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Meet Caroline Tegeret, the first Ogiek female lawyer

Achieving Woman By Rachel Murugi
Caroline Tegeret is the first Ogiek woman to be admitted to the bar (Photo: Courtesy)

Women breaking the glass ceiling is always worth celebrating. More so when that woman achieves a massive feat, one that others haven't done before her. Meet Caroline Tegeret. At only 25 she has become the jewel of the Ogiek community from which she hails, after she became the first woman to be admitted to the bar.

Tegeret hails from Nessuit, a small village in Njoro, Nakuru County. Her academic journey began like many others albeit fraught with challenges. She attended Olenguruone DEB Primary School before joining Nessuit Primary School. Tegeret later joined Kapropita Girls High School in Baringo County before proceeding to Moi University School of Law.

Tegeret was not spared from the claws of life's challenges. Most significantly were the financial challenges she faced since law as a career is expensive. Coming from a marginalized community where girls barely get past high school doesn't lighten the load in any way too. Nevertheless, the second born in the family of eight perservered and we can all see the fruits of her labour.

Upon graduating in 2017, she joined Kenya School of Law in 2018 under the Advocates Training Programme. She thereafter served her pupillage at Kiplenge & Kurgat Advocates in Nakuru, after which she qualified to be admitted as an advocate of the High Court on July 2, 2020.

"My quest to pursue a career in law began way back in high school where I developed a passion for law," she said in an interview with Eve Woman. What was her driving force? For Tegeret it was the fact that, in terms of development, her community was, and still is, far behind compared to the others.

The Ogiek community has high illiteracy levels and cultural practises like female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriages. She therefore knew quite early that for her to be able to bring change to the community, she needed to be equipped with the right tools through education and knowledge of the law.

As she burned the midnight oil studying stacks of history books and law case scenarios, the memory of her father fanned her zeal further. His resilience and determination gave her strength and motivation to keep chasing her dreams. Having come from a humble background and a marginalized community, he stood out for her as an example of life's possibilities as he was able to prosper in his teaching career.

Tegeret aspires to work with NGOs and government agencies to promote the rights of the minority and marginalized communities. This is moreso to amplify the voices of those who can't speak for themselves.

Her notable achievement, which got a lot of attention across the country, is a source of encouragement to many young girls whose dreams look too big compared to their life's circumstances. Now an icon and having received such honour from her tribesmen, her advice to young ladies from marginalized communities sticks at encouraging them to pursue their dreams with resilience and determination and to trust in God that they shall surely be successful. In the living legend's Eliud Kipchoge's words, "No human is limited!"

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