My name is Terry Joy Wangechi Wamahiga, born on the 10th of February 1998. I was raised up by my grandmother, Teresia Wangechi Irungu, after my mother, Rose Wamahiga, left me when I was only 3 and a half months old. I am grateful to her for bringing me to this world. My grandmother took me in and helped me with all the struggles of tea picking. I started my primary school level studies at Gitugi Primary School where I had a hard time during my school time, being sent home to get school fees which my grandmother could barely afford to pay, we could not even afford a plate of food three times a day, going to school barefooted but I thank God that I completed and joined Wamagana Girls High school, went through my studies with the loans that my grandmother got from the tea factory and with the money we made during our holiday work at the tea farms.
I was blessed to finish high school, my dream was to be a nurse but due to the lack of finances I settled for a low-paid career so I joined Mathenge Training College to take a course in food and beverage management. This was made possible through a fundraising by my village members, we didn’t manage to raise enough money but I had some to get in. Then I met a man who promised to help me and even pay for my school and I got pregnant, and that was it for us. All this was due to the desperation for money to pay school fees, back home my granny got arthritis and she was unable to work nor to raise money so I had to leave school for several months to pick teas for the upkeep of my son and granny and my school fees.
My loving and caring grandma agreed to take care of my son as I try to make ends meet and I am so grateful to her for making me who I am today. She didn’t quit supporting me even after giving birth to my son, Kihara Wangechi when I was 18 years old.
My hope and dream is to change the life of tea pickers from my village, save our tea that is slowly being cut down due to its poor returns. If they earn more than just 10 Shillings per Kg, I will be able to see more children in my village go to good school, live a better life and fulfill their dreams. I wish to see good quality tea being produced and I would love to have Terry’s Tea as a new brand in future. I pray to God that my dream may come true.
Terry’s Tea as a new brand in future. I pray to God that my dream may come true.