Gladys Wanjugu was born in 1973 in Karatina, Nyeri County where she lived with her parents and siblings.She came to Likii Village, Laikipia County in 2006. Before her move to Likii Village she worked at various places including the Nyayo Tea Zones. In 1993 she completed her high school education from General China Secondary School and sat for Kenya School Certificate Education examination, (KSCE) but because of lack of funds she could not pay her school fees or the fees to have a final transcript released and thus was unable to continue with higher education. At the same time her younger sister was also in 12th grade and was unable to get her transcript for the same reason. The only solution left for Wanjugu was to work as a farm-hand for the next 13 years. While in school, she excelled in science subjects, but this interest was placed on hold.
She traveled to Nanyuki to work as a nanny at a children’s day care in Likii Village where she lasted for 3 months. She was earning Kshs. 1000 a month or $10, and was able to save the entire amount because she was staying in the premises and received food. She moved out and rented asmall room for a month where she paid $4.
Before her move to Nanyuki she had given birth to 3
children and her goal was to work hard to meet their needs. A former schoolmate offered her free shelter at her cousin’s house and
later helped her get a job at Likii Flower Farm. Her pay jumped from $10 to $50 a month, but she was laid off after a month. Life became very difficult after this and finding herself at a crossroad she decided to go back to contracting at various farms in Nanyuki. She once again became a farm-hand where she worked from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM for $0.80. To help with survival she started selling vegetables that she had bought at the open market. She would set-up a small make-shift spread a sack on the ground where she would place her vegetables, and spread a sack on the ground where she would place her vegetables, and at the end of the day she would take home about $2.00. She continued doing this for the next three years.