The past few months have taken Agnes Nkanya Wanja on an unexpected and challenging journey.
A journey that began with a comfortable government job in Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture ended with her working on a construction site and at a car wash to make ends meet.
Not too long ago, Ms. Nkanya was a familiar face at high-profile gatherings, dining with some of Kenya’s most influential figures, including the President and Interior CS Kithure Kindiki.
Her career spanned a decade in the government service, where she earned a monthly salary of Sh. 40,000. It was a stable and relatively luxurious life, one that seemed secure until a significant decision changed the course of her life.
With determination and a strong sense of civic duty, Ms. Nkanya decided to vie for the Magumoni ward MCA seat in Tharaka Nithi.
Her pursuit of this goal led her to resign from her government position. She ran for office under the Devolution Party of Kenya, a party chaired by Kithure Kindiki, a name familiar to many in Kenyan politics.
During the campaign season, Ms. Nkanya was among the youth leaders who passionately supported William Ruto and the Kenya Kwanza movement. Her efforts contributed to their landslide victory in her area.
However, despite her dedication and enthusiasm, the electoral outcome was not in her favor. The loss left her in a difficult position, with no job to fall back on and no clear path forward.
Her savings, diligently accumulated over a decade, became her lifeline during this challenging period.
When her savings were depleted, Agnes Nkanya Wanja faced the harsh reality of unemployment. In her quest to secure employment and provide for herself, she cast a wide net. Despite her education and previous work experience, opportunities were scarce.
In a poignant interview, Ms. Nkanya revealed the extent of her struggle.
She mentioned how she tirelessly searched for employment, exploring various avenues, and never giving up hope. Eventually, she found an opportunity to work at a construction site and a car wash, earning a modest daily wage of Sh. 500.
The transition from a government office to manual labor was undoubtedly a challenging one. However, Ms. Nkanya tackled it with determination and a willingness to adapt.
She shared her sentiment, saying, “I have never done this before, but I decided to put my heart into it to see what I can get from this place.”