Studying up to the university level and passing with flying colors does not guarantee that you will receive a well-paying job.
Such is the case for Judith Nyakoa, who graduated with a diploma in Mass Communication from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) in 2019 but has ended up working at a car wash.
Nyakoa had entered the world of academia with high expectations of securing a well-paying job, only to find herself grappling with limited career prospects.
“I would not have gone to university if I knew how tough the job market was going to be,” Nyakoa shared.
Nyakoa claimed that Upon leaving university, she began applying for jobs in both private and public companies, eager to embark on her professional journey.
However, her efforts proved futile, and she soon found herself exploring alternative avenues to sustain herself and her ambitions.
In 2020, faced with financial pressures, Nyakoa worked as a house help for a period of seven months.
However, the meagre pay of Sh3,000 per month proved unsustainable, prompting her to reassess her options.
Unwilling to be disheartened by setbacks, Nyakoa resumed her pursuit of meaningful employment.
“I was invited to work at a local radio station as a presenter last September, but my employer started making sexual advances. And when I declined, he made me work without pay as punishment. So I decided to quit after working for almost one year,” said Nyakoa.
Undeterred by the challenges, she turned to menial jobs in a bid to meet her financial obligations.
Eventually, Nyakoa found herself at Masafi car wash in Lurambi along the Kakamega-Malava highway.
Here, she embraced the opportunity to work as the only woman among four men, taking on the responsibility of car cleaning.
“I have been doing this job for four months. I like it because it helps me pay my bills and fend for my child. I am paid Sh250 every day, but on a good day, I take home Sh400,” Nyakoa revealed.
However, her journey is not without its obstacles, as some clients harbor reservations about letting a woman clean their vehicles.
“Some clients never let me touch their cars because they believe a woman cannot clean a vehicle or a motorbike,” she said.
Despite facing gender bias, she actively dispels stereotypes, persuading clients of her capabilities and, in some instances, receiving extra payment for her excellent work.
“I have to convince clients that I am up to the task. Some of them acknowledge my work and offer an extra penny for a job well done, which motivates me,” she said.