Thursday, July 25, 2024

John Ngatia: I made it big in Australia, now I help Kenyans relocate

Relocation often involves leaving behind a whole new life and starting a new one. Needless to say, it is a very big decision. John Ngatia Kamau faced this back in his heyday when relocating from Kenya to Australia. Now he helps Kenyans relocate to Australia.

Mr Ngatia grew up in a village in Mathira. He fondly recalled an occasion when his uncle took him to watch a Western movie. From that moment, he became captivated and started dreaming of a life abroad.

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Fast forward, he excelled in primary school and secured a slot at Kagumo High School and later Nyandarua High School for his A levels. After school, he joined Kimathi Institute pursuing a career in Accounting.

He completed his education and ventured into a construction business, building houses for people in Nairobi. Mr Ngatia reflected on the economic challenges he faced during that period.

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“Whenever a human being is inspired by a challenge, to resolve that challenge, you get ideas. Things happen,” he remarked on starting a construction business despite studying accounting.

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In an interview with Lynn Ngugi, Ngatia reminisced about an encounter in Nairobi that shaped his life. While walking, he met a friend he hadn’t seen in a while, who handed him documents enabling him to apply for immigration abroad as a skilled migrant.

At that time, opportunities were fast emerging in the Western world for skilled individuals in various professions. Ngatia, being a qualified accountant, and his wife, a high school teacher, were well-positioned to take up these opportunities.

After carefully examining the documents, they jointly decided to take a chance on relocation. They had two options, either Canada or Australia. However, they opted against the former due to the chilly weather and relatively high cost of living.

Within 3 months, they found their way to Adelaide, Australia. Ngatia acknowledged that it was a somewhat daunting experience, as they were moving to a new land without knowing anyone beforehand.

“In Adelaide, there is a skilled migration program whereby skilled migrants would meet you at the airport, the government would give you a house where you live for 3 months.”

Within 3 weeks of relocating to Australia, Mr. Ngatia had secured a job as an accountant. Despite working for three different companies, he remained ambitious to start his own business even after moving to Australia.

Mr Ngatia’s fondness for books stems from his late favourite uncle, who instilled in him the culture of reading. He remembered walking into a bookshop at the turn of the century to purchase a book by Tony Robbins, “Unlimited Power.”

He applied the principles therein and became a huge fan of the author. In a few months, he was in a program with Tony Robbins and that was how he came to meet his business partners. In 2003, he started his own coaching and mentoring business.

“The challenges we face in life, are opportunities. Those challenges make us better people. However, it is only if you see it as an opportunity,” he stated.

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“We have coached hundreds of people. Our coaching is really about success. It’s not really our education that creates success, but its really about how we think and how we perceive life.”

With his coaching business, John Ngatia made the difficult decision of quitting his accounting profession to live a life that is fulfilling and abundant.

In the interview, he explained that there are only 2 ways that Kenyans can go to Australia and live there; either as a skilled migrant or a student. His work entails helping Kenyans looking to relocate abroad navigate the challenges in Australia such as the new culture.

He pointed out that the environment in Australia is very enabling. However, he mentioned that students relocating to Australia immediately after high school may not be a good idea.

“We’ve had children who have come in at a tender age and it has been quite a challenge for them. The first premise, on a parent perspective, is to analyse and see if they are capable of navigating a new land alone,” he said.

He advised parents to be cautious when sending their children abroad. Firstly, they will need to be working with licensed agents. Secondly, they need to check their financial standings to ensure compliance with set mechanisms by the Australian government.

“We need not have this notion that because I’m going to study in Australia, I will live there. The essence of a student visa is for you to get education. You need to show the Australian government that you will return to Kenya, and how it’ll benefit you as an individual,” Ngatia added.

John Ngatia said that the government is responsible for analyzing whether to grant individuals an opportunity to reside in Australia based on their skill sets. He also noted the importance of studying courses one is passionate about.

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