My name is Duncan Murithi Joshua, I am a Kenya Ph.D. student in the New Sorbonne University in Paris, I am studying French literature and civilization. My thesis works on what is dynamic and transitional in literature, which is often perceived as "dead" these days, while analyzing how it could be integrated in domains such as translation, education but also human rights and social institutions. I am trilingual and I have the dream of using my experience to spread my vision of literature and of culture in general to the world, especially to developing countries.
I arrived in Paris in 2013, throughout the years and while going back on and off to my country under financial and familial pressure, I managed to obtain a university degree (after doing a year of equivalence to my Egyptian degree) followed by a Master's degree, all from the New Sorbonne University.
After my Master's degree, I returned to Egypt as I was told it was so hard to be accepted for the Ph.D. in my university for foreign students and that I will not find a funding source. However, I couldn't stand to be limited, I worked for a year to save up the initial fund needed to travel and I kept trying to contact universities and research directors. After the year passed, I finally received approval from one of the professors who taught me during my Master's and thought I had the potential to succeed in my Ph.D. After the approval (October 2017), I had to stay in Egypt for 4 months as I was operated in December and also because the French Ambassy raised the amount of money one needs to have in their bank account in order to be accepted for the visa as a result for the devaluation of the Egyptian currency.
In February 2018, I arrived to Paris again thinking the PhD I am preparing in the prestigious University of La Sorbonne will help me get a steady job rather than the Freelance Jobs I used to have to support my Master's (student jobs, private teaching, babysitting, and data entry). Due to the very limited numbers of scholarships for literature students, my attempts to find a funding source for my studies were not fruitful. So I started hunting for a steady job as I am physically unable to continue doing these student jobs because of health complications related to my operation and as my studies require a lot of time and effort which was proven incompatible with the latter mentioned jobs. My hunt for a steady job hasn't lead to a result so far, most companies wouldn't hire students or part-timers, other companies think I am "overqualified".
Therefore, I have decided to create my own home-based translation company (a website offering translation services in the three languages I master) and possibly later on creating a small team of people in my situation. This project will allow me to stay close to my domain of studies while giving me the chance to waste less time and energy in activities that do not contribute to the evolution of my global project. I already have a small client base from the people to whom I offered my services beforehand but I need additional time and money to make it grow. This project will likely help me get a stable translation-related job but in all cases, it should be sufficient to finance my Ph.D.
Starting up a new project and deciding to change orientation is hard because one must be ready for the transitional period which I am trying to be with your support and with my ongoing motivation and willingness to improve and progress. Thanks, everyone and hoping that in the near future, I will get to be able to stand my ground and give it all back to the community and to other persons who need support in order to start something promising.