The new Director-General of the National Youth Service (NYS), Ms Matilda Sakwa, is aware of the monumental task that awaits her at her new posting.
Ms Sakwa (above), who until her appointment was the Machakos County Commissioner, was picked by President Uhuru Kenyatta to replace Dr Richard Ndubai. She is expected to restore sanity to an institution riddled with graft as various leaders call for its disbandment.
“I believe it is a tough assignment but I am equal to the task. I will go and study the systems put in place and see whether structures work,” said Ms Sakwa.
She was speaking in Machakos on Tuesday, as she handed over to Deputy County Commissioner Sammy Ojwang, who took over the job in acting capacity.
She said she would borrow a leaf from those who have been there before.
"My vision is to ensure that we restore the glory of the NYS. Everyone knows NYS as a scandal-ridden organisation, which is very unfortunate,” she said, adding that it should be a place to nurture and give hope to youth.
Ms Sakwa said her friends feared for her when they learnt about the appointment but added that she was not afraid of taking up the challenge.
"It is a tough job and judging from past history, people go there to loot, but I do not have that appetite," said the seasoned administrator, who has served as a District Commissioner in Kangundo and Nairobi North, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet and as County Commissioner, Machakos.
She said the government had faith in the NYS institution because if it succeed, the youths across the country will benefit.
" I want to assist NYS so that the corruption tag changes for the better, "said Ms Sakwa who is a mother of four.
But even as she takes up her new assignment on Wednesday she is banking on the goodwill and cooperation of those still in the institution.
"I cannot pretend to know it all. I am going to rely on many people including the CS Margaret Kobia," she said.
The administrator who has an experience of 29 years working in government holds a Masters Degree in Development Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
She has a Bachelors Degree in Sociology and Religious studies from the University of Nairobi.
She also has a Post-graduate Diploma on HIV/Aids from East Anglia University, UK and another Diploma on Reforms in Government from Beijing, China in addition to a certificate on Strategic Leadership from the Kenya School of Government.
"I always strive to do my best and be my best, "Ms Sakwa says in her LinkedIn profile. She also prides herself as a team player who believes that work must be shared. "Work must be shared and all in the team must play their roles effectively and efficiently.
Credit in performance is for the team but as a team leader i take responsibility, "she says. She recently led a team of security officers in Machakos to impound a consignment of contraband sugar which was kept at a flower firm in Athi River.