Dr. Hamisi Kote Ali was born and raised in Nanyuki. He was born into a family of three children and lived together with his mother and grandmother. The life they lived was simple but he was satisfied with what God had provided for them. He attended High school at St. Nari Secondary School and finished but lacked direction. He did not know what to do and was lost for choice. The only thing he had in mind at the time was doing Mass Communication, which was the fad at the time. Unfortunately, or fortunately, destiny had other plans in store.
In the mosque in Kibera, there came a representative from KMTC with two offer letters for those who would like to study Physiotherapy. The husband of his cousin, Aisha Fajid, acquired the letter and sent it to his family for him since he did not know how to move forward. Then the letter was brought, he wondered why him because his mother was all for the idea for him going to study physiotherapy because it was a cheap option. He was very against it because Physiotherapy was not a popular field but the tipping point came when his younger brother wanted to quit school because of his indecisiveness and thought that education was futile as Hamisi didn’t know what to do even after finishing high school. Hamisi went on to accept the offer just to keep his brother in school and to keep his family happy.
The first feeling that hit him when going to KMTC was it was like stepping back into high school. There were school uniforms and it was strict and discipline was a very crucial part of their routine. It was so bad that there were even P.E uniforms. The physiotherapy students were also made fun of by the medical students constantly and it was depressing. He constantly had to remind himself of the reasons that he accepted to join which was his mother and grandmother to garner the will to keep going.
He clearly remembers two people from his time in school that are directly responsible for the success that he has today. The first was his lecturer Anne Njuguna who was “super strict” according to him and used discipline by force. The second was the head of faculty, the late Dr. Ogutu who was also quite strict, but what made an impression on him was that he was very passionate about his work and empathized with the patients that he tended to.
During his course of schooling, they used to operate in the clinical area of Kenyatta National Hospital. The change that led him down the path to creation of Premier Rehab and Wellness Centers began here. He clearly remembers the turning point in his mindset, which was when they had a patient who had a spinal injury and was semi paralyzed. Fiona Kinyonga, Njuguna and him were the ones who tended to the patient and they were eventually able to make the patient walk after therapy. As William James famously said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter their life by altering their attitudes of mind”. This is a moment he could not forget as it allowed him to see the bigger picture of the course that he was taking. He began to develop passion for his work and empathy. The seed had been planted in his mind, and planted firmly, to help others to achieve their prime but the problem remained that he did not know how.
He began to give his all to his patients that they may recover to their initial selves after incidents that left them with problems. Due to his passion and work ethic, he began to make some money due to seeing patients at their homes. This was done without supervision as his costs were cheaper than the hospital fees patients would be charged. The more money he made, the greedier he became and started o lose focus on what was important. He worked just for the money and did not take into consideration that his patients never truly went back to how they were before but the money blinded him.
The good run continued until he was forced to go to Kilifi for his residency. The funds dried up due to lack of contact with the former clients. He had just finished school but he was broke. He started to look for ways to leave the country to further his skill but his lack of finances held him back. Little did he know that greatness was in store for him! After his stint in Kilifi, he came back to Nairobi penniless and without a way to earn money. To him, going back home would be submitting to the cards that destiny had given him but he was unwilling. After graduation, he took his bags and bedsheets and left school with nowhere to go and no plan in mind. He only had 200 shillings between him and poverty!
Outside of the Kenyatta hospital, he had a friend, Njenga, who used to be a hawker and he went to share his woes with him. His friend laughed at him and told him, “Welcome to hawking my friend. I myself have a degree in Engineering!”. He decided then that he would go with his friend to Muthama, where he lived because he had no other options. His friend welcomed him wholeheartedly. On the second day after going with his friend, he found a dwelling. A mabati (shanty) house which cost a rent of 50 shillings per day. He immediately took it. Thus, began his career as a hawker.
