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Chelimo: I always dreamt of serving this nation

23 September 2014, 12:13 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – The nominated ambassador to Canada, Joyce Chelimo, has revealed that her dream was to serve the nation in senior-most positions, and pledged to be illustrious in discharging her diplomatic duties. 

Chelimo, 35, said her tender age is not a challenge in discharging her assigned duties despite being the youngest in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recent list of 25 diplomatic nominees.

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“I used to envy the head of Public Service Commission and dreamt of serving either as a Cabinet Secretary or Principal Secretary. However, my 13-year-old daughter, Liz Cheboen, used to discourage me because Ministers are shown on television being grilled for misappropriation of funds,” said Chelimo. 

“Information regarding my diplomatic nomination was just a surprise. In my heart and mind, I don’t feel young,” she added.

Having served as the Human Resource director for DHL at the time of her nomination, Chelimo says she will use the experience acquired in dealing with people to unite and provide the needed help to Kenyans living in Canada.

“I am lucky to go to Canada to bridge any existing gap of disunity among the diaspora citizens. Canada has the capability of empowering women and I will be in forefront of encouraging our women and children both in schools and those working,” said Chelimo.

She revealed that her successful vetting exercise by the National Assembly’s Security and Foreign Relations committee was her greatest event in life despite her age.  

“I succeeded in the vetting because of friendly working environment at DHL which offered me freedom to influence decision-making and independence. When I joined the company, my manager was also doubtful at some point of my ability to deliver,” said Chelimo.

“I never thought would leave DHL. I have left good salary at DHL to serve and built my country. I always focus my performance on efforts done in the past to realize the future achievements and will apply the same in my diplomatic position,” she assured.

She lauded the Managing Director East Africa Cluster DHL Supply Chain, Ben Clay, for good working relationship which she said facilitated both her professional and the company’s growth.

However, Clay challenged her not to relent at all in her commissioned ambassadorial mandate and urged her to ensure that all needs of diaspora citizens are met.

“The diplomatic task seems tough but not like in the business sector where you are ever put under pressure by customers. We are proud of you for being a diplomat from DHL,” said Clay.

“We will greatly miss you and your immense contribution to DHL but while there, work to bring together Kenyans living in Canada,” he added.

The nominated 25 ambassadors began their three-week diplomatic training on Wednesday last week and are set to leave for their respective foreign stations from October 11 after being sworn in by President Kenyatta. 

The training is aimed at equipping them with the needed skills for effectiveness in representing the country abroad.  

Chelimo was speaking in Nairobi during her farewell event with her former DHL staff and friends.

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