SACRIFICE

Boy who worked at bar to pay sisters' fees goes back to school

He was determined to ensure a decent future for his two sisters

In Summary
  • The children's mother died in 2014 and their grandfather some time later.  
  • They were left with their grandmother, who could not feed them and pay their fees as well.
Nyandarua Woman Representative Faith Gitau join NGAAF-sponsored students in worship outside her Ol Kalou office on Wednesday.
Nyandarua Woman Representative Faith Gitau join NGAAF-sponsored students in worship outside her Ol Kalou office on Wednesday.
Image: NDICHU WAINAINA

In many cultures in the absence of parents, the eldest sibling usually steps up and assumes their responsibility. 

That is what George Mugo, 20, did after his mother and grandfather died. He is the eldest of three siblings: his two sisters are 17 and seven years old.

“I am the man in the family. We did not have a father hence my mother’s demise meant I automatically assumed the parent's role," he said. 

Mugo waited tables at a bar for a year before he met officials from the woman representative's office. 

The children's mother, Joyce Wacuka, died in 2014 and their grandfather some time later.  They were left with their grandmother, who could not feed them and pay their fees as well.

The children dropped out of school and Mugo started doing odd jobs to at least pay for his sister's education. The family lives in Umoja village, Ol Kalou.

Eventually, Mugo landed a job at a bar in Mairo Inya, Ndaragwa, where he crossed paths with officials from Nyandarua Woman Rep Faith Gitau's office.

“We had gone to refresh ourselves after a long day at work. But my conscience was pricked when I discovered that we were being served alcohol by a child,” Wamugunda Waweru said.

I am the man in the family. We did not have a father hence my mother’s demise meant I automatically assumed the parent's role.
George Mugo

The officials asked him why he was working at the bar and Mugo told them his story, which was brought to Gitau's (popularly known as Mami Mwega [good mother] attention.

That was last year. Mugo and his sister Janet Wangui, 17, were taken back to school under the sponsorship of the National Government Affirmative Action Fund.

Mugo is currently in Form 3 at Rurii Secondary School in Rurii, Ol Kalou; his sister is also in Form 3 at the nearby Mercy Mixed ACK Secondary School.

The two have been granted full NGAAF scholarship and are among 70 beneficiaries who received Sh1.6 million bursary issued by Gitau on Wednesday.

The two hope to become lawyers. 

“The last term I scored a B- (minus) and I am determined to do even better. I see myself becoming a lawyer due to her [woman rep] assistance and my brother’s determination," Wangui said. 

Gitau said even though the NGAAF lacks sufficient funds, she is determined to see all orphans and vulnerable children in Nyandarua get an education.

“We not only pay school fees for them but also provide other requirements for those who cannot afford them,” she said.

Esther Nyawira from the NGAAF office said there are many needy children who have received full scholarships. “We really thank Faith Gitau for making it her responsibility to ensure they have an education and a future," she said.

Mugo said even if he had not met Gitau's people he would have done whatever it took to educate his sisters. 

Wangui said she will forever be indebted to her brother who was willing to sacrifice to give she and their kid sister a decent future.

Edited by Josephine M. Mayuya

George Mugo, NGAAF official Esther Nyawira and Janet Wangui on Wednesday.
George Mugo, NGAAF official Esther Nyawira and Janet Wangui on Wednesday.
Image: Ndichu Wainaina