1. She has no University education
2. Looks can get you somewhere
3. Not married, cannot reveal boyfriend (may be ashamed of his age marital status, looks or no fixed one exists/they are many??)
4. She is all over government, has no designated portfolio (cannot be specific which office she works for),basically she is in an open engagement with government bigwigs.
Dive into details below as told by Pauline herself to one Mukurima Muriuki of African Warrior Magazine.
By Pauline Njoroge
“My name is Pauline Njoki Njoroge. Currently I work as a Communication Officer under government of Kenya.
I was born and raised in Githiga village. Today, the village is represented in parliament by Njoroge Baiya and in the Senate by Paul Kimani Wamatangi. Githiga is in Kiambu County and falls under Governor William Kabogo.
I spent my early years with my maternal grandmother. She owned a coffee farm and it is here where I learnt at the tender age of 8 how to pick and process coffee. I would later on join my parents in Nairobi and the first blow life slapped me with was the death of my mom when I was only 10 years old.
With the death of my mom I had to move back to the village and face life without my heroine and someone I looked up to. It was tough knowing my mom was no more. i was heartbroken. This pain and suffering would be exacerbated by one relative who made it a habit to constantly remind me that my mom was dead and that there was no one to mother me unless I followed her to the grave. It was very dehumanizing.
I continued with my education and just as I was preparing to sit for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), life told me to turn the other cheek before landing another devastating blow. My dad, who was the family’s breadwinner, lost his job. Up to this time I had a fairly good life. Now our family was welcomed to financial difficulties. We began struggling to get by. Three meals a day was no longer a guarantee.
In spite of the tough times I went through, I did well in my KCPE and got selected to join high school. All this time, I could not help but wonder why God had forsaken me-her daughter. Many are the times I felt as though society was laughing at my family’s predicament. Life appeared very humiliating. I would cry almost every night under my blankets wishing my mom was alive. But she was gone.
After completing secondary school education, that was the end for me. I could not proceed to college as my dad was not in a financial position to sponsor my education. After two years in the village I realized that I held the key to my own emancipation. I had to stop feeling sorry for my situation and do something. Otherwise if I did not do something, I would end up getting married for the wrong reasons.
One day, without informing my family, I packed a few of my belongings into a green torn plastic bag and left for Nairobi. I asked my cousin Hellen if she could accommodate me at her place for a few weeks as I searched for a job. She agreed.
The only job I could think of was becoming a house girl/maid/help. All I had was my Ordinary Level certificate! Armed with this certificate, I went to one bureau that recruited house girls. My application returned futile.
The next thing I could think of was hawking. I bought a few items that I thought would sell quickly and easily. I got erasers, pens, and T-shirts and packaged them nicely in an open box and started doing rounds within the streets of Nairobi. I did this for a few days. As I made every sale, as I bargained with every customer, my heart was telling me I could do more.
Later on I approached a certain church and asked if they could help me go back to school. I was hungry for an education. They saw this passion in me and wrote me a cheque of Ksh. 10,000. I took a bold step of faith and sent an application to join Catholic University. My hope was that I would be admitted to pursue political science. Guess what, I got admitted!
However, the tuition fees for the first semester was a staggering Ksh. 85, 000. I did not have that money. I went back to the church hoping that they would increase their help. I continued attending classes but as is the case, many universities do not allow students with fees balance to sit for end of semester exams. That is how my dreams at Catholic University came to an end. It was another low moment in my life.
I continued to struggle in life. There was a time I could not raise enough money to pay for rent and I was about to be evicted. I had shared my predicament with this couple and when they heard I was about to be on the streets, they decided to house me. I lived with them for 3 years and they became a part of my family, just as I became part of their family. When they opened a posho mill business, I offered to work as an attendant. I did this for a year.
Meanwhile, during my idle time as I waited for customers, I would read magazines and newspaper-no matter how old. This helped me keep abreast of what was going on in the country. At the same time, I had managed to register as a member at the American Embassy Reference Center and this became my resource for books touching on politics.
The more read, the more I believed that there was a silver lining. I had a deep conviction that life would someday be brighter than the Rihannian shining diamond! These reading materials in my possession enlightened me and inspired me to pursue something I was passionate about-youth empowerment and participation in governance matters.
Unfortunately, I did not have a platform where I could champion these issues. But then I realized I had a Facebook account and from what I used to read, other young people had used this medium and made it a powerful tool of engagement. With this tool, I started sharing bit and pieces of what I was reading and my thoughts about specific issues. My friends would bring different perspectives and the more these discussions grew, the more people would join my timeline to express their opinions and positions. People started noticing and with time some started reaching out to me. This is how I ended up being involved in the 2013 presidential campaigns. I had become a voice on social media.
While still working at the posho mill, together with like-minded young people, we registered a non-profit organization called Eagles Leadership Foundation-an advocacy voice for youth involvement in governance and policy making. The American Embassy was very supportive of the initiative through the contacts I had made at the reference Center.
See, God asked his servant Moses what he was holding with his hand. Moses had a walking stick and God used that to do many miracles. In my case the walking stick was social media and the non-profit organization. These two were instrumental in opening doors for me and I met very strategic contacts. The rest is history.
I have used Social media to communicate the agenda for New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) programs, more so on the goal of advancing the Pan-African agenda among the youth especially relative to the African Union’s agenda 2063.
The biggest challenge I find in the use of social media is that most of the time people hold on to positions and do not want to listen to different perspectives. It becomes difficult to dialogue on issues in an objective way laced with facts and truths.
I also admire a number of people on social media, and every day I must read what these people have posted. Some of these men and women are: Wahome Thuku, Dennis Itumbi, Tsomnyazi wa Nganga, Gordon Opiyo, Mukurima Muriuki, Abraham Mutai, Jane Kogi, Kiborek Reuben, Soyinka Lempaa, Ory Okolloh, among many others. Their updates revolve around my areas of interests especially the state of the nation, African Affairs, International politics and development news.
Pauline with some of her friends
Social media has made the world a global village. Kenyans in the diaspora can follow what is happening in the motherland and even actively participate in important discussions on the state of the nation. These platforms also help dwarf the communication distance between Kenyans in Diaspora and those in the motherland, making it easy to keep in touch and in constant communication.
My plan is to get more involved in advancing Africa’s development agenda and most importantly, integration.
I have been asked time and again: “who is the rock of Njoki’s heart?” Hahahaha….This is a private part of my life and I would like it to stay that way!”
Read More at African Warrior Magazine