At Marsabit Times, following a conversation on role models in Marsabit and lack thereof, we thought about home grown talents and people who have in their own unique ways moved the margins of possibilities, overcame challenges, went where there were no roads and left a trail. As our conversation became animated, we realized Marsabit has such a wealth, its people, a beautiful people, who have a unique power of self-healing, hoping against challenges and always striving for better things even where the road ahead looks bleak. From that conversation we got the idea for a series of articles, interviews and photography from Marsabit, on Marsabit and by people from Marsabit.
Among the many people lined up for interviews we today feature Elizabeth Guye, who is a banker and a model. She’s featured in numerous television adverts on our major television stations. Elizabeth’s story is unique in the sense that she’s among the first to go into the modeling industry, against the backdrop of a conservative society and coming from a place where such “popular culture” industry as modelling and advertisement are “not understood”. We sought her out and talked to her; she found time off work and answered our questions.
Tell me about yourself? Your family and growing up in Marsabit.
I am Elizabeth Guye Yohanis, born and raised in Marsabit, I am the fifth born in a family of six, the only girl amidst boys :). My parents always emphasized family values and praying together as a family. That shaped us to who we are today. The values my parents instilled in us have proved very helpful.
I have 3 most amazing, loving and protective brothers, I love them so much and they mean the world to me. Two of my brothers passed on and I miss them so much.
Say something about your Educational background.
I went to St. Peter primary School in Marsabit, from where I joined Garbatula High School I latter proceeded to The University of Nairobi where I double majored in Psychology and Communication
Do you have a favorite quote or one that is always on your mind?
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your dreams. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you, too, can become great”. – Mark Twain
How do you deal with challenges? What motivates you?
I love challenges and the thrill that comes with tackling it. I can say that am good at handling challenges. I don’t let it affect me much; I learn from it and move on to the next thing. This drive to always overcome challenges has earned me the respect of colleagues, friends and family; they know that I am a strong woman 🙂
As a banker, providing good services to both internal and external clients motivates me because I’m happy to go beyond what’s expected of me. I really enjoy taking the time to help the team improve or do something extra for a customer. I always strive to improve myself by always learning new things, new concepts, new ways of doing things and trying my hands on different things that will improve my career.
What is your greatest regret?
I don’t have any regrets. I believe every event has a purpose and every setback its lesson. Failure whether of the personal, professional or even spiritual kind, is essential to personal expansion. So therefore i never regret, rather I embrace it as teacher it is.
Your favorite writer and why?
Robin S. Sharma, Sharma’s books is filled with powerful, enriching insights one that changes lives.
What do you do during your free time?
I enjoy spending time with my husband and children, watching cartoon and playing games. I have three adorable children.
A living person that you identify with, your role model and mentor and why?
My dad is my role model and mentor too, He has so much wisdom and he is my best friend.
How long have you been in the advertising industry?
I have done a couple of Commercial Ads… I do modeling only part time… I started in 2009. 1st Commercial I ever did was TVC with Inspecta Mwala and my daughter. it was a UNICEF Save a Child’s Life Campaign sponsored by Imperial bank, Then Step in to a bold new world – also this was imperial Bank Ad, Imperial leather soap Ad and Msafiri gold card Ad, all these can be accessed via You Tube.
Tell me a little on the modelling and advertising industry. How does one get into it? Does it pay well?
One registers with a modeling agency, like am with versatile models. It’s very competitive coz you audition for jobs, just like you do interviews for any other job. This is very practical because they look out for your acting skills, your confidence and if you are camera friendly and so on. So ni bidi, talent na determination yako that will get you a job
It pays well, but it also depends on the kind of advert you are doing and which company.
As a model and a career woman, you are a role model for the girl child in Marsabit County. What words of advice do you have for them?
Follow your heart because you can be anything you want to be. Nobody expected women like us from a nomadic community to prosper and shine in different aspect, but here we are, never giving up.
I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”
What message do you have for people of Marsabit?
My message is for the leaders and the community at large is to put aside their differences and work together in harmony and take Marsabit to greater heights, because together they can achieve more. Yes we can!