• Yusuf scored 380 on the KCPE but couldn't afford Kapsabet Boys.
•The principal, two businessmen and the school board chairman made his dream come true.
A 15-year-old orphan who excelled in the KCPE exam thought he had to shelve his dreams.
Yusuf Aker couldn't afford to join Kapsabet Boys High School for lack of fees, so he decided to repeat Standard 8 in a village far far away.
A miracle happened.
It was my first time to see a tarmac road and a storey building…I’m happy to be in school and I promise my well-wishers I will do my best.Yusuf Aker, 15
On Friday afternoon, Yusuf reported Kapsabet Boys where he was warmly welcomed by principal Kipchuba Maiyo and other boys. That was a week after Yusuf decided to repeat Standard 8.
Maiyo and two businessmen helped out.
An overwhelmed Aker said he could not believe what he saw during the 350km journey from his village in Tangulbei to Kapsabet Boys.
“It was my first time to see a tarmac road and a storey building…I’m happy to be in school and I promise my well-wishers I will do my best,” Yusuf said on Friday afternoon.
Yusuf scored 380 marks in last year's KCPE exam at Tangulbei Primary School in Tiaty, Baringo county. He got an admission letter to join Kapsabet Boys but couldn't join because he had no one to pay his fees.
His story was highlighted in the media, he received overwhelming support and within 24 hours he wore his uniform, ready to join Form 1 B.
The boy was orphaned at the age of four in July 2008 after cattle rustlers raided their manyatta in Lokodi village, Tiaty East. They killed all his family.
“His immediate family was murdered and 64 cattle driven towards Samburu... Yusuf was asleep," a village elder said.
Elder Ezekiel Lotia, who accompanied Yusuf to school, said he has been living with his maternal grandmother in Tangulbei.
Kapsabet Boys principal Maiyo paid Yusuf's school fees and promised he would settle the annual Sh53,000 fees for four years. The uniform is included.
Two businessmen — Richard Muchoki from Eldoret and Denis Yegon from Nairobi — bought all the items Aker needed. They included two pairs of shoes, blankets, bed sheets, soap and other personal effects.
We have another student Benedicto Ebei, from Kibish in Turkana North along the Kenya Ethiopia border. He travelled for three days to reach Kapsabet with a little money and an empty box.Principal Maiyo
“I drove all the way from Nairobi to the school to ensure that I donated something towards the student’s needs after hearing about his plight. I just met Muchoki and we resolved to help,” Yegon said.
School Board of management chairman and former Kenya Army commandant Gen (Rt) Augustine Cheruiyot donated Sh10,000 for Yusuf's pocket money. He promised to visit the student frequently.
Principal Maiyo said several students reported to school without fees, while others came with empty boxes, hoping the school could help them.
“We have another student Benedicto Ebei, from Kibish in Turkana North along the Kenya Ethiopia border. He travelled for three days to reach Kapsabet with a little money and an empty box," he said.
He only had Sh19,000. The money was just enough to buy the school uniform —excluding shoes and socks — and nothing else. He still doesn't have basic items such as soap, blankets, bedsheets and toilet paper.
“We cannot send away such serious students who are eager to learn. I'm appealing to well-wishers to come and support these needy students," Maiyo said.
Kapsabet Boys was one of the most sought-after high schools by the 2019 KCPE exam candidates. It was the first choice of 63,000 students. The school only can accommodate 450.
“When I heard the school was second overall in the 2019 KCSE exam, I prayed to God to open a way for school fees since I had the admission letter. My old grandmother is unable to pay," Yusuf said.
(Edited by V. Graham)