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10 things that differentiate JAB students from self sponsored students

By KEVIN OJIAMBO | May 24th 2018

Diverse gender, ethnicity, age, skin color name them, all in one place for one mutual entity- to get a good education. Therefore, being here isn’t easy, it comes with tussles and tough life adoptions that’s why we have the self-sponsored and the government-sponsored students. Here are the 10 things that differentiate Joint Admission Board students (JAB) from self-sponsored students (SSP).


Come on! It’s self-explanatory, the government couldn’t have backed them if they had failed. Their admission numbers always dictate ‘pass’ on performance list pinned on the notice board every semester and they aren’t mortified to talk big about it. You will hardly see them walking purposelessly on school compound (like those student leaders who wear slim suits) for they are always busy assisting those ‘other’ students with class assignments or doing something useful. To the indolent students, they are like ‘baba’- A SAVIOR!

Book warmers

Yes, they will be busy assisting ‘other’ students with assignments but the knowledge doesn’t come naturally, they also have to find time to look for it. They read. They never wish to slay their dreams or make the government contemplate otherwise. ‘Others’ will complain of how the library has fewer research books, of its conduciveness etc. but to them, hallelujah! A blessing. The library is like their second home and the librarians are like their parents. That knowledge is so precious that students could kill for when it comes to CAT or examination period.

Full class attendance

You will be stunned to find that most of them are not indeed bright but because they fully attend all the lectures. While the SSP students are busy spending the parent’s money on birthdays and parties (like they are the NASA and Jubilee of Kenya) during weekdays, for them they are busy occupying the class seats knowing that their future lies within that lecture room.


They are not the type of “hey, have you listened to the latest Kendrick Lamar’s album, yesterday’s Kansol’s concert was lit! I think I need to drink some soup ndio niskie fabulous, there’s new fashion in town…” comrades but rather very simple from their personality to their lifestyle. They know that it’s only studies and maybe, just maybe meeting new friends is what brought them to campus. The rest is irrelevant.

Active in class

The lecture is never boring to them unless the lecturer makes it to. They are always active and fully participating, answers almost every question asked and are the first to ask where they haven’t understood where else the SSP student will be at a corner somewhere trying to fight off the previous night’s hangover or at their phone texting “maze, huyu lec anaboo niaje, hebu class rep amwambie azidi juu tuko na class ingine na hatujakula lunch” types of text on the class whatsapp group.

Front sitters 

If an eminent person randomly went to a lecture room to choose students for a job, believe me, the first twenty will be the JAB students. They are always early for classes for the front seat reasons is because a majority believe they understand better when seated near the lecturer and that is a sign of respect.


Just from our general Kenyan context, no student wants the “Joho” and the “Waititu” to lead them. They want someone who can speak eloquent English, someone who can make upright decisions, someone who is not with you at a nightclub every weekend, someone who can express themselves without the use of drugs and all these qualities fit the JAB students. They always know what they want and have that sweet talk like for ‘baba’ that when they speak, comrades pay attention.

Stay in campus hostels

All they want is to study and get their imminent right, so any superfluous accountabilities such as residing outside school compound are someway hectic that’s why mainstream prefer living in the school hostels. They want an atmosphere where their minds are not filled with trivial concerns such as water bills, electricity bills, rent, fare but rather use that portion of the brain to inject something of scholastic worth. 

Side Hustles 

With this ever-rising Kenyan economy (e.g. unga, sugar, milk, et el) for the SSP students, this is never an issue for their parents always have got their backs no matter the situation (so they are sure of that milk tea in the morning, lunch and supper) but for the JAB students this is a different case, they have to look for that extra job to keep up with their level. They are also human you know; they have to go for dates.

Run most school businesses.

Lest the government recognizes you, to the institute you will also be hardly recognized; a contest that most SSP students go through given that they pay the most fees. This also out spreads to the owing of school businesses which automatically hints us to the JAB students. Walk to any canteen or any place within the school that goods and services are offered, most belongs to them. There is this mentality that they owe the school and SSP students are just tourists (wanakula nyama wao wakikula kwa macho)

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