Story of Deaf Chef who Works at Kempinski Hotel

  • Chef Monica Muteti (left) and entrance to Villa Rosa Kempinski hotel in Westlands, Nairobi
    Chef Monica Muteti (left) and entrance to Villa Rosa Kempinski hotel in Westlands, Nairobi
    Canva
  • American author Orison Swett Marden once said that success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.

    In the case of Monica Muteti, her goal of becoming a top chef wouldn't be deterred by her disability - she was born with a hearing and listening impairment. 

    Overcoming all adversities, Muteti rose to become one of the highly ranked chefs working at Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel. How did it all unfold for the young professional to work at such a prestigious hotel that is associated with class and elegance?

    According to Muteti, her parents, who spotted her condition at a young age, were distraught at their firstborn child growing up with a disability. 

    Villa Rosa Kempinski, Nairobi.
    Villa Rosa Kempinski, Nairobi.
    File

    "We noticed two to three years there were delays. At the time, she could only utter a few words, so most people attributed this to the fact that she is the firstborn child and there weren't any other children at the homestead," her mother, Ann Muteti, stated.

    "In my case, I was surprised and did not know how to handle the situation. I wondered how to go about it as she is the firstborn child. We had heard stories of deaf people but it was never in our family history," her father, Pascal Muteti, stated.

    In Monica's case, she had to endure the tough criticism and condescending remarks from people throughout her school life.

    She began her formal education at Machakos School for the Deaf and then joined Mumias High school for her KCSE certificate. She then pursued Catering and Accommodation at Karen Technical Training institute for the Deaf, Nairobi County - which went against her parents' desire for her to pursue tailoring.

    "Monica informed us that she doesn't want to do tailoring as it will bring in little money," the mother stated. 

    Struggling to get employment after school, Monica resorted to start her own bakery - a venture which did not go as expected. 

    "Since it was hard to get a job after school, I started my own bakery shop which did not do well but through support from my family, I got a training at Cheshire Disability Services Kenya which improved my skills," Monica stated.

    Her resourcefulness earned her an internship slot at Radisson Blu, Nairobi County. Monica's zeal and determination did not go unnoticed at Radisson Blu as her supervisor at the time Chef Isaiah Oduor, spotted the passion in her work.

    Her hard work would ultimately pay off as Chef Oduor would recommend her for the job at Villa Rosa Kempinski. 

    "The good thing I noticed is her punctuality. She would be the first one to arrive and would not leave unless I tell her," he stated.

    Chef Monica Muteti working at Villa Rosa Kempinski, Westlands in Nairobi County.
    Chef Monica Muteti working at Villa Rosa Kempinski, Westlands in Nairobi County.
    Citizen Digital