The story of Samuel Mwawato is a touching tale that underscores the unpredictable nature of life’s journey. Once a pilot, soaring through the skies over the United States of America, Mwawato’s return to his hometown of Mtwapa, Kilifi, Kenya, took an unexpected and challenging turn.
In 1990, Mwawato secured a scholarship to pursue his education in the United States, thanks to the East Coast Methodist Church. During his time abroad, he diligently honed his aviation skills, mastering the art of flying various aircraft. His primary focus was on recreational flying, and he generously shared his knowledge by assisting aviation students along the way. His vision was clear: to bring his newfound expertise back to Kenya and contribute to his homeland’s aviation industry. However, life had a different path in store for him.
Upon his return to Kenya in 2005, Mwawato faced the formidable task of converting his commercial pilot’s license to be eligible for work in his home country. Unfortunately, financial constraints forced him to take out a loan of Ksh500,000 to cover the expenses of the required course. Despite his unwavering determination, he managed only 10 hours of daytime flying, falling significantly short of the necessary flying hours.
Life dealt him another harsh blow when both his American wife, with whom he had two children, and his Kenyan wife abandoned him, leaving him to grapple with the challenges life had unexpectedly thrust upon him. Despite these tremendous setbacks, Mwawato’s spirit remains unbroken, and his optimism continues to shine brightly.
In an unexpected turn of events, Mwawato discovered a new purpose within his community. He became a dedicated member of the Responsible Citizen Initiative, where he took on the role of a garbage collector. This drastic shift from the boundless skies to the streets of Mtwapa collecting refuse was a humbling experience for Mwawato. Nevertheless, in the face of adversity, he maintains hope, firmly believing that his circumstances will eventually take a turn for the better.