Stephen Musyoki Muema





Thank you for the opportunity you gave me to briefly talk about my family. To begin with, my family has got five members including me. My father, two elder sisters and one elder brother are the roots of my existence and I love them very much. My mom was the sweetest person and the kindest hearted woman I have ever seen. She was creative, helpful and loving in nature. She used to work as a green grocer at the nearby Wote town. Unfortunately, she fell ill and passed away in October 2004 while I was still a Form One student. My dad is a small scale farmer andis a great mentor for all of us. My elder sisters are both married but one works as a Public Health Officer at the Department of Health (Government of Makueni County) and the other is business lady at the nearby town. My brother is an exemplary young personand is a teacher by profession and teaches at a certain High School within Makueni County.Living without a family is really difficult and hence feel most comfortable and blessed being with my family members. I am sure I am lucky to have such a happy family where everyone has great contributions to help me become the person I am.

I was enrolled to the programme in 2005 while I was in Form Two. I was given Student Number SS/10/05. Currently am working with County Assembly of Makueni as a Fiscal Analyst, dealing with all County Budget issues.


My life was very difficult before NCCK intervened. Since lower primary, I had been the best pupil in my class and I finally sat for KCPE exam together with my elder brother (who had repeated) in 2003 and we both emerged the best students, with my brother and I scoring 406/500 marks and 405/500 marks respectively.My brother had also done well in KCPE the previous year but was unable to join Form One due to school fees challenge since our eldest sister was in Form Four at a local school and raising her fees was already a problem. By then, mum was the only bread winner and dad had lost his job.

We both received admission letters for Makueni Boys High School (a National School in Makueni). However, school fees remained a challenge and we were not able to enroll to that school. By this time, my eldest sister had completed her high school education but she didn’t perform well so she decided to repeat Form Four so as to excel and secure a place in a public university because our parents were unable to raise university fees as a self-sponsored programme. Since my brother had previously repeated KCPE, my dad decided to take him to the same school where our eldest sister was schooling but as a day scholar. It is quite far from home but my brother endured the challenges. To supplement the fees mum could afford for both brother and sister, dad sought for job in the school as a grounds man. However, all his salary was directed to school fees for bro and siz.

Being the lastborn and still young, I was forced to repeat Class Eight despite my excellent performance in KCPE exam.To my surprise, after repeating I realized that among the top seven students who had excelled in KCPE, only my brother managed to join Form One. This made me get to know the financial problems my classmates had also gone through. We all decided to work hard so as to ensure we scored exemplary excellent in order to secure scholarships for our high school studies. Immediately we repeated, we sat for our first internal exam and the six of us topped the class with scoring 489/500 marks closely followed by my five other former classmates. Our teachers were overwhelmed with these good results we were sure of achieving our goals.This joy and the company of my classmates was short-lived. The school where my brother and sister were schooling had got a new principal (who happened to have been given a promotion and transfer from Makueni Boys, the school that had given me and my brother admission letters). This principal wanted his new school to perform well so he decided to search for pupils who had performed well in KCPE. It is during this time when my dad informed him that I had done well in exam but due to fees challenges, I was forced to repeat. He told my dad to take me to his school as a boarder and that he will never send me home for fees as long as I continuously performed well in class. That evening dad gave me the good news but I didn’t agree with it. The following morning I woke very early and went to school as usual. However, he came to pick me and took me to the school I didn’t like.

I reported on 9th March 2004 and the principal organized for me to be given all the reading materials I needed.I realized that my class had about fifteen students who had scored 400 marks and above in KCPE but were unable to join good schools like my Makueni Boys. By the time I reported, it was just a week to sitting for the end-term exam. I embarked on writing all notes that my classmates had written all along before the exam kicked off. I remember my dad promising to give Kshs.100 if I became number one in that exam. Exam time came, did my best and when the results were out, I emerged position one scoring 1032 out of 1100 marks. With this, I gained respect from all my teachers and the principal too. To this day, I have never received the Kshs.100 that dad had promised.

