Meet Brian Mbeche, engineering student by day, watchman by night

Brian Mbeche at his workstation in Kisumu. [Michael Mute, Standard]

But that is not a concern for the engineering enthusiast. His major worry is where his next meal and school fees will come from.

"My parents are poor. I come from a family of eight children and my parents are peasant farmers who can barely afford my school fees, so I have to find a way to survive," he says.

When Mbeche sat for his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination at St Francis Nyasagati Secondary School in 2020, his hope was to transition smoothly to college and pursue his dream of becoming an engineer.

But as fate would have it, the 20-year-old sixth born child did not achieve the minimum grade for direct entry into the university.

Stranded but still determined, he opted to do all sorts of odd jobs to raise school fees, and that's when he joined Guardian Security Services as a night guard.

With his savings, he enrolled in polytechnic to pursue a diploma course in mechanical engineering, plant option. He says his peasant parents who hail from Boketa village in Kisii cannot afford his college fee.

Brian Mbeche at his work station in Kisumu. [Michael Mute, Standard]

"My parents took a loan to educate my brother on a parallel programme. They are still struggling to pay the loan so they cannot afford to support me," says Mbeche.

Back at home, his parents have been trying to help him get bursaries from the county government. Meanwhile, Mbeche hopes he will get help, especially from the Higher Education Loans Board where he has made several applications.

The financial difficulties have caused Brian to miss the Kenya National Examinations Council exams that are currently ongoing. He hopes to get a well-wisher to support his education.