A year after he was promoted to become the chief of Burat Location in Isiolo after serving for five years as an assistant chief in the same area, Abdinassir Abdisalan has graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Community Development, becoming the first graduate chief in Isiolo.
There are total of 46 chiefs and 96 assistant chiefs in the county.
A journey that started back in September 2017 and which required him to commute to Meru every weekend to attend classes at Mt Kenya University’s Nkubu campus, ended on Friday when he graduated with a Second Class honours, upper division.
“I am so happy that I have finally graduated. I was to graduate in August last year but the graduation was was postponed due to Covid-19,” the elated chief told Nation.Africa after the virtual ceremony.
Though he had a diploma in tourism when he was employed as an assistant chief in August 2015, the urge to acquire skills crucial in administrative work drove him to enrol for the degree course two years later.
“I needed some skills crucial for my administrative work and to ensure I served Isiolo people and specifically Burat residents professionally,” he said.
Carried phone to class
Due to the nature of his work in which he has to deals with various issues affecting community, key among them being security, Mr Abdisalan would often be forced to leave class early to attend to “urgent matters”.
“I always carried my phone to class to ensure I responded to community issues and if need be, rush to Isiolo and sort them out because my work came first,” the chief noted.
The 38-year-old father of nine attributes his success to his two wives, Sabriya Ibrahim and Maryam Yussuf, and his bosses, whom he said gave him the necessary support and encouraged him to keep moving on despite several challenges.
While balancing between family, work and his education was somewhat challenging, mobilising resources to cater for family needs, his children’s fees and his education was quite an uphill task.
But amid the challenges, the alumnus of Kilimani and Isiolo Barracks Primary schools and Isiolo Boys High School kept pushing on, even after several of his colleagues from the county who had enrolled at the same time with him deferred their studies.
Passionate about working in administration from his early age, the chief intends to pursue a Master’s degree in the same filed from next year, in line with his career progression and with the hope of rising to become an assistant county commissioner and even a deputy county commissioner.
“My plan is to grow career-wise and rise up to any possible level. I have 22 remaining years and I will, if God allows, retire while in administration work,” Mr Abdisalan says.
Mr Abdisalan and Kiwanjani Assistant Chief Daniel Kathunkumi, who was pursuing a diploma in community development at the same university, were the only administrators who managed to get to the graduation list.
“This (degree) means a lot to me. I intend to pursue a degree from September,” Mr Kathunkumi told Nation.Africa by phone.
Senior Assistant County Commissioner Anabel Gitonga hailed the Burat chief for the achievement, saying his hard work had born fruit.
“We are happy for him for choosing to advance his education,” she said.