Mathew Aol Nyamlori, a Kenyan man who graduated from Kenyatta University on 23rd July, has opened up about his tough 29 years in primary which saw him sit for K.C.P.E 9 times.
In an exclusive interview at Bonga na Jalas on Tuesday, 5th August 2021, Mathew recounted every detail about his life before finally making his father happier than never before by graduating.
Despite being a bright pupil, Nyamlori was forced to either repeat KCPE or drop out of high school to go back to primary, while performing all menial jobs, hoping to land a scholarship in future.
Although he grew up wanting to be a doctor, life challenges and rocky sojourn sent a chill up his spine; “It is not possible.”
In 1998, Aol sat for his first KCPE in Kipsimbol Primary School, a public school located in Sigoi near Bomet Town in Bomet County where he scored 478 marks out of the possible 700. He got an admission to Kabianga High School, a public national boys school in Kericho County.
Being the second child, in a family of 13, to receive an admission letter, for Nyamlori, this was the best news any aspiring doctor would wish to receive.
Unfortunately, he never joined Kabianga because of the abject poverty his family was living in. Getting a single meal, leave alone a good house, was an uphill.
Tired of brooding at home every day, Nyamlori went back to repeat class 8 at Rongo Primary. This was 1999. This time round, he was more than sure of not only scoring much better but also joining high school.
He scored 559 marks, garnering 81 marks more, and got an admission letter to Kanga High School.
But this time, a miracle happened. His aunt came in to sponsor his schooling. Sadly, that was short-lived.
During his second term, in form two, he was forced to drop from Kanga because his aunt could not continue financing his education.
“My aunt was incited to stop paying my school fees. I had no otherwise but to drop and go back home.” He told Jalas.
While learning was on, for two years, Nyamlori was a mere villager spending at home with boys who refused to go school or were back on holidays.
Tired again, now 2001, he decided to give it another try. However, before joining, he managed to move to Nairobi to work at a milling factory. His salary was around 200 Kenyan shillings. This motivated him to go back to school.
“I had to drop out of school, because I had no one to sustain me. I started working as a casual laborer but it was not easy for me,” he recalled.
“I had to move from one school to another to avoid humiliation. Also, some teachers thought that because I was older and I had gone through the classes before, I knew everything I needed to know.”
In 2002, the determined Kenyan joined Kitere Primary. This time round, he scored 387 marks. He got admission to Rapogi High school.
However, the trend continued: he couldn’t join due to lack of school fees. Sadly, no one was willing to help him.
He went to repeat class eight at Sony Sugar Primary in 2003. Despite scoring 399 marks and getting admission to Rapogi Boys, he was unable to join school.
Nyamlori repeated again.
This time round, in 2004, he scored 434 marks at Rangwe Junior Academy. He got admission to Maseno School and joined but dropped in second term.
In 2008, he was a candidate at Agoro Primary School and scored 397 marks that earned him a pace in Maranda High School.
From Aldo Rebby academy in 2009, he got 401 marks and was admitted to Kapsabet High.
In 2010, in Agape academy Kosele, he scored 401 marks and was re-admitted to Maranda high.
Still, all these time, he couldn’t join school.
“All this happened because of my poor background. I did not have anyone to help me go to school. I tried to apply for Wings to fly program but was told they don’t sponsor pupils from private schools.”
In 2011, he went to repeat at Oriri Primary. He scored 403 marks and got his admission letter to Nairobi School.
Though later than imagined, this time round, a miracle happened: Equity Bank came to his rescue and sponsored his secondary education. This was courtesy of Wings to Fly Program.
This time he was 29 years old.
Despite being among the best performing students, his mother’s sickness in 2013 that left her blind shattered his performance. However, he didn’t drop out.
In 2015, he sat for his first and only KCSE and scored a B-plus of 71 points.
After passing his Secondary Education, he got an admission at Kenyatta University to pursue Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration under a regular program.
In 2021, after finishing his four-year program, Nyamlori graduated from Kenyatta University.
To him, this graduation and Wings to Fly sponsorship are his two happiest moments in life.
Nyamlori is now appealing to well-wishers to help him secure job so he can help his needy family. He is also looking forward to marrying and raising a family.
From doing KCPE 9 times to finally sitting KCSE exams and passing to graduating from Campus and finally now inspiring the whole world, Nyamlori is a rare gem.
Indeed, it is not yet over! It is never late!
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Silas Odhiambo is the Founder of Silvan News, Reporter and Editor working side-by-side with teams in the field to shape, write and produce unique and dynamic stories for Silvan News’ TV, website and social platforms.