Resilient stars who beat odds to excel

Friday, December 20th, 2019 00:00 |
Kelvin Macharia who scored B+ in this year’s KCSE exam with his mother Beatrice Nduta at their home in Solai Nakuru county yesterday and Education CS. PD/Raphael Munge/Courtesy

Some candidates in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam undertook the exercise under very difficult circumstances but still managed to post impressive results.

One such candidate is James Ngoma of Anester Boys High School Lanet who sat the exam while mourning his mother who died a week to the tests. Despite it all, Ngoma scored A- (minus).

His guardian Paul Ngoima thanked the school’s directors for putting Ngoima on a full scholarship.

For Kelvin Macharia, it was overcoming disability to score B+ in the exams. 

Machari, who hails from Kamiruri in Bahati, Nakuru county was born with Spinabifida, a rare condition which led to the amputation of one of his legs in 2012. 

Extreme poverty

But the amputation — or the fact that he was single-handedly brought up by his mother after his father died in 2009 — did not stop him from excelling in his exam. 

“I don’t feel sorry for myself. My family is proud of me and I am also proud of myself,” said Macharia. 

Colins Shamalla of  Aquinas High School in Nairobi along Jogoo Road emerged best special needs student nationally by scoring A-(minus).

“He was very disciplined and was always in the top five. He was also the environment captain,” Deputy Principal Charles Maina told People Daily

For Daisy Wanjiru Kuria, not even extreme poverty could come between her and success in her KCSE exam.

When Wanjiru scored 402 points in her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exam in 2015, she was hoping to join a national school far away from home. 

“But I was invited to join Mary Hill Girls which is near our village. It has been four years of a lot of struggle paying my school fees and other needs because I come from a very poor family. But today is a day of joy as I celebrate this performance. I thank God,” she said.

While a student at Nanyuki Boys’ High school, Collins Kiama, was in and out of hospital more times than he can remember. 

He uses an oxygen concentrator machine for eight hours during the day and Resmed Stellar 150 ventilator machine for six hours during the night after his lungs collapsed.

Kiama also swallows nine types of medicines every day and has been using an inhaler for the four years he has been in secondary school.

But when the KCSE exam results were released on Wednesday, Kiama and his family were overjoyed when they found out that he had scored a B+, the health challenges notwithstanding. 

It has been a classic case of resilience and determination for Kiama who in 2016 was admitted to Utumishi Academy in Gilgil but could not join because of his medical condition.

Learning material

Andrew Kyosi is visually impaired, but he managed an A- (minus) in the exams to clinch a place on the list not only of top performers among students with special needs but also nationally.

Kyosi, who sat the test at the Thika High School for the blind, was among the ten candidates recognised by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha.

“We did not have adequate learning materials because even getting brailed textbooks, revision papers, writing material as well as learning equipment such as specialised calculators which costs Sh50,000nm each, was a challenge,” Kyosi told People Daily yesterday.

Harsh Vaghela from Namajanja High School in Bungoma County scored an A- (minus) despite a persistent eye problem. Harsh was forced to repeat Form Three due to the condition.

“I would like to study something that contributes positively to my fellow human beings. I feel good,” he told People Daily. from India where he is undergoing specialised treatment.

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