Life brings forth various hurdles, but Mr. Adika Okoth Zaccheus, the Deputy Manager of Amaase Youth Polytechnic, remains undaunted forging onto a path of career excellence. At the beginning, it was tuff; Mr. Adika had completed his O-level with a mean grade of C+. But life took a different turn because his family could not support him to University, but they took him for a certificate course in Carpentry and Joinery. Soon he began practicing and greatly loved watching his creations develop from a shapeless wood to a beautiful furniture pieces that enchanted his customers.

Through the years, he worked diligently and immensely improved his skills, and soon an opportunity for career development opened up. The Government advertised for vocational instructors, and with his level of education and technical expertise in the area he was a successful candidate employed as an instructor at Amaase Youth Polytechnic. During his time at the polytechnic, he yearned to further his studies on the same but unfortunately in Kenya there is no diploma level in Carpentry and Joinery and therefore his efforts were frustrated. Nonetheless he never lost hope.

And so one fine day, during a Trainers of Trainers training conducted by The African Centre for Women Information and Communications Technology (ACWICT) his fortune changed completely. During the training, one of the components of ICT upskilling that they went through was the TukoWorks Entrepreneurship and Employability Portal. Having signed up and review the courses offered, he realized that there was a Diploma course in Carpentry and Joinery.

“I was very intrigued, because rarely would you find the course linked to ICT, so I made further consultations to find out what is required of me to begin the training,” he said. “When I realized I meet the threshold, I immediately embarked on a journey to academic advancement.” he further added.

He was very excited about going back to class, especially on an online platform and thus invested a lot of time in his studies, waking up as early as 2.00am. Truly, they say ‘hard work pays’, after only three months Mr. Adika had successfully completed his course and earned a Diploma in Carpentry and Joinery. He has so far shared the certificate with the employer and is currently waiting for promotion as the Manager of one the polytechnics in Busia County.

“My certificate is legitimate, no doubt the portal is of great value especially to the youth in Kenya,” he says.

This personal development has encouraged him to reach out to more persons who were having difficulty in pursuing tertiary education. One of them is his wife, and through explaining the benefits of the portal, has successfully undertaken a diploma in Nursing and is a waiting for her certificate.

Sitting as the Chairman of Amaase Enrollment Committee, Mr. Adika plans on initiating visits to secondary schools and sensitize form 4 students on the importance and benefits of the portal, such that when they finish and encounter financial difficulties, they can utilize the portal to further their studies. He also plans on ensuring that whoever enrolls in their ICT department registers in the portal so that apart from their vocational skills also earn a course of their choice. To him life can’t be any better!