Talent is Universal. Opportunity is Not: Josephat Agaki
Written by Hannah Bain.
Born into a family of seven, Josephat Agaki learned to take responsibility for himself at a young age. A talented, bright young student, he was hungry for an education, but he knew his parents were struggling to support the family on only one income. So, he proactively sought out scholarship opportunities to help cover his high school fees.
After receiving a CFK Africa scholarship, Josephat had the foundation he needed to excel. He was a prefect all four years of high school, and his strong academic record earned him admission to the Technical University of Kenya, where he decided to pursue a degree in Hospitality Management.
While securing admission to university was an achievement he had been working toward his entire life, Josephat knew that paying tuition would be challenging. His mother had to ask a friend for a loan so he could enroll in his courses in time, and he took out student loans to cover the rest of the cost.
Unable to afford a space close to campus, Josephat began sharing a space with a friend farther from the university. He walks 10 kilometers (over 6 miles) a day to and from campus.
The Power of Perseverance
Despite the challenges, Josephat has persevered. He gained experience at several hotels while completing his undergraduate degree and is currently working at the Ngong Hills Hotel in Nairobi as he prepares to graduate in July 2022.
“My biggest accomplishment is getting myself engaged and securing a job,” Josephat said. “Now, in addition to supporting myself, I can offer support to my siblings as well.”
While Jopsehat’s childhood was not easy, it instilled responsibility, focus, and determination in him. He grew up dreaming about building a better life for himself and his family, and the mentorship and career guidance he received from the CFK’s scholarship program helped him clearly define a career path and find purpose in his endeavors. Josephat was always talented and strong-willed, but he needed opportunity to reach his full potential.
“My advice to other youth would be to know where you want to be in the future and find out what it takes to get there without using shortcuts,” Josephat said. “The people you surround yourself with play a huge role in determining the kind of person you will be. The bonds you create are long-lasting, and the ideology you share inform the eventual outcome of your success or failure.”
Help fund scholarships for talented young people like Josephat.