Sunday, May 26, 2024

Jobless graduate who took to streets seeking employment lands top job

Co-Op post

For the last two decades in Kenya, academic institutions have been churning a growing number of graduates to an already saturated workforce.

Many students, who were once assured that good grades in school = great jobs with lucrative salaries have had to face the harsh reality on the streets.

Nowadays, the slogan for this bracket of youth and part of millennials is ‘Maisha ni Kujituma’; and surely, where there is a will, there is a way. Many have been forced to take temporary jobs to survive as they continue job hunting to pursue their dream careers.

Recently, Kenyans have witnessed graduates taking to busy city centres with their qualifications.  On January 30th 2023, Caliph Kirui’s name was once a popular spectacle in Nairobi’s streets.

His is a story where humanity met purpose-driven determination and the outcome is beautiful. The man walked around Nairobi with a placard displaying a placard detailing his academic qualifications.

They included a Master’s in Public Health, a Bachelor’s in Microbiology & Biotechnology and a Certificate in Monitoring & Evaluation. Kirui scored an A- in his KCSE.

Mary Muiru: Graduate who scored A in KCSE begs for help after unsuccessful job search

After graduating with his masters, he made 120 job applications, and walked into 43 interviews, and none of these were successful. He then decided to change his ‘tarmacking’ strategy.

He spent the only remaining money he had for fare from Juja to Muthaiga with his placard, walking towards UN Avenue in Gigiri. For 2 hours, in the burning sun, with hope and faith, he held his placard high for all to see.

Caliph instantly went viral in Kenya, more so among company HRs who considered his skills and were willing to give him an opportunity. One such person was Catherine Kyobutungi, the Executive Director of APHRC. 

She phoned Caliph and offered to give him an internship as there were no permanent and pensionable open positions then. Caliph, not one to miss an opportunity, agreed to the chance.

“She asked me if I would be interested in an internship opportunity at the Center since there was no open position then. I expressed my interest in the position. After an interview, commenced my three-month internship,” Kirui said.

After the internship, Kirui was employed on a short-term contract fieldwork, which contributed to his wins and show of dedication & charisma at APHRC.

Caliph Kirui has now landed a proper job at APHRC and is considered by the company a true professional. He is working as an early career researcher in the Chronic Diseases Management Unit (CDM). The parting shot in this story is ‘Keep Hope Alive’.

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