He friend told him to sell his wares at the Kenyatta stage after acquiring them from the gikomba marketplace. He refused to sell at the Kenyatta stage because of all the people he knew and that his reputation would be tarnished. He preferred to sell in town, where as he says, “Naweza kuduck wasee najua”. He then began selling his wares at Kirinyaga Road in town. Njenga showed him the ropes on how to select wares at the best time when they are cheapest, getting them ironed and how to avoid the city council as hawking was not allowed. His wares included Kamisis (women’s innerwear) at 50 shillings and bikers which has just started becoming a fashion. The first day, he made 400 shillings and was proud of his work. I think at that point he could identify with the words of King Solomon which are that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him? (Ecclesiastes 3)
On the third day of selling his wares, he was nabbed by the City Council with 1200 shillings on him. He lost it all. He had to resort to selling wares for others to make ends meet where he was paid between 20 to 50 shillings a day. He continued in this line of work for a period until one fateful day when he met Miss Edna Owiri, who was a paraplegic, who was at GPO in town trying to get into her vehicle as he was hawking at that stage. She was struggling to get into the car and he helped her. He was very excited because he got to do what he loved albeit only for a few minutes. However, she did not stop there and asked him to help her exercise at her home at a pay of 50 shillings per session. He was further introduced to Russ Asun who had rheumatoid arthritis by Edna. Russ had been operated on too many times and due to that, had become too stiff. The medication that she had only served to make her worse off than she was before. He tried his best to help her but was unable to do much and the semblance of his dream started coming back to him.
Edna went ahead to introduce him to Dr. Omondi Oyoo who worked at SDA health services to work as a physiotherapist at the clinic. Hamisi wanted machines but Dr. Oloo was not willing to invest into physiotherapy. It just happened that on that day that he was at the clinic, the instructor for aerobics didn’t show up and he volunteered to take up his spot because the clients had already arrived. He was introduced by Celina who worked at the clinic however he had no idea what to do. He had never conducted an aerobic class. He still went ahead with the thought in mind that it is better to jump off a cliff and learn how to fly on your way down because without faith to jump off the cliff, you don’t know what you will be missing. Just before the introduction were completed by Celina, Dr. Fiona who worked at Kenyatta hospital during his period there flashed into his mind because she used to host a simple aerobics class. He kept thinking, “Fake it till you make it!!”. And so, with that in mind, he carried out the session much to the satisfaction of his clients. He helped them stretch personally and that caused the clients to want therapy but there was no equipment. He promptly shifted the questions of the clients to Celina yet he had not been employed at that point. Due to the pressure from the clients, Dr. Oyoo had to set up a physiotherapy unit and Dr. Hamisi had secured a job! He was not however on the payroll, rather he earned in the form of commissions. This lead to referrals for post OP patients and thus he acquired a steady income.
He then proceeded to buy a VW at 15000 without confirming the condition it was in. It died on his first drive to his home in Muthama. The fixing of the car would cost an additional 5000 yet he did not have the money. He used Dr. Oyoo as a guarantee for the mechanic and the mechanic accepted even without confirmation from the Dr. With the car, he was able to do home visits and managed to pay the mechanic back within 15 days and still had enough to keep afloat. At this point, he wanted to move from his home in muthama because of insecurity issues and so he moved into an SQ in Dam estate in Langata. After some time, he did a complete overhaul of his car with a mechanic called Omondi back on Kirinyaga road where he used to hawk. His bill came to an astounding 25000. His car was as good as new if not better. He then joined the VW crew who used to get their cars checked at the garage where he did his overhaul. He was happy in his personal life and his work life just as well.
During this time, Dr. Oyoo began falling in love and both of them wanted to leave the country to go to the UK. However, they were both denied entry into the UK. After some time, Dr. Oyoo left and went to Israel and left a replacement in his stead. The new Dr. did not understand Physiotherapy and there were some internal conflicts at his place of work so he decided to quit. He then found a job at Dagoretti Children’s homme from Anne Campbell. He also quit this job after 2 months because the children at the home did not show improvements and it weighed heavily on his mind.
Good fortune was not far from him as he found a job at Spinal Injury clinic. However, he was appalled and disgusted by the work he did there. The patients did not heal and his motivation for physiotherapy began to wane. He only worked to keep food on the table and to keep living. They kept providing false hope to patients who came in to see them but it was all just for the money. He felt that this was where capitalism was used at its best. There was a shopkeeper called Muhammed who he shared his ideal of wanting to create a better place where patients would leave better than they were before they came. In his regular endeavours, he met Rose Kingára who worked for the Nairobi hospital. He asked if he could operate as a locum (on loan) therapist and she agreed. He met the superintendent at Spinal Injury and was given a month. However, in his heart, he had decided that he would not go back once he left.
During his locum, he treated Dr. Mailu, who was a doctor at the hospital, and was then sent to see the HR manager, Tom Shivo and was given a full-time job. He kept at his work but friction at the workplace kept building up due to all the extra work that he kept acquiring aside from the normal work. His passion began dying and he decided to go to Royal view in London. He managed to get admitted to the hospital and took a leave of absence from Nairobi hospital for a month. He worked at the Royal view but was disappointed as there was no difference with what was happening at home. He refused to sign on as a permanent doctor. The head of physio asked him why and when he explained his reason, the doctor advised him to look into chiropractic osteopathy.
