Having being evicted from our house many times for lack of rent, I was driven by a passion to provide homes for the needy

Rubi Moss is a delight to interview and she has a cheerful and happy personality. Born in Kenya of a Luhya mother and Chagga father, she loves both her Kenyan and Tanzanian roots. “I make regular visits to Moshi and Luhya-land and enjoy the rich culture from both places,” says Rubi.

She started her schooling at Satelite Primary School in Nairobi. Rubi performed well in her exams and was admitted to Pangani Girls High School before joining Kenyatta University where she pursued a Bachelors degree in Business Administration.

The 47-year-old runs a foundation dubbed: Rubi Foundation, whose motto is Solutions for Africa. “I am the President of Rubi  Foundation and we have a presence in 22 countries. One of the main objectives of the foundation is to offer affordable housing. We want to replace slums in Africa with affordable rent-to-own houses, which poor people can rent for 10 years after which they can own them.

 “I was raised in abject poverty and I understand the challenges first-hand. Our house was near a swamp and frogs would come into our house. We relied on handouts and manual jobs and that life was very hard and we were evicted out of our house many times for lack of rent. As a result, I grew up with a passion to provide homes for the needy.

As a foundation, we want to train them how to fish as opposed to giving them handouts. We want to empower the women and youth so that they are able to sustain themselves. The rationale behind this is because women are the backbone of our society while the youth are tomorrow’s future, explains Rubi.

Rubi Foundation ventures into different economic sectors like, manufacturing, health, agriculture and education. We have a programme that provides lunch to school children. This is close to my heart because I see myself in those kids,” she says as she reminisces about her childhood.

“Growing up, we were so poor we had no family or friends,” she says. Rubi says her mother’s prayers kept the family sane when they were going through hard times. “Mum was a prayer warrior and she would pray for everyone. I remember one time in 1983 after I had come from school when she told me that God had told her that her children would dine with Kings. Of course there was nothing in our situation to suggest anything close to that but my mum kept believing it would happen one day,” explains Rubi. Mum was a prophetess so we trusted her word, she says.

“I had a burden for persons with disabilities and I remember when I was in my late 20s, something supernatural happened. God gave me a number in a vision and instructed me to call it. When I did, the person on the other end was the then First Lady of Kenya, Lucy Kibaki. I told her I needed to talk to her and she invited me to State House for breakfast. From then on, I met several presidents as most of our projects require me to work with governments. I have met retired president, Mwai Kibaki, Samia Suluhu Hassan the president of Tanzania and Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa among other world leaders. My late mum’s words had come to pass; that indeed we would dine with kings,” narrates Rubi.

Rubi believes in a life that is all rounded and as she works on her career, she is also keen to start her wellness journey. Having shot from a size 14 to size 18, Rubi is not comfortable with how her body looks. “I’m extremely conscious of how I look after I added weight. I like being fashionable and I can’t dress in a certain way,” she says. “I’m also not oblivious of the dangers of being overweight. My mother was overweight and as a result she was diabetic and had high blood pressure. Weight can kill you,” says Rubi.

I want to embark on a wellness journey to not only look good but to stay healthy, she says. This lead her on a discovery journey where she started looking for information on weight loss. “One day while on social media, I came across Big Ted and was amazed at his transformation. I had always known him as a big, overweight guy but now he looked amazing after his weight loss and I decided to find out what his secret was. Big Ted linked me up with Dr Theo of Viva Serenity. I had also seen Wema Sepetu’s story and realised it was the same company behind her weight loss,” narrates Rubi.

When Rubi came to Kenya, she made an appointment with Dr Theo who took her through the entire process a patient goes through in bariatric surgery and who is eligible for the procedure. He also introduced her to Faith Mukiri, a Viva Serenity brand ambassador, who underwent bariatric surgery in November, 2021.

Rubi says she misses the days she could dress in any outfit that she fancied. Today, she says she is too conscious of how she looks. “I need to lose the extra weight so I can even play around with my grandchildren as I’m always feeling tired,” she says. Rubi’s weight gain was as a result of a tragedy that left her seeking solace in food for consolation. She lost her 28-year-old daughter in July, 2021 and she says everything started going downhill for her. “My daughter was my best friend. When she left, I felt alone and I lost interest in everything,” says Rubi.

“For years I had always been health conscious and would take a walk with my daughter every day at dawn. I would also do intermittent fasting just to ensure my weight was in check,” narrates Rubi. After the loss of her daughter, Rubi says she suddenly started doing all the things she wouldn’t do before. I started eating for comfort and abandoned my morning walks, she says. One day she realised that her clothes no longer fitted her. About three months ago, I realised I needed to lose weight and that was when my search for a solution began, she says.

Rubi says she is ready for her bariatric surgery and is looking forward to going back to the gym. “I’m really excited about this new journey I’m about to take and I’m looking forward to a new me. I can’t wait to get back the energy to play with my grandchildren, who are 2 and 6,” says Rubi.

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