Benson Ngotho Kang'ara is a happy and content man because his release from a Nyeri prison has come alongside news of his success in the KCPE examinations.
Mr Kang'ara and 20 others wrote the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education tests at King'ong'o Maximum Prison. He attained 367 marks.
“This year we managed to have a top student with 367 marks, compared to 349 last year,” said Mr Yusuf Kaitopok, the officer in charge of the facility.
He confirmed the release of Mr Kang’ara, who has been serving a short sentence.
The prison centre attained a mean score of 226, a drop from the 229 posted in 2018.
The other top candidates at the prison are Samuel Thiong'o, who is serving a life sentence.
He was second best with 335 out of 500 marks, an improvement from the 309 marks he scored in 2018.
Mr Thiong'o could barely contain his joy as his colleagues carried him shoulder-high and the wardens congratulated him.
“I did not get the opportunity to pursue education as I quit in lower primary. The prison presented me with another opportunity," he said.
“I was jailed for life plus 94 years but through education, I am able to circumnavigate all the challenges here. I enjoy studying ... the prison has accorded me correctional services."
Following a conviction for sexual offences, Mr Thiong'o has been locked for four years now.
Others who wrote the exams at King'ong'o were Livingstone Gitahi (302), Boniface Maina (299), Michael Kang'ethe (296), Michael Githinji (277) and Alex Kamau (262). The lowest score was 97 marks.
Mr Kaitopok said all the learners will proceed to the secondary level.
“I am very happy ... these inmates have done us very proud. Next year we will have 21 Form One students. This is very good. I encourage them to continue working hard and remain motivated,” he said.