The plot is set in Kenya and the story begins as Monica Saliku, the main character and a fresh graduate is job searching. Like many fresh graduates, she hopes to get a job in one of the big government offices in Nairobi city, earn a good salary, and maybe later get to drive an official car.
She is rather shocked when she is offered a teaching job at Kostas Secondary School in Murwet, one of the remotest areas of the country. For a person who loves teaching, this would be a dream come true; but not so for Monica- she believes she is not cut out for a teaching profession, and, to make it worse, this is not what she trained for at the University!
To Monica and her friends (and even her family), Murwet is really a no man’s land. As people around her ask her what she is going to do (whether to take up the offer or not), Monica comes to a decision- she will go for the job if only to find out what is in it for her. She knows the time has come for her to make her own decisions. When asked why she would for such a job, she says: “I figured this was the point where I should start making independent decisions. Dilly-dallying on whether I like teaching or not isn’t an issue until I can prove it to myself”.
But the story does not revolve only around Monica. There are other people in Monica’s world – people she cares about and loves, like Stella her best friend, Miriam her sister and guardian, and later Max with whom she will learn that true love exists after all. All these help her in the trying time she spends at the Kostas school. But the highlight of this story is Monica’s ability to withstand the difficulties of living in a remote area, and she soon discovers she loves teaching, as she later admits: “Teaching has become me and perhaps what I needed was a little nudge to realize my potential”. Her determination to excel is also touching. As the head of the drama club, she helps put Kostas school on the national map when they win the national drama competitions.
It is a good book that offers encouragement to all young women and men who are job seeking but scared of reaching out for whatever opportunity are out there. Mbaya’s message is that by venturing out, they may well discover their potential.