Esther Musila: My First Ever Job Interview Was At State House

Esther Musila Omwaka reintroduces herself as a newlywed, one year into her marriage, and invited us into her life and home with her husband, Guardian Angel.

She warmly welcomed us into her Karen home to get to know her personally and opened up about her upbringing.

Speaking about growing up in Nakuru, she fondly talked about her late parents and their contrasting personalities.

“Growing up, it was just my brother Fred and me, who were born only 11 months apart. We grew up like twins. My mother used to tell me that I was conceived during her honeymoon. My mother was tough and disciplined, and I learned those values from her. Firstly, she was a teacher and a member of the Special Branch, if you know what that is. At the time, we believed the Special Branch were like spies, so everybody in the neighbourhood feared her. On the other hand, my dad was cool and calm, and he had a deep love for music, which is where my passion for music was born. I remember his music would bring everyone in the neighbourhood together.”

Esther Musila
Esther Musila

Musila opened up about her experience attending primary school in Nakuru and going through the CPE system, saying it was a challenging period as she managed to only board for one term before deciding not to go back.

“It was challenging for me, and I only went to boarding school for one term at Bishop Njenga in Lugari before deciding not to go back. I then joined a school in Kitui for my O-levels. Early on, I knew that I wanted to make money instead of continuing to form 5 and 6. So, I secretly applied to study secretarial courses at the prestigious ‘Kianda College’ in Nairobi. I knew that attending Kianda College would increase my chances of getting a good job, so I applied without my parents’ knowledge. When I got accepted, they were surprised because I hadn’t studied anything related to the secretarial position, but they wished me well, and off I went to Nairobi.”

She explained that her mother had assisted her in finding her first job in the agriculture business, where she had earned Sh3,000. She added that at that time, the amount was significant, and she took on the responsibility of buying bread and milk for the family as her contribution. However, her ambition motivated her to return to Nairobi in order to earn more.

She recalled picking up the phone book and applying to over 100 jobs from the directory. She mentioned that one day she received a call for an interview. Since she wasn’t familiar with Nairobi, she requested a friend to accompany her. To her surprise, the interview took place at State House. When they inquired about how she found out about the job, she informed them that she had looked through the ‘bold’ listings in the directory.

She explained that the position was with the Statehouse Comptroller, and despite lacking previous experience, she managed to secure the job.

Initially, the position was supposed to be a temporary three-month arrangement, as she was filling in for a lady on maternity leave. However, when the lady didn’t return after three months, she continued working in Monitoring and Evaluation at Siginon Freight.

She considered it her first real job and considered herself fortunate because she gained practical experience on the job without having studied for it.

“I have since worked with KCB, and now I have been with the United Nations for 21 years, working in Program Management, which has been my favorite job so far. It has allowed me to gain valuable experience while traveling the world. I have had the opportunity to travel to Spain, Nepal, China, Brazil, Canada, and Nigeria, and I have been incredibly happy. I plan to retire in the next five years and enjoy my money while I’m still young,” she said.

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