Joy as boy who hawked mandazi to raise fees joins Form One

Mike Ekope smiles as he joins Form One in Nyahururu Boys High School in Laikipia County on Monday, May, 17, 2022

Photo credit: Geoffrey Ondieki | Nation Media Group

A Samburu boy who hawked mandazi in Maralal to raise school fees has joined Form One after well-wishers offered to help him.

Mike Edong Ekope has reported to Nyahururu Boys High School after Kenyans raised about Sh200,000 for his education following the publication of a story about him on Nation.Africa.

Edong, 13, had aced the 2021 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams but he could not join Form One with his peers, prompting him to start baking and selling mandazi in the streets of Maralal.

Mike Edong Ekope,13, holds his letter of admission to high school. He has not reported due to lack of school fees. 

Photo credit: Geoffrey Ondieki | Nation Media Group

Edong scored 367 marks at Maralal DEB Primary School and was one of the top pupils among the school’s 301 candidates. He was admitted to the high school in Laikipia County.

Well-wishers in various parts of the country and abroad were moved by the boy’s story and thirst for education, and throughout last week they contacted Nation.Africa to find out how they could help him.

Mike Edong Ekope, 13, prepares Mandazi in Maralal Town. He has not managed to join high school despite passing in his KCPE examinations 

Photo credit: Geoffrey Ondieki | Nation Media Group

"I am so grateful to every individual who sacrificed their resources for me. I will reward them all with excellence at the end of this course because I will put in sheer work to prosper," said Edong as he was being admitted to Form One South.

"I was in despair because all my friends joined schools of their choice while I remained home selling mandazi. It was not easy."

Mike Ekope when he joined Form One in Nyahururu Boys High School in Laikipia County on Monday, May, 17, 2022

Photo credit: Geoffrey Ondieki | Nation Media Group

The boy now wants to work hard and achieve his dream of becoming a neurologist so that he can lift his family from abject poverty.

"I am the firstborn child of a single mum. I will work hard to actualise my dream to help them,” he said.

His mother Veronica Naur thanked the well-wishers "for helping my son, my only hope in this world". 

Ms Naur said she had started worrying about her son’s fate as he was developing signs of despair.

"This is a joyous moment seeing my son in a school uniform. He was clearly plunging into depression because all his peers reported to school. May God bless all who helped my son in one way or another," said an overjoyed Ms Naur.

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