KCSE stars overcome many hurdles to post excellent results in examinations

Ms Joy Mvatie survived a fatal accident involving a Loreto Convent Msongari school bus along the Meru-Nanyuki highway on July 29, 2011. Ms Vatie lost her right arm, learnt how to use her left one and scored a B plain in the 2015 KCSE exams. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Joy, despite losing her right arm and having to learn to use her left, managed to score a  B plain in the examinations.

  • Josephat Lowoi, 18, grew up surrounded by hunger, poverty, violence, cattle rustling & seeing young girls of his age undergo FGM. He scored A minus.
  • Evelyne Bonareri Chach works as a househelp in Umoja 1 estate in Nairobi but she managed to score a B+(plus) in the KCSE examination results.
  • Wesley Marisha spent less than six months in school and the other half in hospital beds, being treated for appendicitis and yet managed to score an A minus.


On July 29, 2011, a bus belonging to Loreto Convent Msongari was involved in a fatal accident along the Meru-Nanyuki Highway.

Two pupils died on the spot while another one died in hospital.

Among those who survived the accident was Joy Mvatie who received her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education, KCSE examinations Thursdayy.

Joy, despite losing her right arm and having to learn to use her left, managed to score a  B-plain in the examinations.

That fateful day, Joy had joined her classmates and others from Class Seven for a tour to Isiolo.

The pupils had a stopover in Meru before continuing with the journey.

A few minutes after leaving Meru, at around 5pm, the driver of their bus which had 71 students and four teachers lost control after the brakes failed.

The bus went downhill and hit another bus belonging to Kerugoya Boys’ High School which had been parked by the roadside.

The stationery bus had only four teachers inside. They sustained minor injuries.

Joy was among those who were admitted to hospital with serious injuries.

She says the most difficult part of her studies after she lost her vital arm was writing composition and Insha, and constructing diagrams in mathematics.

“With time, I was able to do it albeit slowly. I am grateful that the teachers offered me the support I needed so badly. I was also given extra time during examinations to enable me do my work,” she said

Joy’s mother, Ms Kathleen Openda, was full of pride for her daughter, considering that she was able to face the challenges and managed to pass.

“She is a wonderful girl. I must say that I am lucky to have her and I thank God for this,” she said.

Joy hopes to pursue Human Rights Law at Strathmore. She encouraged her colleagues who survived the accident and who are now in Form Four, to try their best.


Josephat Lowoi, 18, received news of his stellar performance while at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa.

However, he grew up surrounded by hunger, poverty, violence, cattle rustling and seeing young girls of his age undergo the brutal female genital mutilation.

But he triumphed by scoring an A- (minus) with 79 points in the KCSE examinations whose results were released yesterday.

Josephat lived in insecurity-prone Turkana County with his single, jobless mother Sarah Lotia, his six siblings, his mother’s sisters and other members of the extended family.

When the extended family could not take the insecurity anymore, it moved to Mogotio Baringo where Josephat’s maternal grandmother lived.

“The society I was brought up in is not favourable for any child. It was hostile but I managed to pass my KCPE examinations despite having to trek for long distances to reach school. I sold milk in restaurants, split firewood and worked on other people’s farms in order to get money for food leave alone for clothing,” he narrated.

Luckily, when he was young, two village elders who had seen his potential, spoke to the headteacher of the nearby school Noiwet Primary School who promptly took him on board.

“In that school, I was laughed at by some students from well-off backgrounds but I did not give up even when I took water for lunch. I worked tirelessly in class, helped other students with academic work and was also elected the chair of student government while in class seven,”

He emerged the top student in the KCPE exams in the region. This achievement opened for him another door.

It came in the form of the Wings to Fly Scholarship Programme supported by  Equity Group Foundation and MasterCard Foundation.

“I joined Lenana School in Nairobi” Josephat said during an email interview.

“I am very proud of myself and when I look back to where I have come from. I thank God and my sponsors and mentors,” he said.

At the African Leadership Academy, he is doing Cambridge A-level curriculum, African studies, entrepreneurial leadership and writing and rhetoric.


Wesley Marisha spent less than six months in school and the other half in hospital beds, being treated for appendicitis.

But despite all these odds against him, the 17-year-old managed to score an A- (minus) at Kapsabet Boys High School in Rift Valley where he was admitted after scoring high grades in 2011 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations.

“I had a problem with my appendix and so I had to undergo a surgery in March at the Memorial Hospital in Eldoret,” he said.

After the operation though, his condition deteriorated and he had recurring abdominal pains that landed him in several hospitals in Eldoret and other parts of the Rift Valley.

“I had to undergo another check after I had changed doctors severally.

First operation

Then one of the doctors discovered that his colleague who conducted my first operation had not removed the whole area that was affected,” he said.

From March to July, he was in and out of hospital wards and had to undergo another operation at the end of July as the doctors found out that the part of the appendix that had been left uncut, was beginning to turn septic.

“I was admitted hospital but while there, I tried as much as I could to study despite the pains I experienced,” he said.

Wesley returned to school in September, just a month before the beginning of the examinations.

“I am very proud of myself but I am sure that I would have done better if I had not fallen ill,” he said.


Evelyne Bonareri Chach who works as a househelp in Umoja 1 estate in Nairobi goes about her chores a happy women, after scoring a B+(plus) in the KCSE examination results released Thursday.

The former student at St Charles Lwanga Gesero Day School in Kisii County, came to Nairobi to work and raise money for her  university fees. Evaline was certain she would pass the KCSE exams, despite the odds against her.

It was a repeat of what she had done after she sat for her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations in her first attempt in 2013.

 Earlier on, and without money to pay fees upon joining Form Four, Evaline had taken up a casual job in Kisii town, and worked for close to seven months.

Come July, she resumed studies and managed to score a mean grade of C (plain).

“My parents simply could not pay school fees for me and my siblings because they are jobless and old.

“I used to be paid Sh4,500 per month at the hotel and it is the amount raised that I used to clear my high school fee balance of Sh11,000,” she said.

When the examination results came out, she lacked money to pay for college education and was duly advised by friends to enroll for a second attempt.

 “In 2015, I went back to school after a year at home during which I worked at another hotel. Last year, my parents sold part of our land to pay my school fees,” Evaline said.

The second born in a family of three would work during school holidays so as to meet other school expenditures and after completion she moved to Nairobi to work as a house help.

Evaline whose parents are peasant farmers in Bogiakumu village in Bonchari Constituency, Kisii intends to raise part of the fees for her university education through her current job.

Her employer Ms Betty Muringa told the Nation that she intends to assist Evaline in her college education.

“When she came to my house in January, she told me she wanted to work so as to raise her college school fees. I am glad she has passed her exams and will be joining a university,” said the mother of one.