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My kids do me proud

Regina Nyokabi, 47, a single mum of two children believes in instilling discipline and hard work in them

Tell us about your children I have two kids; Tracy Kiriga, 25 and Eric Kiriga, 19. Tracy graduated from Kenyatta University with a degree in psychology and also has a diploma in human resource management, public relations and is a certified HIV testing and Aids counsellor.

Eric is a music student at Kenyatta University, he sings in The Boys Choir of Kenya and a guitarist from Kamata School of Music. Currently, Tracy is a volunteering her services in our church, Deliverance Church Theta in a rehabilitation programme, while Eric is a music trainer at Pumwani Boys Secondary School.

What are some of the challenges you have encountered as a single parent? Being a single parent is no joke. It was a challenge balancing work and school. I had to make sure I had enough time to be in the office and also enough time to spend time with my kids.

As a single parent, it is important to note that we have the obligation of introducing a father figure to our kids. I introduced my dad, my cousin, my reverend and a friend who helped transition my son into manhood. Sometimes, attending school meetings was difficult because of time.

Working as a secretary is a demanding job. How do you make time for them? On weekends and during the holidays, we go out for swimming or go to nyama choma joints. I am an undergraduate student in counselling psychology and I need time to read in the evenings, so my evenings are time constrained.

This, however, does not stop me from listening to their stories, that begin right when I walk through the door. I listen to them and they discuss their ideas with me. It’s always a good time, the best part of my day. Are you supportive of their dreams? I encourage them to pursue their dreams.

I believe in the dreams they have. Initially, I did not know much about music, so I did not understand what my son wanted. However, with time, I bought into his idea and now I support him fully. I help my daughter, Tracy by encouraging her to study more.

I keep my ears open for any job opportunities that concern them and we tackle these issues together. I also support them financially like my son and his music path and remind them that they should focus on being self-employed too. What is your most proud moments as a mum?

My children successfully transitioning from primary school to secondary school and now in campus. It gives me a lot of joy, witnessing Tracy graduate several times has given me much joy. I cannot wait for Eric to graduate too. Also, watching my son’s self-esteem rise and him becoming self-aware made me proud.

Now he can make solid decisions on his own and is confident about what he has set his mind to do. What do you attribute your success to? I thank God because He has given me strength to bring them up and they too have been understanding. The way I bring them up is also attributed to the fact that my parents brought me up to be hardworking and with entrepreneurial skills.

This is what I have instilled in Tracy and Eric. What is your advice to single parents? They should first accept that they are single. They should discuss matters of bringing in new partners with their children.

Single parents should learn to have positive attitudes and form a habit of consulting with other single parents and especially those who have already successfully brought up their children.

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