Originally from Nairobi, Kenya, Terry is a devoted Kigali Mom and the inspiring Hospitality Management Program Manager for the Akilah Institute. She has worked with several hotel brands in Switzerland, Kenya, and Rwanda before moving to Rwanda to help educate the next generation of female Rwandan leaders at Akilah.
Tell us about yourself. How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I am a mother of a beautiful 2 year old daughter. I am a hotelier, teacher and trainer by profession. My friends describe me as always happy and friendly. I enjoy travelling with my family and having new experiences.
How long have you lived in Kigali? What brought you here?
I have lived in Kigali for 4 years now. I first came to Kigali as a tourist and was impressed by what the city has to offer. I decided to look for a job and soon came back to work here.
When did you join the Akilah Institute for Women and what inspired you to join the team?
Growing up I went to an all-girls school where I had a strong support system and without them I wouldn’t be a woman of character. Akilah empowers women and this inspired me to join this company. Also I have a passion in hospitality and I would like to share my passion with my students and make them better hoteliers and see them stand out in their careers.
With such an active and important role at Akilah, you must be very busy. How do you balance your work and family life?
It is very simple; I make sure that I put in extra effort at work in order to achieve my daily goals so that when I am at home, I dedicate that time to fully spend with my family. I also take advantage of my off-days and set out that time to spending it with my family.
What have you learned through your experiences as a working mother?
I have learned that it is important to have someone you trust to leave at home to take care of your child. I have a nanny who makes me feel comfortable to have my daughter stay with her and that way I when am not at home I know my daughter is well taken care of.
I have also learned it is important to set out some time to spend with friends and my partner as well.
What advice would you give to other working moms raising kids in the city?
Three things, first plan your work, second schedule fun and meaningful activities with your family and friends in order to spend quality time and third don’t forget to have your time to revamp the energy you need as a working mom.
What is your favorite kid-friendly thing to do in Kigali?
My daughter really enjoys swimming so we go for swimming together at least every other weekend. (See our list of Kigali pools for families)
What is your favorite kid-friendly restaurant in the city?
I prefer restaurants with a big garden where I can let my daughter run freely, where I can see her and not get worried that she would disappear or get injured. Somewhere like Tung Chinese Restaurant happens to be one of my best since it has a big garden and it also has a playground fit for my daughter’s age. (Find more Kigali playgrounds)
What is the most challenging thing about raising kids in Kigali?
The only challenge I had before was getting a nanny who can speak either good Swahili or English.
What is your favorite thing about raising kids here?
I consider Kigali one of the best and safest cities to raise children.
What do you do when you need "me" time?
My partner Joshua is very supportive and when he has his off days he is more than willing to baby sit so that mummy can have her ‘me’ time.