• Nashipai, who hails from a humble family in Kajiados Magadi Ward, was handed her degree by Dr Corbin Hoorbeek, President of the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
• Now armed with a degree in International Relations and Peace Studies, Nashipai is stepping out into the open job market of the world
Hard work and protection against harmful Maasai practices like FGM from her parents contributed a great deal to Laureen Nashipai’s education.
She hails from a subcounty marked “red”, where many young girls do not complete their education because they are married off at tender ages.
Nashipai, 22, was among the 1,500 graduates conferred diplomas and undergraduate certificates during Daystar University’s 46th graduation ceremony on November 10.
Nashipai, who hails from a humble family in Magadi, Kajiado county, was handed her degree by Dr Corbin Hoorbeek, president of the University of Northwestern in St Paul Minnesota, USA.
“I am, indeed, humbled to have received this momentous achievement as a Maasai girl coming from Kajiado’s Wild West, a region where very few girls make it in education because of injurious traditional customs,” she said.
Nashipai is one of the very few girls who escaped female genital mutilation because her parents, who are also university graduates, do not subscribe to such traditions.
Her father Joshua Marabui and mother Lucy Nkoirishishe are in active employment and have vowed to educate all their children through university.
“This is the only way you can reward your children to have a desired life. We are no longer depending on livestock that our children used to inherit before. So education for them will open employment doors for them,” said Nkirishishe.
Now armed with a degree in International Relations and Peace Studies, Nashipai is stepping out into the open job market of the world.
Getting an international relations degree will give her the tools to bring real change to the world.
Nashipai must first understand the scope of international relations and what she can do with it.
In this career, you’ll be able to maintain positive diplomatic relations between countries, prevent international conflicts and ensure things run smoothly between governments in our highly interconnected world.
With an international relations degree, Nashipai will have a broad set of career options in addition to politics, including ones in fields like economics, social systems and the cultural life of communities.
Her newly acquired degree will provide her with great insights into foreign affairs, public policies, international development, economic trends, social issues, law and more.
Popular international relations degree jobs include diplomacy, lobbying, political analysis, international law and intelligence.
If she is lucky enough to get a job at her age in diplomacy circles, Nashipai will build her career in maintaining good relations between countries.
She can also become a diplomat to represent represent and protect her country’s interests abroad regarding politics, trade and consular services.
As a diplomat, she will discuss, negotiate and mediate with the local government on issues about peace and war, trade, commerce, economics, as well as social and cultural aspects.
The scope of international relations might also be to become an intelligence specialist.
Thus, Nashipai can also work in the military, the navy, national security departments or almost any state department of national government agencies.
Nashipai’s elder brother, Robert Shumari, is a graduate of the University of Nairobi, and he is now working in the fisheries department of the Kajiado government.
“I have had quite a smooth ride, considering the love and support I have received from my family, friends, private companies and NGOs that have supported me in my education journey,” said Nashipai on the day of her graduation.
She told the Star she has a strong desire to contribute to her community and make it a better place when she gets a good job.
“Pursuing a course in international relations and peace studies aligns with my goals as it focuses on developing moral values and equipping individuals with the necessary skills to address the needs of others,” she said.
She added that her course enables her to handle various situations that require empathy and compassion.
“An international relations course typically focuses on studying and understanding the interactions between countries and global actors,” Nashipai says.
The market for IR courses, she said, is broad, ranging from government agencies and international organisations to NGOs, think tanks and private sector companies that operate globally.
“Graduates of IR courses can pursue diverse career opportunities in fields such as diplomacy, international development, public policy, intelligence analysis and global business,” she said.
Nkoirishishe, her mother, says she was able to study hard with her little children and managed to acquire a master’s degree.
“Undertaking education at the university level requires dedication and devotion. You are forced to deny yourself certain things in life to achieve the set goals,” Nkoirishishe said.
She said she is a disciplinarian of a kind and is respected by her children.
“My children are not the type that cry for bread and get it. They will eat what is available. In other words, I am saying that my children, despite their tender ages, knew that we were not going to ride them on a silver platter,” she said.
Nkoirishishe thanks her husband for standing with her to bring up disciplined children, who are now setting a good example in the Magadi community.
“When parents unite in the mentoring of children, all will be well. We awarded our children on how much they worked hard, nothing less,” she said.
She appealed to fellow Maasai women to embrace education for their children and forget about sending their young girls into arranged marriages.
Magadi ward, where the family hails, is now in the newly established subcounty of Elang’ata Wuas in Kajiado county.
This is a county that has high cases of pregnancy among young girls in schools. Because of the location’s proximity to Tanzania, parents have been, over the years, crossing over to circumcise their young girls to avoid arrest by the Kenyan authorities.