Mercy Tarus, a Kabarak University graduate, has received nationwide praise after bravely confronting Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Bii, his deputy John Barorot, and Senator Jackson Mandago over the Uasin Gishu education airlift programme.
On Wednesday, August 9, Tarus regretted that her parents lost money in the controversial project which caused her to resort to selling porridge and mandazi to make ends meet. Despite graduating from Kabarak University in 2021, Tarus has been volunteering at a local school for three months and also took a hairdressing course to supplement her income. Additionally, she writes poems to raise awareness about mental health issues.
Tarus planned to enrol in the Northern Lights College in Canada to pursue a two-year diploma course in Social Service but her travel plans were postponed to February 2023 due to claims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Tarus said that she was unaware that her speech would resonate well with the public when she confronted the leaders at the Eldoret Municipality Social Hall with the hope of exposing the injustice.
Living in Uasin Gishu County, Tarus’ parents took out a loan of approximately Sh900,000 for a program that left her heartbroken. Her poignant and powerful speech yesterday resonated well with the public, making her an influential voice of Gen Z, those born between 1995 and 2010. Tarus demanded a full refund of the money her parents paid for her to study Social Work at Northern Lights College in Canada, which failed. Despite feeling like she had lost everything, Tarus refused to be silenced, using incisive queries to challenge the leaders about the victims’ conditions.
Many victims of the Finland airlift programme have been struggling with depression following the loss of their money. Tarus revealed that her father is taking anti-depressants that cost Sh200 per day. During her confrontation with the county leaders, the recent graduate also addressed other issues such as poor time management and the exploitation of residents.
“You called us for a 9 am meeting, but what time did you arrive here? You probably don’t expect me to ask such a question. But we elected you to serve us. I may seem very foolish to say these things considering I am young,” Taurus said.