Future now looks brighter for students who defied the odds

Ms Mercy Chepkirui, Anthony Omondi, Lavender Owuor Ouru and Abdifatah Aden Issack

From left: Ms Mercy Chepkirui, Anthony Omondi, Lavender Owuor Ouru and Abdifatah Aden Issack.

Photo credit: Nation Media Group

Top Nakuru KCSE boy does jua kali work to raise fees

Dressed in an oversized jumpsuit splashed with oil and carrying a heavy toolbox, he doesn’t look like he is one of the 173,345 candidates in the 2022 KCSE who qualified for university admission. However, Anthony Omondi Wambui is not your ordinary Jua Kali artisan along the busy Kanu Street in Nakuru City. 

He scored an impressive mean grade of A- of 75 points at Langalanga Secondary school in Nakuru County.
Immediately after writing his last paper, he started working as a casual labourer in a Jua Kali garage.

Anthony Omondi Wambui

Anthony Omondi  Wambui who scored A- in 2022 KCSE working in a Jua Kali garage in Nakuru City on January 21, 2023.

Photo credit: Francis Mureithi | Nation Media Group

“I started working here on January 2.  I want to save money for my university education,” he says.
“I worked hard to get A-. of 75 points. I will use every skill at my disposal to raise school fees and join university.,” he told the Sunday Nation.

His mother Pauline Wambui said she is worried that she will not be able to raise the school fees.

Anthony Omondi Wambui

Anthony Omondi  Wambui and his mother Pauline Wambui in Nakuru City on January 21, 2023. 2023. 

Photo credit: Francis Mureithi | Nation Media Group


Nelly Karimi, a girl from the little-known Kimachia Secondary School in Tigania West in Meru County, beat the odds to score grade A in the 2022 KCSE.

According to Kimachia Secondary School Principal Kellen Nyaga, Karimi was allowed to continue with her education despite accumulating more than Sh100,000 in fees arrears.

Karimi, who scored an A of 81 points, has been studying with support from teachers and well-wishers. She was raised by her grandmother in a poor background. She now joins the school’s hall of fame as the first student ever to score a straight A.

“I am elated and surprised at the same time. I expected to do well but I am excited that I managed an A. All this is due to hard work and support from my teachers. My interest is in the area of medicine,” Karimi said.
Ms Nyaga said the teachers catered for the girl’s boarding needs.

Four refugees top North Eastern

Four refugees who sat their KCSE tests at Gedi Secondary School in Dadaab Refugee Complex are among the best performers in the North Eastern region. Abdikadir Hussein Mohamed managed an A-minus of 77 points, emerging as the best candidate in the North Eastern region.

He was closely followed by Abdullahi Hassan and Abdifatah Aden Issack, who scored an A-minus of 75 points each, while Abdisamad Mohamed Aden scored an A-minus of 74 points. Yasmin Abdirashid Abdi scored a B+ of 72 points.

The four described the good performance as a miracle after they faced challenges in their quest for education. 
“It has been a difficult journey because we lacked teachers and learning materials but finally I have made it,” Hussein said.

From left: Abdikadir Hussein Mohamed, Abdullahi Hassan and Abdifatah Aden Issack.

From left: Abdikadir Hussein Mohamed, Abdullahi Hassan and Abdifatah Aden Issack.

Photo credit: Manase Otsialo | Nation Media Group

“My family and I were among the people who were forced out of Somalia after our home was destroyed by al-Shabaab militants. So we had to seek refuge at the Dadaab refugee camp,” he added.

Mr Feisal Gedi, the school’s founder and principal, said that despite the disruption of the academic calendar by the Covid-19 pandemic, the school still managed to post impressive results.

Mother who returned to class after 20 years attains C+

Among the 2022 KCSE candidates celebrating impressive results is a 35-year-old woman who returned to secondary school 20 years after she first sat her KCPE examinations. 

Ms Mercy Chepkirui, who hails from Sogoo village in Narok South, has qualified for direct entry to the university after scoring a C+. The mother of two teenagers, who are now in Form Three, joined NACACE High School in 2020 as a Form One in the adult students category. She now wants to pursue a degree in community development.