Everything went well in the second term. However, I and my brother’s fees balances had accumulated to close to Kshs.43, 000 and I got worried about what could happen if the principal got transferred. All this time, despite me not being send home for school fees, getting shopping was a thorn in the eyes since the three of us had to rely on mum and some well-wishers. Things worsened in the third term when mum passed away in October, 2004 while my eldest sister was almost sitting for her KCSE exam. Our key source of income was no longer there and hopelessness became part of us. This affected our performance and for the first time since my primary education I failed in the third term exam and came position five. This made me cry uncontrollably since it was my worst performance ever. The absence of my mum forced my sister (second-born) to get married the following month of November. We had to rely on her now. I had just completed Form One but dark moments were ahead with no one to give us the required education support.

I had been very active in church since my childhood and my local Salvation Army Church pastor loved me so much. I owe him a lot. It is during this trying moments that my pastor informed me that NCCK was looking for bright but needy students for sponsorship and that he would forward my name. Within two weeks I was invited for interview in Machakos. When the results were out, I was successful and was overjoyed because my dad’s school fees burden would ease and my worries that I would be cut short due to fees was gone. Without a doubt, this scholarship would play a key role in achieving my educational dreams. Because of your generosity, the financial burden placed on me to pursue my education greatly reduced. That meant that I could spend more time on my studies, research and extracurricular activities and less time worrying about my finances.

After being successful in the interviews, another unexpected drama ensued. The regional office in Machakos proposed that I transfer to Makueni Boys High School, where it was presumed that I would perform better in my final KCSE exam. I welcomed this idea but this was strongly resisted by my principal who felt that he would one of his best students. He felt betrayed because after giving me all the support that he could in terms of school fees and despite him allowing me to be in school such huge fees balance, I was being snatched away just because I had got a scholarship. He had also given my elder sister the school canteen to operate so as to raise her college fees.He summoned me to his office and I made my point clear that I supported the idea of the transfer.We disagreed on this but he tried to unsuccessfully convince me not to transfer. My pastor tried to get me a transfer to Makueni Boys but he was asked to provide a transfer letter from the principal of my current school. At this point, things just thickened since the principal vowed not to draft the required transfer letter. His view was that if the organization was unwilling to give me the scholarship while am at his school, then they were at liberty to cancel it but he would ensure that I complete my studies regardless the cost he would incur. Despite this assurance, I still cast my doubts because he was prone to transfer and anything could happen. As a result, I preferred seeking for the transfer proposed by NCCK so as to assured of smooth high school life. My local pastor tried to persuade him to draft the letter but all was in vain. My pastor decided to negotiate with the NCCK Lower Eastern Regional Office to ensure I was given the scholarship while at my current school. At last the sponsor agreed to the proposal. The principal was happy that the decision was finally reached.

With this agreement, I decided to get settled and focus on my studies. The sponsor cleared all the outstanding fees balance. I thanked God for all He had done and vowed to work hard and ensure I secured a place in one of the best universities in the country. I finally sat for my KCSE in 2007 and emerged the best student in the school, scoring a mean grade of A (minus).At this point, I was assured of the Government’s funding through HELB loan and hence school fees problem was no more. This gave me the chance to join my dream university (the University of Nairobi) to pursue a Bachelor of Economics degree, which I completed and graduated with a Second Class (Upper Division) in December, 2013. After graduating, I held a thanksgiving ceremony in church and invited the pastor (transferred) who helped me secure the scholarship. I asked God to grant me a permanent job and also to bless NCCK for the assistance it gave me when I really needed it. I also asked God to give financial stability so as to be able sponsor a number of needy students struggling to raise their school fees as I struggled before NCCK intervened. God stood by me and four months after my graduation, He granted me a permanent job at the County Assembly of Makueni where I am currently as a Fiscal Analyst. I have enrolled for Masters of Business Administration (Finance option) at Kenya Methodist University.

Growing up in a less privileged family has not only offered financial and academic challenges, but has also helped me realize the value of education and helping the needy. When I look back I just see the hand of God all through my studies and my job.By awarding me the scholarship, NCCK lightened my financial burden which allowed me to focus more on the most important aspect of school, learning. Your generosity inspired me to help others and give back to the community. I hope one day I will be able to help students achieve their goals just as you have helped me.

Thank you so much and may God bless you all.


April 2024

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