I have earned a place in the Who is Who in the World 2000 book because of my work with women, the girl-child and persons living with HIV and Aids. I was an achiever from a young age.
My love for gender began at an early age because my mother Elizabeth Ochola, my uncles and grandmother believed that a girl had to complete her studies first before getting married.
Unlike my family, most parents were against education, especially educating the girl child and so they did not send them to school.
In such villages, the girls were not valued and they were seen as objects to be married off.
I noticed this trend and I promised myself that when I was older I would do something to empower the girl-child, mostly those in rural areas.
My mother had a tailoring shop in the village where she trained girls who had dropped out of school. This way, she ensured the girls were independent, which reduced the instances of early marriage.
Immediately after graduating from the University of Nairobi in 1975 with a Bachelor of Education in English and Literature, I was posted to Sinyolo Girls’ High School in Kisumu County as the principal.
Though I was just 25 then, with the help of a supportive staff, I was able to bring significant changes.
Despite the fact that most of my juniors were older than me, I had to respect them to win their trust and respect.