Julius comes from a small village called Emarenyo, in Butere near to our farming project.

He began his schooling at Emarenyo Primary School in the nursery and in 2012 he scored 292 out of 500 in the KCPE primary school exams.  Unfortunately he wasn’t able to move on to secondary school as his family could not afford the school fees.  Instead he repeated his Standard Eight school year and when he re-sat his KCPE exams achieved a score of 330, an excellent score which secured him a place at Namasoli Secondary School.

He was given a scholarship from The Red Rubber Ball Foundation and was able to join secondary school.  Here his favourite subjects were Biology, Literature and Maths, and he was an active member of the Christian Union and Scouts, and played football and handball.

After four years at Namasoli he took his KCSE final exams which produced a D grade.  His ambition of going on to university was thwarted, which was not easy to accept.  But as Julius says, “life has to go on”.

In 2018 he had the opportunity to join the Small Business School of Management where he completed a Certificate in Hospitality Management and took various units covering food production, sales, front of house, housekeeping and even laundry.

On graduating, Julius found work as a Commis Chef at the Swara Acacia Lodge in a wildlife conservancy.  It was not an easy life living in the bush.  He woke up at 4am each morning to prepare a picnic breakfast for that day’s game drive.  Life was really challenging for him with long hours and abuse from senior chefs, but this made him focus to achieve his goals.

His next step was to move to Café Javas, a large chain of restaurants across East Africa, and was assigned to work in Kampala Uganda – another environment to adapt to.  He was even conned and robbed a couple of times, and he had to convert his cash wages into Kenyan Shillings to share with his family.

Having gained more experience, he moved back to Kenya to work at the Food Library in Westlands Nairobi, gaining further experience from experienced chefs and a major boost to his confidence and career.

Life as a Chef has not been easy.  During COVID when many restaurants closed, Julius had to find work as a security guard at night, and went out looking for construction jobs during the day.

In 2023, he moved to become a Chef de Partie at the Soroi Larsens Camp in Samburu National Park, a high-end tented camp described as “indulgent luxury”.

Julius says, “you have to keep chasing your dreams.  You have to accept every person you come across since everyone has various complications and special dietary needs.  In the kitchen if you mess with food, you are messing with people’s lives.  You have to take every step and initiative to ensure that you are producing the right food, at the right time, at the right temperature.  Its mostly fun when you know what you’re doing”.