Dressed in a graduation gown and a mortarboard hat, he stood up when his name was called at the graduation ceremony.
Daniel Sifa Wanje, who wanted to sell his kidney to enable him to pay for his university education in 2015, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Medicine and Community Health from Mount Kenya University (MKU).
Wanje joined hundreds of students who graduated on Friday from MKU, an event that now opens up another page of his journey towards fulfilling his dream.
He had completed his high school education at Ribe Boys High School in Kilifi County and attained grade B+, but his desire to get a university education was uncertain.
"I am from a poor family background and did not know I would join university after my father who worked at a beach resort lost his job when the hotel went under," he told The Standard.
Wanje, 26, noted that his dream course was medicine, and he would hear none from his peers and family to change course following the difficulty to raise fees.
During his troubled times, he decided to sell his kidney to raise fees for his university education.
The graduate, who comes from a poor family, put up his kidney for sale and even got a buyer who was willing to part with Sh500,000 for the organ.
His cry for help caught the attention of Prof Simon Gicharu, founder chairman of Mount Kenya University(MKU), who offered to take him in at his institution to pursue his dream course.
Prof Gicharu reached out to him and offered him an initial one-year full scholarship when the two met at the English Point Marina in 2016 before he took up his place at the university a year later. He would later top up the offer to enable him to complete his course.
Another good samaritan who helped him was former Malindi MP Gideon Mungaro, the current Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Devolution and Planning Ministry.
"I am grateful to the two gentlemen who saw it befitting to educate me. My journey is not yet over as I continue with steps to conquer the medicine world. I shall work hard to ensure that
I attain even higher standards as I enter the job market. I would like to help out those in need like me in the future," he said.
He said that he has no words to express his gratitude to Prof Gicharu and the MKU for the support they accorded him.
"No words can describe what this university means to me. I am leaving this university as a better person than I came. It has opened for me a door of opportunity in my life," he said.
He said at MKU, the management is mindful of the well-being of its students within and away from the school.
"I remember during our attachment; we were almost 300 kilometres away from the university. But the management did a close follow-up with the hospital to ensure we were comfortable," he said.
He said the university environment and the General Kago Level Five Hospital, where they used to conduct their practical lessons in anatomy, were conducive for learning.
"I would also wish to recognize the effort of the Principle of the College of Health Sciences, Josphat Njuguna, who is making a close follow up to ensure I am settled outside after graduating. I was posted for an internship at the Armed Forces Memorial Hospital in Nairobi," he said.