But for Njeri, 23, hard work and integrity are paramount principles in her life. To pay for her studies, she works as a security guard during the night, manning the gate at Murang’a Level 5 Hospital.
Our reporter followed her to school to observe how she conducts herself in class, and later joined her in the evening at her workstation.
For Njeri, any time she is not in class is an opportunity to fund her education. And when the night is not so busy… it is also another opportunity to be busy reading her class notes from her smartphone.
So hardworking is Njeri that apart from her night duties, she also offers cleaning services where she washes people’s clothes and homes.
The student who joined the institution in 2017 says her parents were unable to provide extra money for her basic needs thus she had to look for a way to sustain herself.
Her father is a primary school teacher in Nyandarua County while her mother is a housewife. Two of her siblings are in secondary school while two others are pursuing tertiary education. This means that her parents were unable to fully sustain her education.
When Njeri realised she needed to do something to sustain herself in school, she asked her parents for permission. At first, Njeri says her father was not happy but he had no choice.
Njeri, entrepreneurial too…
She has tried a waitress job at a Murang’a town eatery. After saving for a while, she quit and started selling beauty products to fellow students. On a good day, Njeri would make a KSh800 profit.
Like many other Kenyans, Njeri suffered from the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic when the government closed all learning institutions indefinitely. This was the end of her thriving business, as students were her customers.
She went back to the drawing board and started searching for a job. Luckily, she found one at a security firm and was deployed at the hospital.
Owing to her strict religious upbringing, Njeri says she has no desire to engage in frivolous activities such as clubbing. Earning money using the right means is her cup of tea.
Not even her colleagues’ incessant questions and ridicules will deter Njeri from her mission… wrap up her education smoothly and being a successful woman, a role model to many.
She hopes to join an investigative agency after she graduates. Helping her younger siblings financially is also her top priority.