Former city street boy beats all odds to pursue a degree course
Job Achochi Makori, 30, faced a multitude of challenges while growing up. He however turned these obstacles into a fountain of motivation to create a better future for himself.
After completing high school in 2007, Mr Makori, then aged 17, says he travelled to Nairobi from Nyamira County, where he comes from, in search of any opportunity that could transform his life.
His dream of getting a job never came to be. Without any specialised skills or knowledge on what to do, he became a street boy around Khoja, where he stayed for two years. The streets were his life, his home and his all.
“I stayed in the streets for one year, frustrated and sleeping on pavements. It was a tough life in the streets since violence was routine. Life in the streets also meant playing hide-and-seek with the police, as most of the times we were the main suspects of crime within the Central Business District (CBD),” he says.
This means that in case of a crime by any street child, he would share the consequences at the hands of the police and city council askaris, which included being chased from the CBD.
To beat the hurdles he faced in the streets, Mr Makori started looking for odd jobs and luckily, he landed one at Kasanga Security Company as a guard.
This opportunity changed his life for better, as he eventually settled in Mukuru Kwa Njenga slums in Nairobi’s Eastlands, starting life from a humble level. He says it was a great improvement, as he now had peace of mind, which was missing in the streets.
“While working at Kasanga Security Company, I was lucky to get a better job at Pluto Security Company as a supervisor of 10 security guards. I worked there from the year 2009 to 2012. These were greener pastures for me, as I could now pay my Sh1,500 rent and meet other expenses, such as helping my family back at home,” he says.
Mr Makori adds that he believes in personal growth, which he passionately says pushes him to advance his life and look for better opportunities.
Eager to realise even more personal and financial growth, he never got tired of seeking jobs. In 2015, he says he got another job as a cleaner at Lounge Elena in Machakos County. His pay was Sh10,000 per month.
“This job gave me a platform to save money, which eventually enabled me enrol for a boda boda driving course, a desire that I had since childhood. During this time, I was determined to do all it would take to thrive and eventually support my family and join university.
“In 2016, I met the love of my life Christine Nthenya, who has been my greatest support especially when I feel discouraged. We are blessed with a two-year-old son, Daniel Makori,” he states.
After obtaining a driving licence, Mr Makori says he leased a boda boda at a fee of Sh400 daily. Initially, it was a challenge to raise that money in a day because he was still new in the industry. To overcome this challenge, he saw the need to subscribe to the technology app, Taxify, which gives clients assurance of decent services.
“On a good day, I earn Sh2,000, which has been my target. From this I save Sh500 for my goal of pursuing a degree course in theology. Over the years, I have been preaching and my desire to be a pastor has increased tremendously,” he says.
He adds: “In March 2018, I joined Bugema University in Kampala to pursue a bachelor’s degree in theology. Due to financial challenges, I opted to pursue the course over the holidays,” he says.
Mr Makori, a staunch Seventh Day Adventist, says he travels to Uganda over the holidays for his degree programme. He says he opted for Bugema because the fees are affordable, compared to universities in Kenya that offer the same course.
“I am glad that I have managed to pay fees for two semesters, amounting to Sh120, 000. I believe in hard work and dedication and I am positive that I will complete my degree course,” he says.
He believes that the road to success is not easy to navigate, as it requires passion, drive and hard work.