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Saturday, November 26, 2016

MEET JEFF MUNAI, A YOUTH WHO DEFIES GRAVITY


A dreamer. A hustler. A smiler. An actor. A farmer.  A graphic designer. A writer. All that packed into a 22 year old guy: Jeff Munai Rubia. And as though that is not enough, the young Nachuan still has another dream. One in which he wishes to launch on the 2nd December. A dream in which he wishes to defy gravity. To soar high in the sky. To carry people to lands beyond where they achieve their dreams, make money and feed their folks. Jeff longs to be a pilot. He says this with conviction. The kind of conviction that hits you hard. The kind of conviction that tells you that he is sure of what he is saying.


Jeff  Munai Rubia at Wilson Airport


I first met Jeff in November, 2015 during some gender equality training by Community Empowerment Education Centre (CEEC) in Kikuyu. After the training, we were to hold skits in Nachu ward to educate the community on the benefits of a gender- equal society. As we casted the skit on our final rehearsal day, the soft- spoken Jeff Munai was told to act as a battered woman. He agreed. Little did we know that Jeff would turn up for the show the next day in a skirt, handbag, headscarf and make-up. He then played the role so well that the audience thought he was a girl until the end of the show when he changed. The audience was awe- stuck! That was Jeff …. The man of many surprises.



 A few days later after the show, Jeff took me to his home. On opening the gate, I was greeted by lush green sukumawikis and spinaches planted in all manner of a polythene bags. They were Jeff’s. He told me that planting them in bags eased irrigation, adding fertilizer and weeding the soil.
Before this interview, I spoke to Eagle Apostle Kaminwa who is Jeff’s spiritual mentor. Kaminwa describes Jeff as a pragmatic dreamer. All he needed was to stop fearing his potential grab the bull by its horns and soar high because that is what he is meant to do.      
Sharing his dream with Kikuyu Mp Hon. Kimani Ichungwah


Q:  When did you start this dream of becoming a pilot?

A: In my childhood, whenever I saw big machines moving in the air, I would find myself in a lot of confusion on how these machines can move in air without falling down. My home is near Ngong hills, a flight path. So, I would wake up early in the morning to gaze at the aero planes as they approached Ngong hills, the loud roar of the engines and the realization that these machines were operated by people planted in me the seed to one day be the guy in control.


  Q: What efforts have you made this towards this dream?
 
A: I will start with my education. After completing Nachu primary school, I spent time researching on the high school that will put me in the aviation path. A friend advised me to go for my ‘O’ levels in Uganda so as to later join Soroti Flying School. Therefore Tororo Progressive Academy {TOPA}. However, by the time I was completing my ‘O’ levels, Soroti Flying School was dormant and therefore I was at crossroads over where to go next. Luckily a cousin of mine worked at Wilson Airport. He took me to Kenya Aeronautical College where I was interviewed for Aeronautical Engineering. I passed the test.


I joined the school for a diploma in Aeronautical Engineering. However, every day as I sipped a cup of tea, I would be overjoyed as I looked at the aero planes take off, soar or land. An eerie voice always haunted me. “Jeff, you are meant to be a pilot. Not a technician.’’ However on enquiry, I was disappointed at the high cost of aviation school. I was given a fee structure leaflet that showed that I had to cough over 5 million to realize my dream.




Q:  Did that disappoint you from achieving your dream?

A: I would say yes and no. Yes, because the fee was so high. And no since I felt the need to share the dream with someone. I told my mother about it. I thought that she would discourage and tell me to be content with aeronautical engineering. Surprisingly, she escorted me to the Kenya Flying School where I was advised to take the Flights Operation course which is the theoretical part of aviation as I wait to login my flight classes.
With Kiambu County Government Waziri Machel Waikenda


Q: Tell me about the event on 2nd December, 2016.

A: Well, on that, I am inviting all my friends, their friends and their friends’ friends, anyone who believes in aspiration to join me as I defy gravity. It will be a dinner event at the Clarion hotel as I raise the Ksh. 5 million for my pilot school fees. I will be launching my book ‘Take Off’ a motivational book that I believe will go a long way in inspiring a new generation of youths who defy all odds to meet their life purpose.


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