Coming from a community that believed Monaka should stay at home and look after her husband and six children, she decided to break the cycle and enrolled in sewing classes in 2007.
Monaka felt the barriers only gave her a stronger determination to expand her knowledge and succeed, so she then passed an Access to Higher Education course the following year. Monaka is now in the first year of a law degree at the University of Birmingham, and is an inspiration to other women in her community.
“My education has built my confidence; this in return has helped improve the quality of my life and that of the people around me,” said Monaka. “I have made a lot of good friends along the way and strongly believe that neither age, nor disability, nor cultural ignorance should be a barrier to learning.” Monaka’s new-found confidence has also seen her take up a voluntary role at university, helping students with housing and financial problems. Monaka ended, “Learning is like a missing piece of a puzzle. Now that I have found it I feel complete.”