Salome Chiira's story on how she rose from a teenage mother to a house-help before eventually owning Radiant Group of Hospitals and opening five branches across Nairobi County is one for the books.
Chiira, who got pregnant at the tender age of 13, detailed her journey of raising her child with the help of her supportive parents.
In an interview on Metha ya Kagoni on Monday January 16, She stated that her parents encouraged her to go back to school three months after delivery.
According to Chiira, her die-hard and optimistic spirit saw her soar higher despite working as a house help in South B - a middle class neighbourhood in Nairobi.
"I am a go-getter, I better crawl to get to where I want to go. I also rely on God to guide me in my job. I do not say, unfortunately. I use fortunately I got pregnant because my firstborn is my anchor," she explained.
The entrepreneur went to the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) to pursue a career as a nurse while her parents took care of her child.
"My patients come first. I love being in the field because of my uncle who was a doctor. He inspired me. I also have two aunts who were nurses.
"As a child I got a bad experience getting an injection and vowed to be a good nurse to serve other patients," she narrated her experience.
However, her rise to the top was no walk in the park. She worked in several hospitals as a nurse before founding Radiant Group of Hospitals whose capital was her biggest challenge.
She explained that, at one time, her hospital was closed down by the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU) for lack of a license.
She lost part of the capital she had used to purchase her supplies and had to fend off bad publicity when the media labeled her staff as quacks.
The optimistic entrepreneur she is, Chiira strategised on how to re-open the hospital and remain afloat.
"We had an account but the lifestyle indicated they were taking from the company. I had to call for a crisis meeting to discuss how we will handle the finances. I started taking the recruitment process seriously to get the right fit for the job," she recalled
She also set aside funds to cater to the facelift of the hospital and prioritised getting more suppliers.
While narrating her journey, Chiira noted that as a woman in a male-dominated industry, it was key to put her best foot forward to keep up.
During her first week of service, the entrepreneur noted that she prayed for anyone to enter the hospital.
"My main target is the middle-class group of the nation who need affordable healthcare services," she added.
As Kenyans continue to look for alternative sources of income to deal with the high cost of living, Chiira encouraged them to be optimistic and consistent in what they are doing.
"Stop feeling sorry for yourself despite your current source of income. With the right attitude, you can grow your business with great skills. It is a matter of believing in yourself and trusting in God," she advised.
The 13-year-old teen mom currently has five hospital branches across the city ranked in the level 5, level 4, and level 3b categories.
According to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) report released on Tuesday, January 17, 15 per cent of women aged 15-19 have been pregnant, 12 per cent have had a live birth, one per cent have had a pregnancy loss and three per cent are currently pregnant.