Although most Kenyans hope for a soft landing when they get opportunities abroad, some admit that it is not always the reality on the ground. A Kenyan teacher; George Mathenge reveals that he had quite a challenging experience which forced him to return to Kenya where his heart has always been.
In 2009 Mathenge traveled to the UK with the desire to pursue his Masters in Leicester University. Although he had an admission letter, this was not enough and he recalls of the struggle to raise 2 Million Kenyans shillings for his fees.
“I needed 2Million to pay for my fees. I only had 60,000. I did not go on a scholarship, but I was determined to make it. I had to get the money and survive because I would not have imagined going back” he stated
Mathenge was forced to take up any job that was made available to him including cleaning jobs before he managed to enroll for his masters in the University of East London Campus. This was his start-up point for his journey as a teacher in London.
Despite what seems like an achievement, George confesses that his teaching experience in London was horrible and he never liked how parents raised their children in the UK. This brought him to the decision of not starting his family while there.
His return to Kenya in 2013 was triggered by his value for the African culture. A year later, he got the opportunity to work as a principal and has been using this platform to inspire young people.
Mathenge who lived in the UK for 5 years is currently the principal at Brookhurst International school based in Kajiado county. According to him, the dream to become a teacher has always been a part of him from a very tender age.
“I wished that I would become a teacher because so much of what has helped me to be upright and positive in life was instilled by my teachers,” he said
With ten-year experience in teaching, Mathenge has practiced his passion in 7 schools both locally and internationally.
His advice to fellow Kenyans who have already established a good life within the country is that they should continue doing so within the borders because the experience abroad might not be as easy as they would think.
“If you have started a good life here, just continue if you have an opportunity to go there and improve yourself, do it but know it is not easy.”
Even though he strongly attributes his success to the inspiration from his teachers back in Kenya he does not brush off the fact that part of his life abroad equally had a positive impact.