Jack of ALL Trades

Growing up, I was one of those girls who came home with scraped knees from climbing trees, who made shapes from soft rocks collected along the railway track by scrubbing them against the pavement outside our house, and who would get into fist fights with boys from the neighbourhood. I once came home with a nosebleed thanks to Bruno, an acquintance’s cousin, and would arm wrestle with James and Martin from my class, while Joyce and Tabitha played hop-scotch along the classroom corridors.

I learned how to cook when I was 11 and almost perfected the art of making potato croquettes by the time I was 13. I would use various stocks to add flavour to bland dishes, get creative with spices to bring forth clever and peculiar recipes, recreate meals from leftovers ; while always varying colour, temperature and texture with every meal presented. Along the way, I also became handy with fixing; anything in need of repair roused my intrigue – so I would be the one testing new light bulbs or confirming that old ones really couldn’t be used or thinking up ways to use pieces of polythene paper to seal off leaks in the kitchen sink pipes or sewing up tears using conspicuous styles and thread so that it would appear as an intentional design or tightening screws on sockets using bread knives.

At my first place of work, I got the nickname “Handyman” before completing my probation. I’d often be found on table-tops replacing ceiling boards damaged after a monstrous downpour; reassembling some creaky executive chair, usually with the manual’s cover page facing down; reorganizing office furniture to create an illusion of space in a crammed room; making signs using embossed coloured waste paper for the washrooms; and compiling reports that were more like stories than tedious accounting journals.

Today, I know my way around terms such as tax returns, local purchase orders, invoicing, autobilling software, petty cash summaries and e-marketing. I would have you know that I have never sat in a business class.

After my front desk job which formally ends at 5:30 pm, I am a nutrition consultant. Of late I have a bit of enthusiasm for talks at baby showers centering on maternal and child health. At lunchtime and during my breaks between assignments, I write short stories and blog; thus granting my hyperactive imagination the relished opportunity to run loose and unwind. I hope to have a trilogy out early next year. I double up, and triple, as a mentor and chaplain in high schools.

In the pipeline is a saving plan for a business leaning towards greenhouse tomatoes and a tourist resort in Kajiado district; a beautiful semi-arid part of Kenya that has become very dear to me after I started volunteering at an educational-cum-rehabilitation center for girls saved from early marriage in 2008. I wound up my campus degree in nutrition at the Kajiado District Hospital; the best academic decision I have made yet as it revived my passion for community outreach and my dream of fostering community empowerment and enhancing food security through relevant and feasible sustainable actions.

Everyone always said that I had a promising future ahead of me. I am only glad that I believed them and that God backed them up.

2012

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