As students prepare to return to school on Thursday, two needy pupils from Kajiado County are unsure what will happen even though they excelled in their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) tests.
Gabriel Miseda Ogweno and Julius Taiko do not have the money required to join Form One.
Master Ogweno, who emerged third in the county with 440 marks, is supposed to join Maranda High School in Nyanza but his dream could remain just that if he does not find a well wisher or another kind of sponsorship.
Favoured by Our Lady Queen of Mercy Academy in Kitengela, the bright 14-year-old was allowed to write the examinations despite have a fee balance of Sh27,050.
“My parents are casual workers too poor to take me to a national school. My fear is that I could land in a poorly facilitated day school in the neighbourhood, meaning I would have to work extremely hard," Mr Ogweno said during the interview at their home on Sunday.
The boy studied from Standard Three at the school, whose classrooms are made of iron sheets. It is in Kyangombe slum
Mr Ogweno said he often walked to the school that is about five kilometers from their home in Noonkopir.
“Sometimes lady luck knocked my door once or twice and I would get a motorcycle ride."
The pupil attributed his success to determination, the fear of God, time-keeping and discipline.
“I always woke up at 4.30am when my alarm rang. I studied for one hour, got ready and then went to school," he said, adding that during the rainy seasons, he missed school as a stream got swollen.
Unlike other bright pupils who want to pursue medicine and engineering, Mr Ogweno looks at the world through the digital lens - he wants to become a computer software specialist.
The school's director, Ms Christine Mutambu, appealed for support for the boy.
“Our fee was low .... we are friendly as we target low and middle income earners. His balance shows the family may not be able to raise enough money to see him through secondary school," she said.
Mr Taiko, 16, was abandoned by his mother at a tender age but a good Samaritan stepped in.
He attended Imbaruetin Community Complex Primary School in little-known Namelok village in Kajiado South and scored 372 marks.
The boy walked three kilometres daily to get to school, said his foster mother Peninah Paiko, who is a widow.
Ms Paiko is worried that the boy's life will go to waste in the village should he fail to proceed high school.
"He beat the odds with his exemplary performance despite attending a little-known public school," she said.
“We appeal to well wishers to support the boy. I have taken care of him since he was young, when I found him abandoned by the road."