He came back and did his research on chiropractic and found that learning it is quite expensive due to it being considered a private profession. He kept working at Nairobi hospital and became friends with Mr. Oware who was a patient. He was then moved to the office of the president and began experimenting with what he learned online. During this time, the former president, had an accident. He was to see the president but was derived of the opportunity due to office politics as he sees it. However, as he looks back now, he considers it to be his greatest blessing as he met his second father and lifelong friend, Jerry Greeson at this time.
Jerry was a patient when he was doing his rounds. He was COPD and semi-conscious. He was moved from ICU to HDU and finally to the North Wing. Hamisi was his resident therapist and he encouraged him to walk after checking his file. This greatly helped in the recovery of the patient due to a better frame of mind rather than being stuck in bed all day. He recovered and was discharged and 6 months later, Hamisi received a call from Jerry. He wanted to thank Hamisi for the work that he had done and wanted to send a cheque. Hamisi requested that he change his gift and requested to be taken to chiropractic school. Jerry went quiet after that. Hamisi then lost all hope in the man. A year later, Jerry contacted him again and asked him to provide the reason why he wanted to learn chiropractic osteopathy and to send it in an email. Hamisi did not waste time and did that immediately.
He did not keep his hopes up however because the cost of learning was exorbitant and he didn’t think that would be an amount given for a stranger. However, to his pleasant surprise, Jerry told him that he would provide him a scholarship to Palmer College which is a prestigious chiropractic school in Iowa, America. He was beyond elated. However, after the elation came the doubts. How would this man pay? What would I need to do? Every person he asked just caused the doubts to sink deeper. After some time, he eventually decided to apply for the visa and make the decision if he was to get it. He applied the first time and used the bank documents of a friend to confirm that he would have enough for his stay there. However, there was a mistake and the visa were denied. He had to request Jerry to send his statements but he was embarrassed. He eventually gathered the courage to ask finally after some time. Jerry sent his statements and the amount of money sent him reeling. His personal account read that he had 30 million dollars and the business account had at least a billion dollars. The doubt grew further but he still went ahead with the application. He decided to take a leap of faith and lo and behold, he acquired the visa without a hitch because the members of the embassy personally knew Mr. Greeson.
As soon as he got the visa, he purchased the ticket to leave the next day just in case the visa eventually encountered problems. He was flat broke after purchasing the ticket. He went back to his home in Nanyuki and bade his farewells and was on a flight the next day. He had never been on a plane before so it was all a novel experience for him. He didn’t even know how to select his seat and had to be led by a steward. During the in-flight meal, he mixed all the foods together because he did not know anything else to do. He has never forgotten how embarrassed he felt because of how people were looking at him like a monkey in the zoo.
However, he got to JFK properly and without a hitch. However, his flight was to Dallas and he did not know he was supposed to connect a flight at JFK. After arguing a bit with the staff, he was lead to where he would take his flight. He only had in his hand the gift that he had carried for Mr. Greeson because his bags had been checked to Dallas. Upon arriving at the Dallas terminal, he found that the flight had been delayed. He was forced to stay in the airport for an entire 3 days. He did not have a change of clothes and no money. He was starving and on the third day, he walked to a waiter at McDonalds and asked if there were some leftovers he could eat or if there was work he could do for a meal. The waiter denied him work but was kind enough to give him a free meal. After the meal, he further asked the waiter if he could make a call which he made to Mr. Greeson, who had a hearty laugh at the situation and asked why he didn’t call sooner.
Mr. Greeson then told him to go to the information desk in about half an hour and that they would have the arrangements for him. True to the instructions, Hamisi went to the information desk and was put up at the Marriott hotel for the night before his flight the next day. He refused to sleep on the bed and slept on the floor because as he explained it, “If I make a mess here, I can’t afford it!!!”. He was woken up to a call from the service desk which he refused to pick up because he thought that they were going to ask for money for his stay. Eventually, the bellhop came knocking on his door and he had no option but to open. He was then informed that the shuttle to the airport was waiting for him. He heaved a sigh of relief as they did not ask for money as he had none! He was taken back to the airport and led to a chartered flight to Dallas courtesy of Mr. Greeson. He reminisced on the scene and said he had never felt so pampered before in his life as he was the only passenger.
