Miss Rutere had previously joined KMTC in 2009 to study pharmacy but had to drop out in her final year due to lack of fees
The debts had piled up and there was no way she could have been allowed to sit for her exams
27-year-old Ntinyari Rutere is not your ordinary campus student. The third-year Mass Communication student at Daystar University works as a cabin crew, taxi driver as well as a clothes vendor to make ends meet.
So how does she balance all that? Every day, Rutere wakes up at 4:30 am and drives to Wilson Airport for her morning shift as a cabin crew. At 1pm, she turns on her Taxify application as most of the passengers request to be taken to the CBD. After that, she assists her sister in delivering purchase from vendors who have ordered clothes from her online cloth business. In the evenings, she is seated in class ready to learn.
“Well, mostly, it's all about time management. My job at Air Kenya is my first priority and then school and what remains is left for my taxi business, clothes delivery and photos.
However, Rutere tries as much as she can to end her day early so that she can have bonding time with her 3-year-old daughter and sometimes hang out with her friends.
“I don't do deliveries and taxi during the day. I sacrifice dedicate that time for her. I take her somewhere to go have fun.”
Raised by her grandmother, after her parents divorced, in a poor background, is what motivates Rutere, who is a first born, to work this hard. Since she was in class five, Rutere assumed the role of parent for her two siblings and more so, to her sister who is soon joining college.
“I'm her mother in every sense of the word, except birth. I have had to work hard in every step of my life, with great perseverance, to overcome all the hurdles I have come through.”
Miss Rutere had previously joined KMTC in 2009 to study pharmacy but had to drop out in her final year due to lack of fees. The debts had piled up and there was no way she could have been allowed to sit for her exams. Since then, Rutere has had to work six jobs to cater for herself and her family.
“I worked as a pharmaceutical technician at Nairobi Outpatient Hospital along Muindi Mbingu Steet, as a customer care rep at some IT company at Prosperity House in Westlands Road activating a 'grabdeal' package, as call center representative at Yu Mobile contracted by Horizon, as receptionist for Original Images, a photography company, and as cashier with coffee retailer ArtCaffe ,” says Rutere.
In 2015, she got a job with Air Kenya as a receptionist and rose to become cabin crew and check-in attendant. The job was stable enough to assist her buy a car that she converted into a taxi.
With her sister having stayed one full year without joining college, she began sn_trendywear to cater for her fees. In addition, she is studying a short course on beauty and has plans to open a beauty parlor. A construction project is soon underway to be another source of income. Her motivation to study journalism came from her friends who reminded her of her high school days and her active role in the journalism club.
“They all believed it was what was meant for me. This is why despite the cost, I have chosen to pay hundreds of thousands per semester to study it,” she admits.
Nevertheless, all that does not come without a price. Rutere confesses that she has had to sacrifice living a luxurious life, buying property, travelling, clubbing every weekend with her friends just to achieve her goals. What is your excuse?
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