Escaping early marriage and deprived of the right to education, Esther Naisimoi’s story is that of courage, hard work and determination to succeed.
“My father wanted to marry me off when I dropped out of school at the primary level. I however fled from home and managed to find employment as a house girl from a concerned woman who later turned out to be the guide to my destiny career wise,” says Naisimoi
Naisimoi worked so diligently that the woman wanted to reward her good work. It is at this point that Naisimoi shared her dream of becoming a plant operator and her employer enrolled her at Kenya Institute of Highways and Building Technology Ngong Campus where she paid for the full course for her.
In 2014, Naisimoi was able to graduate with a certificate in plant operations but work was hard to come by as many employers disregarded her due to her gender.
“I would approach employers for a job and they would dismiss me just because I’m a woman without even giving me a chance to prove my capabilities,” says the Plant Operator.
She, however, manages to get work through referrals and through this, she is able to help her husband in taking care of their children from her earnings.
“If I operate the excavator for 8 hours in a day, I get to be paid Sh 3,000 but for less than 5 hours, I earn Sh2,000 which is enough to cater for my daily needs” says Naisimoi.
The referrals however are occasional and considering it is a casual job, she gets no pay for the days she doesn’t work.
To combat this, Naisimoi dreams of owning her own excavator for job security and to do away with brokers who she says get away with her money sometimes.
“In some cases, I get referrals to work and when it comes to payment, the one who referred me gets away with the money and there is nothing I can do since they are the ones who are paid by the contractor,” she adds.
Naisimoi credits herself as good in drilling dams, soil loading, road and ground levelling, bush clearing among other plant operator works.
To pay back her former employer’s kindness to her, Naisimoi has also trained three people who had the desire to learn how to operate the excavator but with no means.