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News article

Kenyan alumna features in Archbishop of York’s latest book

Published: 13 December 2016

  •   Alumni
Valentine Nkoyo

Valentine Nkoyo

Archbishop Sentamu’s book, ‘Agape Love Stories’, features contributions from a range of authors including those who have lost loved ones to murder and natural disaster, to ones who have overcome extreme personal challenges and others who have devoted their lives to the services of others.

Valentine Nkoyo, who in the book writes under the Maasai name of Nashipae (‘happiness’ or ‘happy person’), underwent female genital mutilation (FGM) at the age of 11, as is the norm amongst the Maasi. She is now a leading human rights campaigner against the practice and other forms of violence against girls and women, working at a local, national and increasingly international level.

In her chapter, she also shares the difficulties she went through as a young woman trying to access education. Her narrative is a powerful one, as Archbishop Sentamu underlines in his commentary, of someone moving from powerlessness to gaining a conviction and having a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.

York St John University played an important part of Valentine’s journey from her home village of Eor-Enkitok, near Narok. She first came to the University for one semester on a scholarship, but was then awarded a two year scholarship that enabled her to achieve a first class degree in Business Studies, which included modules on creative writing and film making. She went on to work for International Service in York and then to an MBA at Nottingham Trent University. She is now Director of the Mojatu Foundation in Nottingham.

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