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I can but Cannot Afford


15 year old Muendi Mathuku emerged the best student in her district in the recent released primary examinations results. Her family is poor. But the fact that the nation is facing starvation has made her situation worse. She wrote her examinations on an empty stomach but still emerged the best. Her name appeared in the newspapers as one of the best students in the country and the overall best for her district. But I wonder whether her father was able to afford that newspaper.

On the day she received her admission to Kangaru girls school, a national school where only the best get admitted she rushed excietedly to her father. " Father, father she cried. This is my admission letter to the prestigious Kangaru high school". The letter was from the headteacher of her school congratulating her for her admission and asking her to pay the fee for the first term before admission.

Her father looked at the letter, and the pain he felt went straight to his heart. The rains had failed. He had no money. He had six children to feed. Where on earth is he expected to get Kshs 25,000 to ensure that her daughter gets to the school that she is qualified to attend.

Muendi read the look on her fathers face and she did not need to ask. There was no way she could attend Kangaru high school. She went into their hut and cried. Anyway what should she expect. At times they go for days without proper meals how on earth was her father expected to pay the fees?

A month passed and schools opened. She was still at home. But deep in her heart she knew she was the best. Why should she stay at home? She woke up and started looking for a job. Their neighbour Mzee Muli was looking for a herds person. She requested and was given the job. She is currently herding cattle and earning a meagre Kshs 1,000 per month with the hope that her savings will accumulate one day to pay her fees.


jadefrank's picture


Hi Lucy,

It's amazing how so many young people take education for granted. Especially in countries like the United States, where education is free (for the most part). But when I hear of stories like Muendi's, who desperately crave for knowledge and for opportunity, my heart is both torn and uplifted at the same time. Torn because education should be a basic human right that every child has access to and I hope that one day this will be true across the globe. And uplifting because it's young women like Muendi who have such a clear and focused vision for themselves and for the future, that they are the ones who will be leaders for their people and future generations of women. I admire Muendi for her determination and I hope that she's able to collect the funds to further her education. Thank you for sharing this and please keep us updated on her story.

Warm regards,

lucy m's picture

I Can But Cannot Afford

Hi Jade,

Thank you for your comment.

Today is a better day for Muendi. Her story was highlighted in the media and up to now she has received about 20 well wishers ready to sponsor her education. All the best to her as she pursues her dreams.

Best Regards,


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