Joyce Awino’s story is one of determination and resilience. Despite facing numerous obstacles, the 22-year-old has managed to make a name for herself in the male-dominated building sector.
After completing her secondary education in 2019 with a D+ in KCSE and no means to pursue further education, Awino moved to Nairobi to stay with her brother. It was here that she met her boyfriend, Sylvester Otongo, who taught her how to fit tiles.
Although Awino’s dream was to become an engineer or a technician, she found solace in tile fitting. “I always wanted to be an engineer, electrician, a plumber…something technical. My parents kept on telling me that they’ll take me to school until I lost hope. But I am glad that I am now an expert in tiles fitting,” said Awino in an interview with Public News.
It only took Awino two months to master the art of tile fitting. She began working with Otongo, earning between Ksh. 600 and Ksh.1000 per day.
Awino praised Otongo for his exceptional teaching skills and selflessness, saying, “Otongo is not like other boyfriends. When I requested him to teach me, I thought he would refuse, but he was more than willing to.”
Despite the physical demands of the job, Awino persevered and eventually started her own business, Fieldspar Tiles Installer Centre, with Otongo. The company charges KSh 300 for plain tiles per square foot and KSh 450 per square foot for patterned tiles.
While the business initially started small, it has now grown to employ over 23 people and travels across the country to deliver their services.
Awino is a shining example of how hard work and determination can help you overcome even the most challenging of circumstances.