The news last week of the death of Regina Mutoko shocked Kenyans from all walks of life. Many remember her as the ever-smiling lady who kept television viewers glued to their screens as she enticed and cajoled the contestants in a game show dubbed ‘Omo Pick a Box’.
However, as tributes continue pouring in, there are career lessons that women and even men can learn from the beautiful and intelligent lady.
Regina, scored an A in her secondary examination at Loreto High School in Limuru and thereafter was among the few girls who were admitted to Moi University, Eldoret, where she undertook a course in Electrical and Communications Engineering, a preserve for the men. By the time she was completing her BSc degree, many of the girls had opted out. In a class of 400 students, only two were female. Regina was among them.
Just, a month after she joined university, she received a call informing her she had qualified as the lead host for Omo Pick a Box. She was torn between her demanding school life and the show.
However, through sheer hard work and determination, she juggled between school, internship and the game show. Despite, her busy schedule, Regina passed her examinations and secured a job as a Microsoft Engineer at Fintech Kenya, even before she graduated.
In an interview published in The Standard four years ago, Regina said the best decision she ever made in her early 20s was taking up the job to host the game show. Most of her peers, she said, felt it was too much work juggling between school and the show.
Until she met her death, she was the ICT Director at the United States International University (USIU) where she modernised learning by introducing E-Learning through Blackboard Revolution, a project she pioneered. Her goal was to make USIU a paperless university and she achieved this. She was also a member of the Management Council at the University.
She was also an active participant in mentoring women in sciences and technology through Microsoft women empowerment programme, DigiGirlzDay alongside other bigwigs in ICT like Njeri Rionge.
As women clamour for gender equity at leadership level, Regina who was 39 years old and practised martial arts for fitness, demonstrates that women have all it takes to conquer the male dominated jobs and careers through hard work, determination and zeal.
Though gone, her wit, mien and charming personality will always echo in this world. Her legacy will live on. The team she mentored at USIU will be the footprints she leaves behind. Her pet project Blackboard Revolution, which she kicked off at USIU to the more than 5,000 students, will not go as a footnote in the history books but a chapter.