A standard eight candidate took his own life after losing his perennial number one position in class to his rival who scored better than him by just one mark.
15-year-old Clinton Okech Ojunga, who was a pupil at Olodo Primary School in Homa Bay, was overcome with frustration after he scored 372 marks in a class test, falling behind his rival who managed 373.
He hanged himself with a sisal rope in his classroom on Sunday — which ironically was the World Suicide Prevention Day— after he had written a message on the blackboard, saying he had found it impossible to stomach the defeat.
“Congratulations to all my teachers who have been teaching me since I joined this school.
"It is not my fault to bid you goodbye but because of unavoidable circumstances, it is forcing me to do so.
"It is useless to live without peace according to my gradual poor performance. To all candidates, best wishes in your exams. We shall meet again,” the note read.
The head teacher, Elisha Nyandege, said the pupil had been consistent in his subject scores despite falling behind in ranking in the test done at the beginning of the term.
“In the previous test, he was number one with 369 marks while this time, he was number two with 372 marks in a class of 26 pupils,” Mr Nyandege, who added that no one noticed the boy enter the school compound on Sunday, said.
“I was called by a security guard who told me the boy had committed suicide. I left the church service and rushed to school. We found him already dead,” he said, adding that he suspected that other factors besides academic pressures may have driven him to end his life.
“The boy comes from Migori County but he used to live with his aunt in this village.
"I have been told that he recently sent an text message to his father telling him to stop listening to hearsay,” the head teacher said.
Homa Bay police chief Esau Ochorokodi said they are investigating the matter, which he described as “most unfortunate”.