By Nur Hani Laily Ramli.
Once upon a time, Kenya is a land of the bewildered, stories of legendary fables and myths engulfed the peoples with tales of spirituality and the divine. Most often, tales of heroes triumphant in battles riddled Kenyan kids’ bedtime stories.
The heroes of old served as role model for the many warrior tribes in Kenya. But as the modern age emerge, and as the tribes of Kenya lead the modern living, the mystic tales of heroes of old and their adventures were quietly forgotten. But the heroes of Kenya lives on, their stories now told humbly still radiate inspiration and admiration, and this is their story. This is the side of Kenya which needs to be shared with the world.
The world was shocked when a rural Kenyan teacher won the Global Teacher Prize, beating all odds. The shockwave hit Kenyan newspapers like wildfire. In the streets, his name was the talk of town. Remarkably, Peter Tabichi came from a humble beginning, leading a very humble life in the countryside of Kenya. As he puts his heart out towards his passion for teaching, he puts duty over self, as he imparts knowledge in a difficult environment. And believe me, the trials he went through to be Kenya’s modern hero is indeed impressive.
Teaching in a rural school in Kenya is a feat not meant for the weak heart. His duty as a teacher transcends teaching at school, as he also reached out to the local community, who were plagued with continuous famine and drought, and ultimately assisted in solving tribal violence afflicting the society. His story is worthy to be told like heroes of old, as a modern hero of Kenya.
Women have always been the backbone of development in Kenya. Always at the forefront of entrepreneurship, Kenyan women lead their communities in private enterprises with the one aim to earn a living. Most of the time, single mothers work informal jobs to make ends meet, as living standards are at the bare minimum in Kenya.
At times of hardships, creative solutions turn the very best mothers into business owners, turning raw materials into beautiful crafts which adds value not only to the business, but personally as well. The women heroes of Kenya set up small and medium enterprises, and in turn help other ladies in the community who share the same fate. There have been plenty of success stories in Kenya, and Kazuri Beads Factory in Nairobi is just one of them. Women in Kenya are indeed the deserved heroes the country needs.
Ergo, these stories are two tiny illustrations in a sea of heroic stories in modern Kenya. Apropos the stories of heroes of old, these modern heroic stories needs to be told in repeat, so as the next generation knows that heroes are born, they are made, through hardships, through perseverance, and through sacrifices. Heroism is a state of mind, as everyone can be a hero.