By Ndugu Nyoro.
18 years old JULIET AKINYI from KIANDUTU SLUMS-Thika, Kiambu county managed to claim her spot in the exclusive club of MATIANG’I 141, against all odds.
Yes, the former student of MUGOIRI GIRLS scooped straight A of 81 points to be the best student in MURANGA COUNTY.
Scores per subject
- Mathematics ….. A (plain)
- Kiswahili ………. A (plain)
- English …………. B (plain)
- Physics ………… A (plain)
- Chemistry …….. A (plain)
- Biology ……….. A- (minus)
- Geography …… A (plain)
- CRE …………… A (plain)
But it wasn’t all rosy. Born in a humble setting her parents could barely afford daily food leave alone school fees.
Transition to secondary school
After scoring 384/500 in KCPE her father was helpless. She was not among the beneficiaries of EQUITY BANK’S WINGS TO FLY FOUNDATION. Neither was she a beneficiaty of CDF Bursaries.
Always in and out of school for school fees, Akinyi still kept her head high in the hope that one day she would rescue her parents from the pangs of poverty. It served as a motivation. Having shopping items at school was a luxury.
Roasting maize at the slum for income
Her dad sells roasted maize at Kiandutu for daily upkeep and is at times joined by his wife who on a good day manages to secure menial jobs like washing clothes.
From the family’s humble shanties which they have called home since 1992 when Mr. Juma settled in, you can feel the deep level of poverty going by the stench that greets you while seated in the poorly ventilated house.
The couple has 5 daughters and one last born son, Juliet being the second born. Her first born sister could not proceed past class 8 after scoring 227 marks. She lives in Kariadudu Slums, Kariobangi since July 2016. No one knows what she does there for a living.
So how did Juliet manage?
Besides the synonymous challenges her teachers were so close to her. At one point they noted she used to collect soap remains from the school to wash her clothes. They helped buy soap and other items.They tried alot to shape her. First term in Form 1 she managed position 95 out of 268. A serious talk from her mother and she progressively made it to top 10. She ranged between positions 2 and 9.
She was index number 006 and ranked position 2 in 20l6 post-mock exams.
Personal discipline was also key to her success. Having come from a slum area notorious for all sorts of criminal activities, few of her neighbours know her. She spends her time indoors reading whatever she comes across.
Juliet wants to pursue a career in Pharmacy.
School fees challenge? She still has school fees balance of 35K. But most of her fees was paid for with assistance from CHILD SUPPORT Department-Thika who paid 30K annually and KENWA who gave total support of 34K.
Good results, no room for joy
But Akinyi can’t afford to celebrate her excellent performance. Staring at her sibling sister BERYL AUMA not being able to pursue secondary education, she wishes she could be in a position to help.
Beryl sat KCPE 2016 at Gen Kago Primary school and obtained 372/500 marks. The third born child has been invited to join Chania Girls but her parents can barely afford even transport.
On Tuesday I spoke to Miss Jane Mugo, the Deputy Headteacher of Mugoiri Girls. The school has fond memories of Juliet and would like to impact the same to her younger sister if she managed to get a sponsor.
Anyone willing to stand with this 15 year old girl? She deserves an opportunity just like any other young Kenyan. We can still do it in a small way. My calculation gave a rough estimate of about Kshs. 300,000 to take her through secondary education.
We can send in our support to:
1. Paybill 891300