Don't Give Up On Your Dreams: The Inspiring Story Of Florence Muia Nyenya
Florence Muia Nyenya, a mother of seven, returned to school to write her KCSE and passed. If you need some inspiration for the new year, this is it.
When Florence Muia Nyenya, a mother of seven, decided that she would go back to school after fourteen years of marriage, she had her fears. The fear of ridicule, failure and how tough it would be to juggle being a mum and a student. This didn’t discourage her, she completed her four years in secondary school, wrote her KCSE (Kenya Certificate Of Secondary Education) and passed.
Florence Muia Nyenya decided to go back to school after 14 years of marriage
In July 2016, Florence made quite the impression on her first day at Nzuli Mixed Day Secondary School in Mwingi West Constituency. As expected, when the principal introduced her, her younger classmates burst into laughter. If this was indeed a test of determination, Florence passed, as the incident seemed to make her even more determined.
It wasn’t only at school, she faced ridicule, at home, her peers in Thaana Nzau village in Migwani district, labeled her a “confused woman,” insisting that she only returned to school because of her inability to shoulder the pressures of marriage. To make matters worse, the taunts began to extend to both her children and her husband. Mr Nyenya Kathuku, Florence’s husband, had his “drinking buddies” telling him that he’d go to jail if he impregnated a student. While her children at a nearby primary school had to put up with their mother being mocked by their schoolmates.
She told the Nation: “My children, who attended a neighbouring primary school, withstood similar sarcasm as their mates would laugh at them, saying their mother was going to school at an old age.”
However, they say that she who laughs last laughs the best, and Florence is certainly having the last laugh. She must be over the moon because despite everything, she emerged among those qualified for university admission in Kenya. She scored a C+ of 52 points in the KCSE examination.
How did she do it?
It was never going to be easy juggling a large family and school. But Florence did it for four years as a full-time student. She woke up at 4 am every day, made breakfast for the family, before walking eight kilometres to and from school. “It was quite a challenge because I went to bed late after ensuring the family had eaten and that I had done my homework. But I never had any trouble with teachers for late-coming,” she said.
Eventually, in the small village where she lives, Florence’s show of determination and passion for education began to have an effect. Villagers began to use her story to inspire girls who got married or pregnant at a young age. That’s the beauty of a remarkable story. It shows you what’s possible, and why you should not be afraid to try.
How This Story Can Inspire You
Here are some takeaways from Florence’s story as you start 2o20.
- Do it even if you’re afraid:
It’s quite possible that when Florence first thought of going back to school, she feared the possibility of academic failure. But she went ahead and did it anyway. So any idea that’s worth pursuing in 2020, do it even if it makes you afraid. It means you’ll celebrate even harder in the end.
- A support system is important
Florence’s story might not have been told without the support of Kitui Woman Representatives Nyiva Mwendwa and Ms Irene Kasalu. These women took it upon themselves to sponsor her education until she graduated. Her husband also gave her his support by helping her secure admission in a nearby secondary school and taking on more chores at home. You need a support system to at least cheer you on, find your people.
- Endure till the end:
Nothing good comes easy; if it were easy everyone would do it. So of course, tough times will come and doubts will begin to creep in, but you must endure. If it helps, set your focus on what you’re trying to achieve, that wonderful joy of winning. This way you shore up your determination against doubts.
- Hard work:
This is one of the most important recipes for success. If you forget everything, don’t forget this. Even luck tries to locate those who are already working hard.
- Take care of yourself:
There’s this misconception that you can only settle down to relax, enjoy life and take care of yourself when you’ve made it. This shouldn’t be the case with you in 2020. So as you’re working hard, doing it afraid and enduring, don’t forget to find pleasure in the small and big things of life, and take care of your health. Try to relax and have fun for no other reason but because you simply can.
- Be the light
There are people who will be encouraged to do more just because of you. For Florence, her children worked harder to pass their KCSE exams. She was also the girl with the highest KCSE scores in her school. Students were eventually inspired by her presence in the school. And I am sure it would not be a strange sight when another older woman chooses to go back to school.
We at Africaparent wish you a wonderful and prosperous new year!