George Otieno Hongo could not believe it after learning that he scored an A plain in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education tests.
His performance is good news for Kano plains, a place usually associated with floods.
The 18-year-old scored 81 points to emerge the best student in Kisumu. The seventh born in a family of nine sat the tests at Kisumu Boys High school.
Four years ago, Hongo scored 413 marks in his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination at Central Primary School, Kisumu town.
He attributed his good KCSE grade to hard work, discipline, prayer and teachers.
"The teachers were patient with me and were always ready to help. My parents taught us that nothing comes on a silver plate,” he said on Friday.
Hongo said his father, a labourer, struggled to pay fees. His mother is a housewife. He applied for bursary to fund his education.
Hongo harbours dreams of pursuing medicine at the University of Nairobi and abroad.
In Busia town, Lavington Square was a scene of celebrations when Joshua Ochieng, a Maseno School student, found out that he was among the top students in the country.
Ranked 19th in the country, Ochieng scored an A plain of 84 points.
He had straight As in English, Kiswahili, mathematics, physics, chemistry, geography and business studies and a B in biology.
“I surpassed my target," he said. "I owe my success to God, my teachers, parents and relatives.”
He said his secret to success was humility and always paying attention in class.
Ochieng hopes to become a paediatrician. His mother Diana Wamalwa described him as brilliant, hardworking and obedient boy.
Ochieng, who turned 18 in October, scored 404 marks in the KCPE examination four years ago.
Maseno and Maranda High schools registered impressive performance with a number of candidates scoring A in this year’s tests.
Besides Ochieng, several other Maseno School students made it to the top 100 nationally as did six from Maranda.
When the Nation visited Maseno School, teachers were celebrating.
IMPROVED MEAN SCORE
They expressed hope that the national school would register an improved mean score. Maseno School dean of studies Amos Ojwang was ecstatic.
“Unlike last year when only two boys scored A plain and 25 had A-, this year, the school registered 10 A plain and 40 A-,” Mr Ojwang told journalists.
A total of 436 candidates sat the KCSE examinations this year.
Additional reporting by Gaetano Pesa and Victor Raballa