Winfred Wanjiku may be among the 918,270 people with disabilities in Kenya but she is definitely not among the 85 per cent bracket of jobless Kenyans aged below 35.
The 26-year-old has cerebral palsy, which was discovered when she was about six months old.
Her condition, nevertheless, does not define the lastborn of four siblings.
who bore her in Mwea, Kirinyaga County
She has scaled off societal stereotype of “incapable people” to become an admirable disc jockey (DJ), a profession that was predominantly men's for a long time. She also prides in the tourism and travel know-how.
Before joining Nairobi-based Talanta Institute in June 2018, to study disc jockeying, Ms Wanjiku, who was born in Mwea, Kirinyaga County, had completed her diploma in tourism and travel in 2014.
Jobs in her area of training were, however, not forthcoming, prompting her to try her hand in hawking jewellery in Mwea town with her late mother.
All the while, her mother would feel her passion for music.
Sometime in 2018, she challenged her to become a DJ. Unwilling to slacken in exploring new opportunities, she took her mother’s guidance with much optimism and self-motivation.
Unfortunately, her mother died on Christmas day in 2019, before she could see her daughter soar to the highest.
She has adopted professional identity “DJ Wiwa” and unique she is in her work.
Her tools of performance are her feet, an exemplification of just how capable persons with disabilities exhibit distinct capacities possible for infusion in building an economy.
When she graduated in October 2018, her feet had been conditioned to spin and scratch songs with such art of perfection that those on the dance floor cannot notice the person doing the magic.
“People are always amazed,” she says.
“They tell me I am a motivation to others,” she added.
EQUALITY AND FAIRNESS
She grew up in a family where equality and fairness glittered love that she learnt how to be independent, hardworking and hopeful even when the odds were against her.
Her mother treated her as an equivalent to her siblings, and supported her in every way.
She took her through primary education -Joytown Primary School- and secondary- Joytown Secondary School, both in Thika town.
She says she is grateful to her mother for nurturing her into what she has become, and hopes everyone in the society would consider all persons with disabilities as equal human beings.
“We are not any different. We should be treated like anybody else,” notes alias DJ Wiwa who loves noting down love poems during her leisure time.
Bringing persons with disabilities to the equal balance matrix is an envisioned target for 193 countries party to Sustainable Development Goals, Kenya included. Each is to give a stock of what they have done to meet the limits upon the 2030 deadline.
EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK
The eighth goal envisions sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all - persons with disabilities being at the core of consideration for equal pay for work of equal value.
Meanwhile, DJ Wiwa shows that they have full potential to break the boundaries and become influential people in the society.
In a good month, she secures three live performances mostly through friends and contacts on social media.
All she is looking forward to in the coming years, are many more well-paying gigs.
And she is determined to face all obstacles that come her way because: “Anyone can do anything as long as she got the passion to do it.”