Its been a minute since I shared something, I feel very guilty considering we are already half way though the year!

While I’ve been away, I’ve had the pleasure of being part of an amazing group of young women under 30 who are armed to the teeth with information and passion to make a difference in their lives, and the country. Most are entrepreneurs running  or have partnered to run businesses.

I like encouraging people to venture into business, growing their talents and making money while at it. Let’s be honest, white-collar jobs are not what they used to be. Who knew you’d make money off running someone else’s social media accounts? who knew you’d one day get paid to go around restaurants rating food?

Majority of those working now have been in that office for a minute, so as you train, whose job are you planning on taking exactly? Companies are downsizing and even shutting down. So where are you getting that job?

Here are a few eye opening facts we’ve seen this year.

As applications for the second cohort of Tuskys internship programme came to a close on June 30th, the reality of joblessness in Kenya became more apparent. According to results of the applications, majority of applicants were masters and undergraduate degree holders seeking to intern at Tuskys, Kenya’s second biggest retail chain in terms of turnover.

“The fact that even holders of Master’s degrees are looking for internships is a pointer that we have a huge role to play in filling in the skills gap,” said Tuskys CEO Dan Githua. “It shows that experience is as important as academic qualifications in the employment market.”

But it also shows how desperate the jobless market has become with thousands of graduates chasing fewer jobs in the market. So few that candidates are resorting to applying for jobs and opportunities they are overqualified for to increase their chances of being considered.


An unsettling fact; 80% of unemployed Kenyans are below 35 years.

“The challenge of youth unemployment is compounded by the fact that 90% of all unemployed young people lack vocational skills, said Sicily Kariuki, cabinet secretary for youth and gender affairs in the Ministry of Public Service. “Addressing youth unemployment therefore calls for innovation, investment and commitment among all stakeholders.”

Unemployment is a major challenge that affects youth across Kenya. Approximately 800,000 young Kenyans enter the labour market every year and youth unemployment is estimated to be as high as 35%, compared to the overall national unemployment rate of 10%. Furthermore, 80% of unemployed Kenyans are below 35 years old.


future mill

I’m sure most of you have read this in various WhatsApp groups and fb posts.

If your boss paid you 30,000 every month and you saved all that money without touching a coin, you would need to work for 36 months to get 1 million.

But if you convinced an organization like The UN to give you a printing job for only 5000 umbrellas and you made Ksh. 200  from each umbrella that  would be  5000×200=1,000,000. In only 1 day.

It becomes crazy if you want to become a Billionaire. Say your boss pays you 1 million per month and you saved all that money without touching a single coin, in a year you would only have 12 million and you would need to work for 84 years to get 1 billion (How old are you??).

However, there are 40 + million people in Kenya if you supplied salt to 12 million of them once per month making 10 bob per packet, it would only take you 1 year to be a billionaire.

A lot of people may punch holes in this, however what is key here is the lesson.

Times are changing, I’ll tell you this, companies hire people who can perform more than one task. The disruption is real, and its happening fast in Kenya and in Africa. We need to shape up and catch up fast.

My two cents on this:

  1. On top of what you already studied for, add a few more skills, that always wins.
  2. White collar jobs aren’t what they used to be, if you are below 30, you fall under the  entrepreneurial generation so get off the couch and do something.
  3. With Africa becoming a ‘continent of interest’ you don’t have to think going abroad will save your life, now is the time to take advantage of the opportunities coming in.
  4. Tender-preneurship is a thing now, jump on it.
  5. Take advantage of the youth,women tenders already set aside. If you don’t, who will?
  6. Nothing will come easy,that we all know, so brace yourself for tough times.However, it will be worth every minute.
  7. For the record, Farming isn’t shady.


Have a beautiful thought-provoking day 🙂



Cynthia Ythera Mwangi



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Together For Soila girls

On 17th Oct 2015, I made 4 new friends. Virginia Muya, Carol,Leah (met her a week before at Sitara cancer brunch with Njeri Olang’)  Led by Tuta Mionki, we embarked on a journey to Soila Maasai girls rescue centre in Suswa. We were so anxious about the visit we had an “are we there yet” conversation every 10 minutes!

On arrival we got a wonderful welcome from their deputy head teacher, who gave us a tour of the school and home. The centre has 50+ girls at the moment, with 11 of them sitting for the KCPE exam 2015.

