When Beth Waweru speaks, you hear the years of experience rolling off her tongue. Her words of wisdom echo those of other great minds. Beth believes her work in the health department was birthed by a calling.
“When I completed high school, I saw the need to become a nurse,” she narrates. “My father had been unwell, and seeing him in his state of discomfort gave me the encouragement to equip myself with skills that would make me a professional caregiver.” Her father’s unstable health resulted in habitual hospital check-ins and admissions. It was an emotional time and an even more challenging period financially.
Beth’s desire to pursue nursing was met with her father’s resistance. In his mind, the only career path his children would take was in the educational sector. “My father was a teacher, so he was very adamant in his wanting me to follow in his footsteps.” But Beth’s desire couldn’t be contained. She sent applications to various nursing colleges hopeful that one day she would walk through hospital wards, listening, attending to and advising patients.
It took three years, but it was worth the wait. Beth was accepted to the Clive Irvine School of Nursing in Chogoria in 1997. She put her best foot forward and thrived through the four-year programme. With that achievement secured, Beth decided to volunteer at New Life Children’s Home where after eight months she found herself in pursuit of something more fulfilling – being in an actual hospital.
Her moment to shine came when a friend reached out and asked Beth to accompany her to the Aga Khan University Hospital to submit an application. Beth jumped at the idea – and when she looks back now, she is glad she agreed to go. “When I arrived I informed the person who was available to chat that I had submitted four applications. She probably saw my readiness, and sent me to the ICU department, which only asked me if I was ready to work.”