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Bright student resorts to menial jobs to raise fees

THE STANDARD
May 21st 2022
James Jumaa Kanze helping with house chores at their rural home in Baasi ,sokoni ward in Kilifi North sub county.

James Jumaa Kanze, who scored 371 marks in the 2021 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams, has been forced to take up menial jobs to help his mother raise school fees for his Form One admission.

Kanze was a pupil at Mabirikani primary school in Kilifi North sub-county and dreams of becoming a doctor in future.

The 14-year old, who stays with his mother and three siblings, said he lost his father 10 years ago when he was only four.

"I cannot remember my father's face. He died when I was four years old. My mother has been struggling to raise us with the little she gets from selling vegetables and working as a labourer in people's farms,’’ says Kanze.

He is happy that he was able to get good grades but when he remembers the situation at home he feels bad knowing that his chances of joining Form One are slim.

When The Standard on Saturday caught up with Kanze, who called to join Mpeketoni Boys High school in Lamu County, he was at a neighbour's farm looking for a job to weed crops in order to help raise his school fees.

"The money I get is too little. I am appealing for the government and well-wishers to help me raise my school fees in order to achieve my dreams," he pleaded.

The boy is required to pay Sh45,000 per year.

His mother, Kanze Kiponda, sells vegetables and is a member of a "merry-go-round" group of women in her village.  She says she has not been able to save enough for her son since she already has two other children in secondary school. She is shouldering the burden as a single mother.

"I sell vegetables at Charo wa Mae market. I always leave the house as early as 5 am hoping to raise enough money for my son's school fees but it has been tough,’’ she says.

"I have really struggled to see my children in school. The proceeds I get from my hustle I have channelled them to my other two sons who are now in Form Three," she adds.

Kiponda says sometimes they are even forced to sleep on empty stomachs.  She is appealing to well-wishers to help her son by paying his school fees to enable him to achieve his dream.

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