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Meet Cherono guard by day and student in the evening

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As you enter Egerton University Nakuru Town Campus on Government Road, the institution is a beehive of activities.

The security at the entrance is tight as a female security guard keep a close watch on every movement around and past the metal gate.

And as students and other clients pass her at the entrance, they have no idea that the woman who inspects their luggage and frisk them before allowing them to go through a metal detector is student at the same institution. Not even some lecturers notice her.

Some of the students even reprimand her for the slow pace at which she clears them, perhaps because of fatigue as she rarely gets good rest.

“Sometimes when I look at some of these students who scorn at me, I pray to God to give me strength to study hard and join them at graduation square one day. Sometimes it is good to respect people you meet because whatever one is doing is not permanent. This world is a global village and you don’t know the next meeting point,” she said.

She added: “Unfortunately many Kenyans see security guards as failures in life and school dropouts who don’t deserve respect.”

Meet Ms Naomi Cherono, 27, who is the darling of the students and lecturers as she ensures their security is guaranteed through superb checking at the entrance.

Interestingly, students and other visitors who have interacted with Ms Cherono leave the institution impressed.

However, many would probably never know that the guard who takes care of their security is struggling to complete her studies at the same institution.

“She is the safe pair of hands to help the students and workers at the institution enjoy their work and study. I love the way she is strict. I was happy with the way she handled my colleagues who did not carry identification documents,” said George, a student.

“With terror threats at public institutions, Cherono makes sure only students and staff with proper identification documents enter the institution when she is on duty. She is a no nonsense guard who loves her job,” said Mary a second year student.

“She is a cool guard and when she talks about security, I listen very attentively. She gave me some advice on personal safety including tips on how to detect suspected criminals in a crowded gathering,” Victor, another student.

Ms Cherono, who is a Library and Information Science student, hopes to graduate this year. But she may not graduate as she owes the university a fee arrears of Sh268,000.

“I have decided to work as a guard in the day and in the evening I attend my classes but my joy walking home smiling with my certificate is fast fading as I have not cleared my arrears,” she says.

“Juggling between class and work to raise an extra coin for my school fees,” she told Nation. Ms Cherono’s journey is inspiring.

 In 2012 she sat her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and scored a D and since she wanted to join university her poor grades let her down. She enrolled for a certificate course and passed her exams.

“I passed and I decided to advance by studying a diploma course which I passed,” she recalls.

Ms Cherono wants to prove that getting a D in KCSE is not the end of the road.

“Getting a D was a blessing in disguise as I have been able to realise my potential and as I study hard. I want to be a role model to other girls who seem to despair after getting the grade,” says Ms Cherono adding that poverty is the state of the mind. She says her dream is to pursue Library Studies to PhD level.

“My next stop is a PhD class and nothing will stop me from one day earning the title Dr Cherono,” she says as she frisks a client.

But the journey has not been easy as raising the school fees was an uphill task.

“I come from a poor background. I am the first born in a family of 10 (eight girls and two boys) and my father is a tractor driver in Mauche while my mother is housewife and they have a burden of taking care of the rest of my siblings,” she says.

She added: “It is not easy to raise such a big family. At one stage my dad told me to quit college as he had no money to pay for my fees.”

However, that did not dampen her fighting spirit and she was forced to carry the books to read and complete assignments while working as a guard.

“When you’re a security guard cum student, there is no time to relax. Every second counts. I wake up at 4am to study and complete my assignments and by 7am, I am I report to my place of work and the university,” she said. “Working as a guard has denied me the privileges of social life,” she said.

Despite the challenges, Ms Cherono has passed all her examinations and practical tests and is optimistic of a bright future.

“I owe the university Sh268,000 and unless I raise this money my dreams of graduating as a librarian may  not be realised,” she said.

“I have to clear the arrears as I don’t believe to be a failure in life. What I earn as a security guard caters for food, and pays my rent and other costs,” she said.

Egerton University Vice-Chancellor Prof Rose Mwonya commended Ms Cherono for overcoming odds to pursue her dreams.

“Her sacrifice is commendable. I started from diploma and today I am the vice-chancellor of Egerton University. I encourage her to work hard,” said Prof Mwonya.

Nakuru City Board Director Kamau Kuria commended Ms Cherono’s resilience.

“Unlike other girls who score a D grade and think there is no future, Ms Cherono has a bright future and her hard work is now paying off. She is a role model to her peers,” said Mr Kuria.

A lecturer at Egerton Town campus William Kipchumba described Ms Cherono as a hardworking student.

Egerton University Town Campus Security Supervisor Paul Rotich described her as a courageous and disciplined student.

By Nation.co.ke

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Kajiado villagers chase visitors over coronavirus scare

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There was tension at a private farm at Duka Moja area in Kajiado Central after villagers surrounded it armed with sticks and rungus claiming that a group of unknown people had been ferried into the farm in the middle of the night.

