• Overcoming hardships has now made Mr. Omwenga an inspiration to his peers and siblings
• "If I hadn't visited KCB in Egerton, I wouldn't be where I am today," Mr Omwenga says.
Nothing could have prepared Chrisantus Omwenga for the sobering realization that despite his good performance, he was about to miss admission to secondary school.
He had done everything required.
Born in Kisii, he attended lower primary there before his family made a move to Nakuru town in 2010. Five years later, Mr Chrisantus Omwenga and his sister sat for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations.
He scored 399 out of a possible 500 marks and his sister scored 334 out of a possible 500. While this was commendable, the prospect of the two siblings joining secondary school at the same time came as a burden to his parents. They gave his sister priority to join secondary school given the limited resources.
"My mum runs a small business selling groceries and my dad is a gatekeeper. As you can imagine, the good news of my admission to Friends' School Kamusinga quickly turned into anxiety. More so, because I have three younger siblings and they need to go to school as well," said Mr Omwenga.
The seeming distress had Mr Omwenga and his parents stressed, and they began the search for bursary programs. He applied for a total of eight scholarships and was unsuccessful in each of them. He was tense and already, a fortnight had passed. Time was quickly running out. A friend encouraged him, saying, “Don't give up Chris. I heard KCB Foundation has extended the dates for their High School Scholarship.”
The next day, he was up early and visited the KCB Bank branch at Egerton. It wasn't a busy morning and he took advantage of being among the first members of the public to enter the bank, requesting the security personnel to "guide him to where the scholarships were being distributed". He was then directed to the branch manager, to whom he explained his dire need to go to secondary school.
"The cut-off was 400 marks out of a possible 500. I had scored 399 but I was desperate and ambitious," he said.
After a roller coaster of assessments, interviews, verifications and waiting, he got the scholarship and it was more than he had dreamed of. He was among the students selected from a field of about 1,000 candidates in Nakuru. This enabled him to join Form one at Friends' School Kamusinga.
"If I hadn't visited KCB in Egerton, I wouldn't be where I am today," Mr Omwenga says. "I think they trained the bank manager well and she saw it in my eyes. She saw my dream and my potential to go to school and do well. That's the beauty of KCB Foundation. They make dreams come true."
"KCB Foundation took me to school, paid all my school fees from Form One to Form Four. They also gave me pocket money, bought my school uniform in Form One and refreshed them in Form Three. They also bought me set books and all the stationery I needed," he says.
"One essential thing I am exceptionally grateful for is the mentorship that the KCB Foundation offered me in the program." he says. "I received one-on-one mentorship sessions consistently and this kept me on track. The lessons I learned and the discipline I acquired helped me inspire my peers at school and my siblings at home. I also shared with them lessons learned from the annual holiday mentorship program," he adds.
Mr Omwenga is now in university. He scored a straight A in KCSE and has been admitted to Egerton University near his hometown in Nakuru. He is pursuing Medicine and he wants to be among the top medical practitioners in the country.
He is also very keen to continue with the hard work and discipline instilled in him through the mentorship program and he intends to go through University with great success and progressively, improve the quality of his family's life.
Mr Omwenga is now an inspiration to his peers and siblings and when he looks at it in hindsight, to think that it all began with a thought planted by his mother's friend coupled with an ambitious visit to KCB's Bank Branch in Egerton Branch is nothing short of a miracle. Perhaps, as he put it, it all came about largely by God's grace.