Dr Fridah’s life mantra is “the best or nothing”. The 38-year-old’s rise to the top has been steady. No magic bullet, no crystal ball.
At 30 years, the village girl from Embu County had attained a doctorate in Business Administration. That marked a major turning point in her career.
She is the founding director of Karen-based Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) TVET Institute.
Before then, Dr Simba was the director, of JKUAT Mombasa Campus and also a senior lecturer in the School of Business and Entrepreneurship.
"What makes me wake up every morning to go to work is the fact that I know I’m going to change a life."
“What makes me wake up every morning to go to work is the fact that I know I’m going to change a life,” she says. The only girl in a family of three, she was brought up in a family of teachers.
Growing up, she had set her eyes on becoming a secondary school teacher.
Nonetheless, the dream changed when she joined Kenyatta University to pursue a Bachelor of Education Arts degree and changed to being a university lecturer.
Two former lecturers she considers her mentors – Prof Josephine Arasa and the late Dr Wallace Mbugua – set her on the path to being where she is now.
“The two offered hope that I can also work one day at the university. Dr Mbugua recommended I apply for a course in MSc Entrepreneurship. I applied and I was admitted and the rest is history,” she says.
For her, the education sector offers her the platform to impact lives. “Meeting these students years later gives me so much joy, satisfaction and some level of self-actualisation,” she says.
The director explains it is lonely at the top since everyone is looking up to you for all the answers. You are “a superhero of sorts”.