The future looks bright for John Njoroge, who is set join the University of Nairobi next year, but the lack of a place to call home and poverty have conspired to cause him sleepless nights.
John, whose family was uprooted from their Molo home at the height of 2007/08 post-election violence as he prepared to join Form One, beat all odds to score A mean grade in last year’s Form Four national exams.
He sharing a leaky, make-shift tent with his family of six at Pipeline camp for Internally Displaced Persons on the outskirts of Nakuru town.
The teenager has surmounted many obstacles in his bid to get an education, including lack of school fees and a life-threatening bout of pneumonia, which made him miss classes for six weeks in run up to his final exam.
Despite these, he scored straight ‘A’s at Anestar Academy.
“I am looking forward to joining the University of Nairobi next year. I hope this will be the turning point for me and my family because we have endured a lot in the past five years” he told Saturday Nation in a phone interview.
Even though John appears to have finally made it, doubts over his ability to finish his degree programme still linger in his mind because of biting poverty.
True, he can secure a loan from the Higher Education Loans Board but is yet to clear a Sh60, 000 fee balance at his former school.
He says that he is fearful that the school may refuse to release his certificate should he fail to clear the arrears.
Worries of how he will meet high cost of living in an unfamiliar city are also troubling him.
On his part, last year’s top candidate nationally, Job Nalianya, is still bubbling with excitement as he awaits to join University of Nairobi to pursue his dream of becoming a top surgeon.
Job has been working as a teller at Equity Bank, Bungoma branch, after sitting his exams at St Peters’ Seminary in Kakamega County.
He told Saturday Nation that has been taking it easy in life after working very hard to score good grades in his exam.
“Everything has been fine and I’m so excited and ready to take on the challenge after getting the opportunity to make my dream become a reality when I join Nairobi University,” he said.
Sydney Rema Oirere, who emerged the fourth best candidate nationally, is equally basking in the glory of his success as he looks forward to join the University of Nairobi next year.
Sydney, who was the best candidate at Maranda High School with 86.89 marks, will also study surgery together with his colleague, Tyson Odhiambo Manyala.
Sydney, who is currently working with Equity Bank, said that he was happy to have been selected to pursue the course, because he had always wanted to be a surgeon.
“It is one of the biggest steps that I have made in my journey to my goal and I thank God that he has seen me through” he said.
Tyson also said he was happy to have been selected to study the prestigious course.
The young man, who emerged ninth nationally, is currently teaching at Anduro Primary School in Siaya.
Reported by Eddy Ngeta, Stella Cherono and Benson Amadala