While a majority of Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) top performers are celebrating after finding out which schools they have been admitted to, it is not so for one of the country's brightest candidates.
Her mother, who toiled to see her through primary school, is facing a murder charge and is in remand. She is yet to know the results of her 14-year-old daughter.
“My fear is that I may not be able to join my preferred secondary school and pursue my dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon as my only source of hope, my mother, is in remand,” Nelly Kemunto said.
Kemunto, a former pupil at Mount St Marys Girls in Nakuru County, scored 440 marks, and has been admitted to Kenya High School.
According to her elder brother George Omwenga, all was well until July when their mother was arrested in connection with murder.
“My mother had cleared the school fees for the whole year so she managed to do the exams without interruptions,” he said.
Omwenga, a student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, said he was forced to defer his studies for one semester due to the financial problems facing the family.
“Hopefully, I will resume my studies next year. All I want and I'm praying for is for my sister to join Form One,” he said.
At the same time, Phillis Njoki Waceke, 14, who scored 363 marks in KCPE, is very worried. Her dream of furthering her education in high school is in limbo.
After beating all odds to post an impressive performance at Palms Hill Academy in Nakuru, she was selected to join Gatero Girls High School in Laikipia County.
“I’m happy with the selection of the school, but my biggest worry is whether I will be able to join my dream school,” she said.
Her single mother and two siblings are unable to pay her school fees. They live at Mang’u, Kiamunyi, with her sickly great grandfather who cannot meet her educational expenses.
“The situation at home is hopeless as no one can manage to take care of my secondary school education,” Njoki, whose primary school education was sponsored by well-wishers, said.
Mr George Kimani, a neighbour, said the family has suffered a myriad of challenges and the future of the girl hangs in the balance.