Ms Mercy Chepkirui

Ms Mercy Chepkirui,35, at NACACE High School on January 20, 2023. She scored a mean grade of C+ (Plus). Photo/

Photo credit: Robert Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

“I want to take a community development course at the university because I would like to work in the NGO sector,” said Ms Chepkirui, who sat her KCPE examinations in 2001 and performed well but due to the poverty in her family, she ended up becoming a wife early in life.

“I was in a marriage for nine years before my husband died, leaving me with the two children,” narrated Ms Chepkirui. She credits her performance to divine intervention. Her current headache is how to raise funds to enable her get a university education and at the same time educate her children.

- Jacob Walter

Ex-street boy who found  help after Sunday Nation story scores A

One of the 875 A plain grades scored by boys in the 2022 KCSE was posted by a former street boy who received sponsorship after his story was highlighted in the Sunday Nation newspaper. Simon Mbugua Wangui from Murang’a High School scored an aggregate of 81 points. 

“I’ve sponsored many students but this one has outperformed all others,” said Mrs Wanjiku Githuka, a businesswoman in Nairobi. 

Simon Mbugua Wanjiku

Simon Mbugua Wanjiku, a former street boy in Nairobi who scored an A with an aggregate score of 81 in the 2022 KCSE from Murang'a High School. An orphan, he was taken up by a well-wisher after being featured in the Sunday Nation on January 6, 2019. 

Photo credit: Pool

Mrs Githuka was moved to action when the Sunday Nation highlighted Simon’s plight in its edition of January 6, 2019. Simon had scored 429 out of 500 marks in KCPE but had no hopes of joining Murang’a High School. 
Simon has six siblings and after the death of their mother, they were left miserable. He ended up becoming a street boy in Nairobi.

Things took a positive turn when he was rescued and taken to a school run by nuns in Naivasha. However, the school doesn’t support its learners beyond primary school. Despite his success in KCPE, Simon faced an abrupt end to his education journey. The feature in this newspaper opened the doors for him.

-Robert Kiplagat

Great result for girl who became house help to raise fees

Juliana Koshi was so desperate to find fees for her secondary education that she worked as a house help after her KCPE. And when that was not enough, she embarked on a 15-kilometre walk to raise funds that would enable her to join Bunyore Girls High School.

Her determination drew the attention of the school’s alumni who sponsored her. In the results announced on Friday, she managed a B- grade, and that was enough to inspire song and dance at her village of Mikinduni in Tana River County.

Juliana Koshi

Juliana Koshi (centre) with her father Shadrack Jarha Kofa and Haluba Jarha Kofa at their home in Mikinduni, Tana River County.


Photo credit: Stephen Oduor | Nation Media Group

The Nation featured her in 2019, shortly after she quit her job as a house help. 
Although she came from a poor background, Juliana failed to get any of the available scholarships and was on the cusp of giving up.

In the nick of time, her story went viral, and well-wishers came to her rescue, raising money to pay her school fees for three years. The alumni of Bunyore Girls took care of her expenses throughout her four years in school.
“I am happy I did not let them down. I am happy all the people who supported me can witness this day, especially my parents,” she said.

- By Elvis Ondieki

Girl defies sickle cell disease to score A

A student at Uasin Gishu High School who is a sickle cell disease patient defied all odds to score an A of 81 points in the 2022 KCSE.

Lavender Owuor Ouru, 18, had to be rushed to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital while taking her biology paper. She wrote the rest of the paper from her hospital bed.

Lavender Owuor Ouru doing some house chores at her parent's home in Langas estate in Eldoret town. Despite sitting for her KCSE in hospital due to sickle cell anaemia she scored an A of 81 points. 

Photo credit: Titus Ominde | Nation Media Group

“Despite the pain, I endured for the better part of my secondary education, I was never discouraged,” said Lavender, who hopes to study medicine so that she can contribute to finding a cure for sickle cell anaemia. Lavender was determined to excel in her secondary school education despite the many challenges she endured.

“We have always been proud of this girl. She never wants people to pity her, but to feel motivated by her determination,” said her school principal Ms Mercy Juma. Her father, Pius Ouru, was left speechless. Mr Ouru, who works as a tailor, has appealed to well-wishers to help his daughter join university.

“I appreciate the school administration for standing with my family during my daughter’s high school education period.” 

- Stephen Oduor