Daring Abroad from Scratches

Dr. Bushra Asad Kipchirchir is a Kenyan lecturer at one of the prominent Universities in the city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where he teaches Arabic, English, and French languages. He also lectures online at the Kenya Institute of Foreign Languages and Professional Studies (KIFLAPS) where he started his career.  

Born on 7th February 1985, in Baringo County, Former Rift Valley province, he started his educational journey at Baringo Primary School where he scored a B+ in his final examination,that is, the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE).

Mr. Kipchirchir came from a humble beginning and found it challenging to afford a daily meal.

During his time at school, he had been sent home several times for lack of school fees. To be accepted back into school, his grandmother would supply the school with firewood, maize, and beans as a form of barter trade for his school fees. At times he could practice small-scale fishing in Lake Baringo to enable him and his grandmother to have a meal for the day and at times his efforts in fishing were futile.

“My past experiences as a teen are depressing. I am filled with sadness when I remember walking for more than 11 Kilometres barefooted to get to school with a pair of patched shorts from the back. It is a dreadful experience that I would not want my kids to go through, sometimes I had to practice small-scale fishing to get food on the table.”. Mr. Asad recalls.   

He grew up in a Cotton Farming Village, so people were not rich, especially with the falling commodity price. His grandfather was also very strict and cold-hearted, which must have been the effect of his traumatizing experience as a MauMau fighter. He had the privilege of getting exposed to the modern way of life of the British settlers in nearby Nanyuki Town, where education was the way of gaining recognition in society.

Mr. Asad grew up as a disciplined boy, and his determination to succeed gave him no other.

option apart from going through high school. His grandmother was there to reassure him that he was to achieve great things. He is however glad that the hard times prepared him to deal with any challenge that he came across in life.

“My success in Primary school was noticed and I was lucky to join Nakuru Boys High School, a prestigious school even with today’s standards. Despite the hard times I went through, I managed to score a straight A, which was the highest score one could achieve”. Mr. Asad narrates. 

He was then admitted to the University of Nairobi (UoN) for a 4 year Bachelor’s course in the French language.

To sustain his campus life, his family had sold out all their land and were left with a quarter of an acre, which was enough to accommodate their house and the 2 goats they were left with. All their cattle and all harvested materials would go to Mr. Asad’s education.

He would later join the Kenya Institute of Foreign Languages and Professional Studies (KIFLAPS), during his fourth year to do his attachment which was mandatory before graduating from the University of Nairobi (UoN). During his attachment, he was exposed to the Arabic Language, which is one of the courses offered at KIFLAPS, and was again given a full scholarship to learn the Arabic Language.

His excellence in studies saw him finish his Arabic course at KIFLAPS and graduate from the University of Nairobi in the same year. Through KIFLAPS Managing Director and the KIFLAPS alumni network, he secured another chance at a scholarship from King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to further his studies for Master’s in the Arabic Language. Despite all the challenges he faced, he continued to grind in his studies as he focused on his Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy).

He became a private English language tutor charging five thousand Kenyan shilling per hour which was a good amount of money. This was enough for  sustenance in the foreign state.

During the time of his private tutorship, he met with Mr. Nasir who was his English student, and a renowned businessman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The tycoon saw a lot of potential with him particularly with his prowess in Arabic, English and French Languages. In order to conduct his business, he needed someone fluent in multiple languages instead of hiring interpreters which was costly and inefficient. Mr. Asad was employed by the petroleum and real estate company and he has since then been promoted to the personal assistant of the owner of the company. 

His introduction to the company has broken the barrier of communication and allowed the owner of the company to expand the horizons of the business and get partners from different nations.

Mr. Asad has not forgotten his motherland and his family. He has since created a 200-acre ranch for his family where they live and herd more than 3000 cattle. His family has now lives happily with their big mansions within the ranch. 

The community has also benefited from such projects as the neighboring regions has spruced up financially and seen the growth of new towns and villages.

He has made his parents proud as they now enjoy the fruits of their investment. He has built himself a mansion which is approximated to cost around KES 10 million.  

“We have also introduced the Sahiwal Bulls to the region which are known to survive in arid and semi-arid areas, the breed is resistant to parasites and heat tolerant. In addition to that, it is cheap to maintain and earns more profit, unlike indigenous cattle”. Mr. Asad narrates.

In addition to that, he also has a custom of exporting halal beef to Saudi Arabia and this has since boosted his business.

Mr. Asad is now investing in the real estate business where he buys, sells, and manages properties around the country. He has invested in land and buildings, having been in this business through the guidance of Mr. Nasir, his real estate company is estimated to be worth KES 250 million.

He is now living his lavish life in Western Asia and this justifies the phrase “studying a foreign language is magic.” Sir Andrew. This has made me believe there is a place for a black man in Arabic countries.

By Benjamin Auma

Specialist in French Language and a thespian.