Bright boy from Turkana travels to city aboard cattle truck in search of sponsor

By SILAH KOSKEI

TURKANA, KENYA: He has sat for the Kenya Certificate of Education (KCPE) and scored over 300 marks but has never made it to secondary school.

But 17-year-old Peter Lemuiya Elaar from Katili division, Turkana South district still hopes that one day, he will join Form One.

He vows he will never give up until he actualises his a lifelong dream—that of being a lawyer, a good lawyer like his role model,  Abdikadir Mohammed (former Mandera Central MP).

The second-born in a family of seven values education so much,  despite being bogged down by poverty. 

“Life has been a challenge especially after sitting for the exam thrice and failing to proceed to high school just because my parent cannot afford to pay my fees,” he said.

His father separated with his mother years ago, leaving them under the care of their mother.

No cows

“Since he left us, we have been living with our mother with poverty glittering on our faces. Our dad has never taken interest in us and there is nothing to sell in order to advance our education because we do not have any cows left,” he says.

Lemuiya travelled to Nairobi aboard a cattle truck recently in search of a well-wisher to fund his education and ended up spending nights in the cold streets for days before being taken in by a Good Samaritan—a jobless graduate.

“I came to Nairobi to hopefully find help from organisations to complete my secondary education,” Lemuiya explains.

“For one week, I depended on good Samaritans for food but spent  cold nights in an open field.”

Enormous challenges

His national certificates show that he sat for KCPE in 2010 at Kalemungorok primary school and scored 310 marks out of the possible 500. After failing to get fees, he repeated Class Eight in the same school in 2011 and scored 317 marks.

He did the examinations a third time in 2012 at Korinyang primary school and scored 338 marks.

Lemuiya did this hoping every time that a sponsor would  come along and support his education. No one did.

While in primary school, he said, he faced enormous challenges including lack of uniform and, on most occasions, going to school on an empty stomach besides walking for long distances to access education.

“Sometimes I would miss school for more than two months to go search for food for my family. I also herded other people’s cattle in order to get money to support my sibling.”

Lemuiya thanks teachers from both schools for paying his KCPE registration fees and vows that one day he will pay back their kindness.

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Kenya Certificate of Education Abdikadir Mohammed Korinyang primary