What you need to know:
- Careful not to burden her emotionally, Adhiambo’s family waited for her to complete the national examination before collecting her father’s body.
As she walked into the examination centre at Pandpieri Primary School in Kisumu county on the morning of March 22, Grace Adhiambo, 14, had a lot on her mind.
The first paper – mathematics – was to start at 830am. At home, however, her family was in mourning.
Her father’s body was at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary, days after he was shot dead by a man in Kisumu town. The man killed two other people before a mob caught up with him.
For three days, Adhiambo would face the examination. The last paper, Social Studies, was on March 24.
Careful not to burden her emotionally, Adhiambo’s family waited for her to complete the national examination before collecting her father’s body for burial in Opasi village, in Suna East Migori county.
Adhiambo’s father had left home at 530a.m on March 5, after waking her up to get ready for school.
Before retiring to bed the previous night, he had engaged his children in a warm chat, promising to send Adhiambo to a good school if she performed well in her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) tests. The national examination was just two weeks away.
It was the last family conversation that 47-year-old Jared Ouma Jabuya – a driver with Winam Sacco – had with his family.
On the fateful morning, a man is said to have snatched a firearm from a police officer near Kisumu Boys’ High School and gone on a shooting spree.
According to Kisumu Town chief Willis Onyona, the man grabbed the pistol from the officer and shot him before running towards the main bus terminal.
He indiscriminately shot at the public before being overpowered by a mob that killed him.
The killer was later identified as 25-year-old Ambrose Odero Owino from Alego, Siaya county.
Adhiambo’s mother, Quinter Apondi Ouma, recalls wishing her husband a good day, only to receive a call from his friend around 9am informing her of the tragedy.
She rushed to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, locally referred to as Russia, where she found him at the casualty wing.
Jabuya had been declared dead on arrival.
Breaking the news to Adhiambo – the second born in the family of three children – was tough for the woman as her daughter was preparing for her end of primary school exams.
Adhiambo’s teachers took it upon themselves break the news to her . They also counselled the girl and her younger sibling – a Grade Four pupil at Pandpieri Primary School.
Despite the tragedy, Adhiambo still scored 361 marks out of a possible 500. She was fourth in her class, with the top pupil garnering 372 marks.
Adhiambo’s teachers say she would have performed better had it not been for her father’s death.
“She is a very promising pupil and has performed well in many other examinations,” Adhiambo’s teacher at Pandpieri, Abigael Okelo, who accompanied her and her mother to Nation Media Group offices in Kisumu said.
The girl’s mother is a greengrocer in Nyalenda and is not sure if her daughter will proceed to secondary school. Ms Ouma’s first born is in Form One.
“I have no idea how I will fund my children’s education because my husband was the family’s sole breadwinner. I don’t make anything substantial from selling vegetables,” the widow said, appealing to well-wishers to come to her aid.
Adhiambo’s dream is to be a teacher. She says she admires her teachers’ dedication and wishes to have an impact on the lives of children.
Her first secondary choice school was Pangani Girls in Nairobi while the second was Moi Girls Eldoret.