He eventually got to Dallas and was greeted by Mr. Greeson who just started laughing at him upon seeing the sorry state he was in. He was then led into Mr. Greeson’s home where he was given some clean clothes to wear as his luggage had yet to arrive. A few days later, Mr. Greeson asked him to pick a car from his vast range of dealerships for his use. He was confused as they only sold high end cars and he couldn’t pick because he felt he would be taking advantage of MR. Greeson’s kindness. Eventually, Mr. Greeson forced a small KIA onto him and that was the car that he used for the entire duration of his stay. After acquiring the car, he was given 3000 dollars and a map and told to head to Iowa since the road was pretty simple. However, he got lost and in trying to figure out where he was going, he ended up driving on the wrong side of the road. He was promptly stopped by the police. The police then asked him questions but he pretended not to be able to speak English as that was what he was told by Mr. Greeson. They eventually called Mr. Greeson and once the situation was explained, he was escorted to school by the police!
He registered for school and was taken to his accommodation. He did not have furniture and when he tried to purchase some, he found that all the malls were closed. Little did he know that the supermarkets there used sliding doors and thus always looked closed. He slept on the floor of his accommodation for 2 days before he was finally shown by Donald Francis who was the head of international students. He finally began his learning of chiropractic and learnt about human body intelligence which tries constantly to keep the body at its optimum state. He then learnt that the underlying philosophy of chiropractic is using the body to heal itself. However, he felt disillusioned as there were too many similarities with physiotherapy. He hit his lowest point in his 3rd year when Mr. Greeson passed away. He lost motivation and focus.
He started coming out of his slump when he attended a lecture by Greg Ross who was a cofounder of TPI who came to introduce golf assessment and golf itself. He then got interested and eventually got to hear about ART (Active Release Technique) and about fascia. He then spent a lot of time in the labs trying to learn about this new concept fascia and its manipulation. He learnt how powerful fascia can be when he was working at Airosti. He was working there with the idea of borrowing the concept of the clinic and starting it in Kenya. However, he was smoked out due to the rigorous procedures at Airosti but he was still happy as he had found the prototype of what he wanted to do.
He then decided to pack up his bags and come back home. He came home and was back at the point when he left. No money and no work. He decided to start his own center and spoke to his friend, Peter Kinyua, who invested and they opened a clinic at General Mathenge. That was the inception of Premier. He then proceeded to call on the former patients that he had from before he left and began operating his business. The practice grew and he got his first few employees. He then decided to get training for his employees from Dr. Peter Levy who specialised on how to train and shoulder protocol. The cost of inviting him was 1.5 million shillings which he didn’t have but he still went ahead. He decided he was going to pay back slowly.
Just when things were looking up, he found out that he was the number one trending topic in the country. The only problem was that he was trending negatively. A lady called Ramona Chebet went ahead and accused him of abusing his ability as a doctor to sexually abuse her. His then wife fell out with him due to the rumours. His partner wanted out of their agreement. It was without a doubt his worst year. He couldn’t see how he could continue with his work because it required contact yet his reputation was in the gutter. He also still had the debt for Dr. Levy to pay off and he had sent two members of his staff to Thailand to do a special training to care for pregnant ladies. Things just kept getting worse where he had a case with the police as well as the medical board. His family relationship with his mum and his grandmother was down in the gutters. Everything was crumbling around him.
He continued his work albeit the worries though he lacked motivation. On one occasion, he was treating Gilbert Omi who he shared his woes with. Gilbert told him that he was always in the limelight and that we have no control over what others say about us, and that people only talk about you when you are doing well. He finally saw a ray of light in the quagmire of darkness that he was in. From that conversation he noticed that his clients such as Chief Justice Maburu, Dan Colly, Rua among others did not care at all what was said about him as they still came to be treated. It was due to this point he hatched an ambitious plan to bail himself out of the situation he was in. He took a loan from DTB to the tune of 7.8 million shillings and was helped by Cecile Mbariller. He was to use the money to pay off the debts that he had and invest in being the sole distributor of orthotics. He managed to succeed and paid off his debts and he shifted his focus that was there from his days in school of getting people back to their prime condition.
He attended different seminars such as one on nutrition by Dr. Seba, went to China and Thailand to learn Bone Setting and finally attended a seminar on fascia manipulation by Seko. He had finally found it, the missing piece of the puzzle.
After the seminar, he kept reading on fascia manipulation and went for more trainings. He discovered that Seko was the founder of fascia manipulation. Hamisi is currently the highest trained in Africa regarding Fascia Manipulation and is applying to be an instructor within 2 years.
Due to the knowledge he had acquired, he was able to formulate a wellness program with a focus on being preventative rather than fixing.
In his words, “Science has shown that the life expectancy of man has increased. My role is to make those years that you live wholesome physically and emotionally”.