Happy Is Who I am
by Rachel Terran (’18)
In a humble Kenyan village, bath and laundry day was on Sunday. Amram Musungu would collect water from the river and bring it back to bathe and wash his school uniform. On Monday mornings, he would wake up early to begin his trek to school—often running barefoot. Amram explains that his commute back and forth to high school exceeded 20 miles and involved crossing two rivers. Today, Amram says he is grateful for that experience because it has made him strong—strong enough to run for president of Kenya in the 2017 election.
Amram explains that people would laugh at the mention of him going to college because it seemed impossible. His parents—who never obtained an education—were raising nine children under impoverished circumstances. Despite that perception, Amram set his goals high and fostered the belief that anything is possible.
“Many people laughed at me,” Amram says, but he did not waiver in his ambition. “I set my goals and worked hard to make it to America. It was not easy, but I arrived in this country with $50 and wanted an education.”
In 1998, he began studying at the LDS Business College in Salt Lake City. He later attended the University of Utah and ultimately transferred to Westminster, where he finished his academic career.
“I transferred to Westminster because I wanted a better learning environment where professors care about the future and success of students,” Amram says. He attributes much of his success to Westminster and says that the college has given him relationships with friends and professors that will last forever.
At Westminster, smaller class sizes and one-on-one attention from professors led to the accomplishment of two degrees: a bachelor’s in accounting (’07) and a master’s in accounting (’16). “Rick Henage and Ron Mano are two of my greatest mentors from Westminster,” Amram says.
Today, Amram’s professional title is auditor; however, that hardly begins to explain the work he does: he runs a nonprofit organization for individuals infected with HIV/AIDS, translates Swahili, participates in community outreach programs, and dedicates much of his time to the refugee population in Utah. Amram also expresses an interest in becoming a lawyer and has run a marathon in 2:38.
In 2016, he was approached by a political party in Kenya and asked if he would consider running for president in the 2017 election. Amram decided to take this opportunity to use his leadership skills and education to lead the people of Kenya. To kick-start his campaign, he will physically run from western Kenya to the coastal region of Kenya. While covering miles of Kenya’s landscape, he will meet people from all walks of life.
“The number-one skill Westminster gave me was leadership,” Amram says.
Amram’s family keeps him going, encouraging him to think big and inspiring him to set his goals high. He and his wife have two children: a seven-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son. Amram encourages young people to attend the institution that gave him a brighter life and future.
“Westminster is home,” he says.
Fastest marathon time: 2:38
Biggest ambition: Be the president of Kenya and UN General Secretary
Best advice: Do not give up on your dream; put God first in all your endeavors; be happy, love everyone, be compassionate, look for opportunities to serve others, and be a law-abiding individual.
Favorite activity/hobby: Spending time with my family, cooking my Kenyan dish, playing and coaching soccer, running a few miles a day singing with Tabernacle Choir, finding opportunities to serve in the community, inspiring others to be better citizens, and being involved in politics.
About the Westminster Review
The Westminster Review is Westminster University’s bi-annual alumni magazine that is distributed to alumni and community members. Each issue aims to keep alumni updated on campus current events and highlights the accomplishments of current students, professors, and Westminster alum.