Who is Gladys Chania?
Gladys Chania was born in the 1970s in Thika, Kiambu County. She is a mother of three and is married. She is a child and adult psychologist (MA) and just finished another degree in justice and security studies at Mt Kenya University.
And you are Kiambu County TNA co-ordinator...
Yes, since November 2012. It is a very challenging post as it needs one to be very impartial. I must ensure I handle matters delicately so that I do not to hurt the confidence of aspirants or party members.
What does your job entail?
I oversee party activities and programmes on the ground. I also co-ordinate party nominations for aspirants and ensure that the party gets the best candidate from all the aspiring candidates.
You have been passionate on alcohol issues. Why?
When I was in America I worked in the Governor of Massachusetts’ office as a social worker on treatment and rehabilitation of alcoholics and this inspired me to return home and offer the services here. This is what I would like God to find me doing.
Tell us about your rehab
It opened in June 2011 just a few months after I came back from the US. It’s a 30-bed facility. Clients pay a subsidised fee for upkeep. I am the director. So far 567 clients have undergone treatment at the facility.
Describe a day in your life
My day starts at 4.30am, at which time I check my mail. I then report to the rehabilitation centre to check on patients before reporting to the Kiambu County office and thereafter to community forums as per my diary.
What challenges do you encounter in your work?
Trying to balance personal interest with the party interests.
Concerning the rehabilitation, my greatest pain is when I see a recovering alcoholic going back to drinking after the programme.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
I am ambitious and courageous. My weakness is that I forget too easily.
Who are your mentors?
My father who has managed to achieve a lot on community service and has been a dedicated public servant.
Tell us about your family life?
I have a very understanding and loving husband who I actually met by surprise when I joined politics. He is an electrical engineer doing business in Kigali Rwanda.
Where do you get your greatest inspiration?
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta. If she can do what she does for the community through Beyond Zero campaign, I too can do something worthwhile.
What are your successes?
Running the rehabilitation centre without government or NGO funding.
Suppose you get an elective position, what would your contribution be?
Fighting alcoholism with support services on treatment and rehabilitation in every sub-location. I would also handle issues for the disabled and support their education. I would also support initiatives that empower people financially. I have a dream for Kiambu County in which the Mama Mboga becomes Mama Duka and Mama Duka owns a supermarket or gets into the import/export business.
Your dream destination?
Visiting rehabilitation centres in France and Norway
What drives you?
My love for the community
What would you advise young people aspiring to follow in your footsteps?
It is very healthy to have a servant leadership that is driven by passion.