The Kenyan-German Romeo and Juliet

Theresia Ruo Nimmerjahn
Theresia Ruo with her husband Nino Nimmerjahn and their twins

Theresia Ruo’s story sounds like a fairy tale from 1001 nights. She is originally from Kenya and currently resides in the south of Germany after she found her dream man.  She says she has been very lucky in her life both her current and her previous life. She first came to Zurich, Switzerland to attend her aunt’s wedding and then came over to Germany to visit her family for some days. Since she was also celebrating her birthday, she was taken on a trip to visit Freiburg, where she went to the disco later that evening. It was while she was in the disco that she met her future husband Nino Nimmerjahn.

Nino Nimmerjahn who was born in Berlin had moved to Schramberg with his parents. On that said evening he was visiting Freiburg and decided to go dancing in the evening. He says that it was a pure coincidence that he met his future wife. Time was short as Terri’s visa was almost expiring and she had to return to Kenya. This did not stop the couple which managed to keep in touch via letters until Terri was able to apply for another visa and travel to Germany. 

Terri returned with a 3months visa and it was not until the couple got married did she get a resident permit for 3 years. She began learning German building up on what she had already learnt at the Goethe Institute Nairobi. She attended a community college course in Villingen and later she learned German in the Triberg Centre Kuguck. Her teacher Carola Reffel says she is a bright and enthusiastic pupil, who has in a short time learned perfect pronunciation is totally integrated.

When the twins were born in May 2008 the family moved to Nußbach to a larger apartment. While the children went to kindergarten Theresia Nimmerjahn – Ruo was looking for a job and even though she is a qualified kindergarten teacher she got only temporary jobs. Sinc her kindergarten training  from Kenya was only partially recognized, she is doing an internship at the  St. Anna Kindergarten. Terri admits that in the beginning everything was difficult for her in the Black Forest, from the language to punctuality. She was naturalized two years ago in a ceremony at the District Office Villingen and got the German citizenship due to her good knowledge of German.

Although she still thinks about Kenya she says life in Kenya is very hard and some people starve during the dry season. She is lucky to have a privileged upbringing as her father was a teacher and her mother was a nursery school teacher. Her parents worked hard and made sure that their four children attended school. She says that many parents do not send their children to school because they have to work at home. After eight years of primary school Terri went to boarding school, where she did her O-levels and later on trained to be a kindergarten teacher. She says she has now found her home in Triberg.

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