I define her as the epitome of a true leader as John Quincy Adams quotes that, “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
Dr.Koweru is an inspiring model worthy of emulation not only by the society but also the world at large.
Behind the mask of visual impairment is a woman full of strength and courage, her breaking point uncalculated and not even the roaring results, “optical nerve atrophy and retinitis pigmentosa” could deter her from goals well channelled. Decent and smartly dressed she is a lady of her class and without her cane you would not realise that she is visually impaired all thanks to her friends and son she says.
“Disability should not be a hindrance for me to not do everything a person with sight does” says Rose.
She has proven without doubt that disability is not inability.Just like a journey of a thousand miles she also began with a step but trod along with hardwork and determination.she put on a positive attitude towards all the ups and downs life brought along with it by first accepting her condition.This being her strategy for success,she was able to pull out of any challenge and emerge stronger than before.
Born along the coast,Rose is impaired at birth but it takes several years later for the discovery to be made.Rose lost her mother at the tender age of four.
Her father was abroad in Germany and she ended up in the care of her grandmother who was unaware of her physical challenge. Like other children, Rose too was enrolled in an ordinary school. She was unable to see the board and performed poorly in examination. Still no one had noticed the challenge little Rose faced.”Teachers just thought I was a bad girl,” says Dr.Rose now Lecturer at Jaramogi oginga odinga university of science and technology.
At home reality started dawning whenever Rose was sent for something and she had a difficculty in locating it.
Her father came from Germany and she was taken to Kenyatta National Hospital for examination.The result was a total irony of the perfect pair that everyone saw well fitted in her sockets, she was diagnosed with optical nerve atrophy and retinitis pigmentosa,unfortunately she could only perceive light.
She was then taken to Thika school for the blind.A journey full of great hopes and dreams began but the environmental change affected her health because unlike the coast, Thika was a totally different environment she had to adjust to.
Analysis of guidance and counselling programme at Thika High school for the blind by Irungu and Mary Wangari in 2011/12/05 states that, “youths with visual impairement need guidance and counselling more than their sighted peers because in addition to the normal turmoil of adolescence, they experience other problems from their disabilty.The children with visual impairement may experience a major crisis because many have
face rejection, negative and social stigma from family, peers and the society.”
Rose faced this turmoil, and like the saying goes “only the wearer knows where the shoes pinches.”I can only but try to visualize her grief as she swallowed the bitter cup offered by her very own close family.ln her case,her father’s remarriage caused her devastations.she was separated from other children by her step mother because she thought the impairement was “contagious”. Being the sole remaining child after loosing her two siblings, loneliness becomes her companion.
Putting in all efforts that she could gather into her education, she even does her ‘O’ levels as a private candidate. With her determination, no one could stop her and neither did she give a hoot at people’s quizzing attitudes around her.
She got employed as a primary school teacher and thereafter also worked with Kenya integrated programme for the blind in kisumu,the then district as a coordinator and afterwards opted to do her first and second degrees in special Needs Education which she does in the university of Manchester, United Kingdom.
In Kenya, she got employed by Bondo University college as a lecturer.Seven years later, the institution is chartered to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University Of Science and Technology hence she is reduced to a part time employee meanwhile, she had began pursuing her PhD in 2013.
Her ambition drove her into applying for a vacancy in Maseno and Kenyatta University.There were vacancies in both the universities only that in Maseno,there are no assistants.
Kenyatta University became her option but JOOUST acted quickly, she could not let her heroine become the masterpiece of another institution,both the students and administration needed her and managed to retain her.
“In JOOUST the environment is conducive, the climate favourable and the people friendly” she adds in.
Her smile and laughter reflects a cheerful person as she reveals her love for music, both sacred and secular,her favourite dish being ugali ,fish and chicken Rose freaks at vegetables unless its a fruit.
Whenever you come across her,just say hello and introduce yourself to her.The next time you say hello,you would actually be surprised when she calls you by your name if you have a distinct voice. Nevertheless if yours is similar to another person’s voice whom she recognizes don’t hesitate to kindly remind her who you are.
Dr.Rose currently aspires to venture into politics. Through this she will be taking the steering wheel and being in the fore front of driving the nation to greater heights.