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Larry Madowo opens up on life beyond KCSE grades

 Larry Madowo's before and after photo. (Courtesy/LarryMadowo-Instagram)

Renowned Kenyan journalist Larry Madowo took to Instagram to share a remarkable personal story, as the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) unveiled the 2023 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) results.

In an Instagram post featuring a video showcasing his extensive travels to 27 countries last year, Madowo disclosed that he received a B- in his KCSE, an academic setback that led to suggestions of repeating Form 4.

"I 'failed' KCSE, but I did 45 foreign trips last year - 27 countries. My B- was so bad I was pushed to repeat Form 4! Mtu asikupimie hewa,” wrote Madowo.

The video chronicles Madowo's diverse adventures, from riding a scooter to waiting for and boarding a train, and even journeying on a bus through a water body resembling a lake. Visits to Egypt, Switzerland, Portugal, Morocco, Nepal, and more are highlighted, where Madowo engages with locals, shares experiences, and immerses himself in each country's culture.

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A post shared by Larry Madowo (@larrymadowo)

The timing of Madowo's message aligns with Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu's announcement of the 2023 KCSE results, revealing that 1,216 candidates secured straight As, marking a slight increase from the previous year.

Breaking down the results further, 7,254 students secured A- (minus), 18,078 attained B+ (plus), 36,728 received B (plain), and 78,343 obtained C+ (plus). Notably, 22.27 percent of candidates, totaling 201,133, scored C+ and above, securing direct access to the university.

Madowo's journey in journalism, which began at the age of 20 at Kenya Television Network (KTN), serves as a reminder that academic grades do not solely measure success. 

Despite his KCSE grades, Madowo ascended the ranks, working for NTV Kenya, and CNBC Africa, and ultimately becoming the BBC's Business Editor for Africa. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Larry Madowo (@larrymadowo)

The journalist took a brief sabbatical to study at Columbia University, covering the 2020 US presidential election as the British Broadcaster's North America correspondent before moving to CNN.

His academic credentials include a bachelor's degree in Communication from Daystar University and a master's in Business and Economics Journalism from Columbia University in New York.

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