The villagers claimed that eight women and five men were brought to work on the farm and were all sleeping in one tiny house in total disregard of social distancing in the wake of covid 19 outbreak.

They demanded that the ‘strangers’ be returned to where they came from as they were scared of Coronavirus being ‘brought’ into their village.

John Merin, a village elder said the group was sleeping in a poorly ventilated house and had no masks and if any of them had the virus it would easily spread in the village.

He added that the Government had directed that people should reduce unnecessary travels and work from home to curb the spread of the deadly virus yet the farm owner was bringing in groups of people to work in his farm without providing them with masks and sanitisers.

“We don’t want any visitors here, the Government said everyone should work from home so as to reduce the spread of the virus and yet people are being ferried from other places to come and work here in total disregard of the preventive measures issued,” said Merin.

Catherine Meroni, said the villagers had no problem with the group working at the farm but they were concerned that they all sleep in one tiny house and had no masks putting the whole village at risk of infection in case one of them is infected.

Meroni noted that there was no water or soap placed at the gate of the farm and people just walked in and out in total disregard of preventive measures laid out by the Ministry of Health.

“We have to protect ourselves and our children. We cannot allow just anyone to come here and we do not know whether they have Corona or not and yet they mingle with villagers. Everyone should stay home so as to reduce the spread of this disease,” she said.

However the farm manager claimed that the villagers were only protesting because they had not been employed and the jobs had been given to specialists who come from elsewhere.

It took the intervention of area MCA Samuel Teum to calm down the angry residents after being assured by the farm owner that the workers who had been brought in would be hosted elsewhere after working on the farm and sanitation facilities and masks would be provided.

Kajiado County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha urged residents to strictly adhere to directives issued by the Ministry of Health so as to avoid contracting the Coronavirus.

He directed all public facilities to ensure that they provide soap and water for their customers and ensure that they wash their hands first before being attended to.

“I want to urge all residents to strictly follow the guidelines given by the Ministry of Health on how to prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus. We will firmly deal with anyone flouting the guidelines and putting the lives of other Kenyans at risk,” said the CC.

Nkanatha noted that surveillance had been heightened at Namanga, Shomploe and Loitokitok entry points from Tanzania and all vehicles entering the country ferrying goods will have to undergo fumigation before being allowed to pass through.

The CC further emphasized that the curfew would be implemented and enforced to the letter and warned residents to ensure that they are in their houses by 7pm without fail.

“We are strictly implementing the curfew order. All persons must be inside their homes between 7PM to 5AM.Plan your time well so as not to be caught up in traffic as the curfew must be strictly obeyed. We will not allow any excuses,” he said

The CC revealed that Kajiado was fully prepared in case of any eventualities and that isolation centres had been established in all the five sub counties and 20 boarding schools identified as quarantine areas.

He added that a Multi-agency committee had already been formed to monitor the spread of the viral infection at the county and trace any persons suspected to have been in close contact with already confirmed positive cases.

By PD

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VIDEO: Many Kenyans seek solace in Karura Forest during these tough Corona times

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In line with the Government directive on Social Distancing, the  Kenya Forest Service has suspended communal and cultural prayers in religious shrines inside inside forests countrywide.

One of those forests is Karura, well known as a haven for nature lovers, and especially those who want to enjoy their solitary time jogging, cycling and just walking. However, that too has changed now as the rules of social distancing take effect.

‘We do about 10Km as we keep social distancing and then go back home. The air is fresh over here,” says Bobby Kaberi, a former Atlanta resident.

“We miss those days when there were no social distancing rules and we were allowed to picnic but…it is what it is,” says Bobby’s wife and jogging partner,  Mugure Kaberi.”

Watch courtesy of K24

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Don’t come home, Siaya people living out of county told

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Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga has asked natives living in other counties not to travel back home due to Covid-19.

He warned that those defying the order will be traced and forced to pay for their own mandatory quarantine.

On Saturday, Rasanga announced several measures that the County will be taking to combat the spread of the Covid-19, including a mandatory 14-day quarantine for Siaya people coming into the county from any one of countries considered ‘high risk’.

The isolation centres are at Siaya/ Bondo KMTC campus and Bondo Hospital, but will be paid for by the citizens themselves.

“Any Siaya resident who travels back home must be armed with at least Sh28,000 for upkeep while on mandatory quarantine,” said Rasanga.

Rasanga while briefing Media at his Segere home, said it would be fair for Siaya people to keep off the region.

“We know that you love your families and would want to join them but your coming can put their lives in danger,” said Rasanga.

The governor who was accompanied by County Commissioner Michael Ole Tialal said whoever sneaks into the county would be flushed out of their homes or rented houses.

“If you escape the screening at the entry points, chiefs and their assistants will get you,” he added.

By PD

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