The Soila Maasai Girls Rescue Centre at Suswa in the Rift Valley, Kenya, was launched by Kenya Children’s Home in 2005 as a refuge centre for young orphaned or destitute Maasai girls.

With the co-operation of the local Chief, the centre was established to save the girls from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early arranged marriage – still a common practice and tradition in the Maasai community of Kenya.

Through the Suswa centre, the girls are offered a home and an education as an alternative path in life to FGM and early marriage, and in turn they receive the chance to empower and change their lives and those of generations to come. In all cases, the girls’ guardians have given their permission for their daughter to embark on this new way of life.

The project has grown significantly over the years and there are now more than 60 girls aged between 7 and 15 at the centre, for whom KCH provides full care.

The refuge centre is run as a partnership between KCH, the Balcraig Foundation and the local community of Suswa. KCH contributes staff, medical and educational supplies, and Balcraig Foundation provides the set-up and running costs, and manages the Suswa Project.

   The welcome was wonderful with a rap, poem and a traditional dance that landed them in the National music festivals 2015! the girls can shake their mabegas! The song is titled mabega (shoulders) from the luhya community.A rap poem about them  standing and demanding their right. A right to education, to life, to being children.; saying no to FGM and early marriage.

These girls are no ordinary girls. They have braved the shame and discrimination that comes with saying no to FGM and early marriage. You never really get the picture of how real this is, until you come face to face with them.

malala-yousafzai-1-w724      We shared the story of Malala Yousafzai, #IAmMalala. We felt this was an ideal story to share with them. Malala, a girl’s decision to seek education at all cost.  Something we felt they all associated well with.

We had general talks about their growth, joining high school, changes in their body, the birds and the bees. I remember my first lesson on the birds and the bees was at Kijabe Mission Hospital, they chose to focus on STDs ; images and videos included. I’m sure you get the picture.  From 12-15yrs girls start growing fast, accompanied by a lot of questions that they shy away from asking.

Having finished that session, we broke into groups. From the previous visit, Tuta noticed they opened up more in smaller groups. We handled questions about how to prepare for their main exam, handling subjects they felt were a challenge. Truth be told, they are a bright pack of girls. I wondered if i was ever as well prepared. They are taking exams from different counties every  two weeks. And of course, how to deal with the stigma that comes with being “uncut” and not married.It was a tough session I must admit, no one is ever prepared for certain questions from kids, because they are just that, kids. They were honest enough to share their previous experiences. How they are looked down upon, people from religious bodies from their home areas may allow them to come and worship together but they can feel the rejection. Their age mates refuse to interact with them, and those who do its in a very hush manner.


The centre also caters for those who are called to secondary schools i.e they cover their school fees and anything else they might need. However, they have to go back home or be placed with relatives who support their education. About 10+ girls are in secondary schools across the country. This for them is a great achievement and motivation.


Carol and Leah presenting cards to the 11 candidates. The head teacher(in the 2nd and 3rd pic was an amazing host)

We may not have exhausted all the questions they had, but we did our best. As we left, they shared some of their worries.

1.How do they deal with segregation and victimization from their married age-mates, relatives?

2.What happens as they wait to join high school?

3.Who will be there to walk with them once they exit the centre?

4. Is there hope for them outside their community?

5. How do they help those who’ve gone through the cut, have families but want to do more for themselves?


As we left, they shared a song that they love singing :IMG-20151018-WA0019

I am fearfully and wonderfully made ,

I am fearfully and wonderfully made, 

when I think of creation that was made,

when I think of creation that was made,

I going to stand up( oohhh), i raise my hands up,

I’m going to sing a song and then I do like this!  * here you touch a part of your body*

(the part that is fearfully and wonderfully made  🙂


The team that made the visit possible included :

Tuta Mionki

Virginia Munya

Leah Muithui

Caroline Mwaura

Caroline Gatimu

Linet Ayuko

Njeri Olang’

Brenda Wabule

Cynthia Mwangi

among others



Its taken me a while to write this post (Njeri I can hear you asking for it)  because their worries have become my worries. I didn’t know how to explain that after completing class 8 they have to go home and wait for results; The homes that they were rescued from.  I really hope we can work towards expanding the rescue centre so the girls can continue with their stay even after clearing their exams, and move on to high school. Nothing will ever beat a place you feel safe enough to be yourself, be a child with no inhibitions and just grow.


Enjoy your day and say a prayer for my precious girls. We might be joining them again on 3rd Nov 2015 for the candidates prayer day.


Cynthia Ythera Mwangi


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