Before Endometriosis took over Jahmby Koikai's life, she was famous on our screens, radio's and event stages but she was suffering in silence.
Sharing an old photo of herself Jahmby gave a story on how she missed a job opportunity that left her frustrated.
‘THERE WAS A REALITY SHOW THAT WAS RUNNING ON ONE MAJOR TV CHANNEL HERE IN KENYA, SEARCHING FOR THE NEXT TOP NEWS ANCHOR. I’VE ALWAYS HAD THE KNACK FOR NEWS. AT THE TIME, I WAS WORKING AT METRO FM. WALKED TO MY BOSS AND ASKED HIM IF HE WAS OK WITH ME PARTICIPATING IN THIS COMPETITION. HE AGREED TO IT. AUDITIONS WERE AT FILM STUDIOS. THE QUEUE STRETCHED ALL THE WAY TO THE SHOWGROUND. I WAS AT THE BACK KABISA. IMAGINE 300 PEOPLE BEFORE YOU. THEN WE GOT THE BRIEFING PAPER AND IT INDICATED, ‘NO PERSONS WITH EXPERIENCE IN A MEDIA HOUSE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS AUDITION’.’
Jahmby said that at some point she almost gave up but decided to go on anyway.
‘MIMI JAHMBY KOIKAI, NIRUDI HOME AFTER WATU 300 KUKUWA MBELE YANGU? NIKASEMA ZI. SO I STAYED IN LINE UNTIL I GOT TO THE AUDITION ROOM. THE JUDGES WERE A FEW PEOPLE I WAS IN CAMPUS WITH. I FELT A WAVE OF DESPAIR. LIKE I’M HERE AUDITIONING, YET MY CLASSMATES WILL BE JUDGING ME? I DID MY THING AND I WAS CONSIDERED.
WE GOT INTO THE HOUSE AND WE WERE ASSIGNED TO DIFFERENT GROUPS. I WAS THE GROUP LEADER AND WE WON THE CHALLENGE. LATER THAT EVENING, WE WERE DRIVEN BACK TO FILM STUDIOS FOR A BRIEFING. THE PRESENTER OF THE SHOW SAID, SOME OF US HAVE TO GO HOME. MY NAME WAS CALLED OUT FIRST AMONGST OTHER GREAT PEOPLE. WE WERE DROPPED HOME. I CRIED. IT FELT LIKE I’D LOST SUCH A GREAT OPPORTUNITY. MY MOM AND LATE GRANDMA WERE SO SAD COZ THEY LOVED TO WATCH ME DO THE NEWS.’
Luckily for herm that was not the end. Years later opportunities presented themselves.
‘THEN CAME ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY OVER 10YEARS AGO, I SAW A TV AD AND DECIDED TO APPLY FOR THE NEWS ANCHOR POSITION. AS YOU SEE IN THIS PIC, I GOT MY HAIR DONE AT RALPH’S HAIR SALON, NEW SUIT ETC. I DIDN’T GET THE JOB. AFTER KBC, I NEVER GOT TO ANCHOR THE NEWS AGAIN. I’M GRATEFUL I DID NOT GET THE JOB EVEN THOUGH I FELT DEJECTED AT THE TIME.
I BATTLED SEVERE ENDOMETRIOSIS IN SILENCE FOR OVER 19YEARS. I THINK OF HOW ENGAGING THE NEWSROOM IS AND I’M GRATEFUL I WASN’T IN THAT SPACE. I’D HAVE UTILIZED ALL MY SICK-LEAVES AND OFF-DAYS AND JUST DECLARED REDUNDANT.’
She went on to advise people battling chronic ailments like her, saying that there is hope even at the darkest hour.
‘THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE LIKE ME WHO ARE BOUND BY CHRONIC ILLNESS AND CANNOT DO THE THINGS THEY LOVE. I SHARE YOUR PAIN.
BUT THERE’S HOPE. I’M GRATEFUL TO GOD FOR HIS REMINDER THAT HE WILL RESTORE TO YOU ALL THE YEARS THAT THE LOCUSTS HAVE EATEN.’
From Jahmby's story, when you don't get what you want, it could be for the best.