When Kelvin Ochieng sat for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and scored 392 marks out of the possible 500, it was a no mean achievement.
He earned an admission at Maranda National School where he continued with his exemplary academic performance. He outclassed his colleagues and became an index one candidate.
When he sat for Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education, he scored an A mean grade with straight A’s in all the subjects, save for English, which he scored a B+.
This achievement earned him a spot at the University of Nairobi where he chose Actuarial Science as an area of specialization.
“I was looking forward to a great university job that will give me a good job so I settled on Actuarial Science,” said Kelvin.
Despite his area of specialization being termed as a hard nut to crack by many undergraduate scholars, his university qualifications paint a picture of a man who was destined for excellent academic grades.
Courtesy of loans from HELB and other sponsorship programs he finished his university education without school fees hiccups.
He scored first-class honours. Unfortunately, he never had the opportunity to attend his graduation. He had no money.
Nevertheless, these admirable achievements have not been so rewarding to Kelvin.
Years of hard work topped with outstanding academic results proved less beneficial until he ended up on the streets homeless and jobless.
Searching for either internship opportunities or job became the most difficult thing to find.
“...the problem of not getting a job comes when I feel I am qualified but I don’t get the job so I get frustrated and that is how I found myself on the streets,” narrated kelvin.
With an intelligent mind, he lived on streets for days when it was apparent that his rural home was a no better place.
His family and the society, in general, expect too much than he can offer.
“It happened I had gone home before. Back home there is absolute poverty…they believe I went to the university and I am the star of the family who would get them out of poverty. That belief haunted me because I believed it was my duty to help them. I even contemplated suicide,” he narrated.
After days in the street, he finally found a place to call home when a good samaritan came calling.
After exchanging a few words with the man he had never met before, he was accommodated by Christopher Oloo who was moved by his story.
“I met him on the streets and he told me he is a graduate it sounded hilarious and it was so strange I couldn’t believe. Finally, we went to a cyber and it became clear he scored clean A’s. I was shocked how a graduate could live in the streets,” said Oloo.
Together they have lived for months in Mathare slums braving the stench of raw sewer gobbled with the sorry state of security as they struggle to make ends meet.
Doing menial jobs in the Market Street of Nairobi is what Kelvin never envisaged.
As for now, scrambling with many uneducated people for car washing jobs in the city is what puts food on the table.
Perhaps one time his dream will come true.
(Story idea courtesy of Citizen TV)