Determined to show the world that their success in KCPE was not a mere accident but a result of hard work, a section of students who excelled in KCPE went on to excel in KCSE and university.
In this article, WoK takes a look at these academic heroes, their successes, and what they are currently doing.
Peter Kamenju Njoroge
He led the pack in KCPE 2009 by clinching 438 marks out of the possible 500.
Kamenju, who studied at Lily Academy in Githuai, was one of the few candidates who actualized his dream of joining Alliance High School.
His dream career was to become a surgeon.
He graduated from the University of Nairobi (UON) School of Medicine in 2019 with a BSC in Medicine and Surgery.
Speaking in media interviews, he said exams are not a measure of intelligence but rather a test of discipline and organization.
He set the record by becoming the first-ever student to top KCPE and KCSE exams nationally.
He led the pack of KCPE candidates in 1985. Four years later, he broke records again by topping KCSE with a clean A as a student of Alliance High School.
Samnakay joined the University of Western Australia (UWA), graduating with a master’s in medical science and an honors in medical school.
He also obtained a fellowship in Paediatric Urology at the Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.
He now works as a pediatric surgeon at St John of God Subiaco and Murdoch Hospitals in Australia.
Abbas Naeem Essajjee
Abbas Naeem Essajjee was the top student in the 2009 KCPE exams at Aga Khan Primary School, scoring 431 marks.
He declined the chance to join Alliance High School and instead opted to join Aga Khan High School, a day school.
In the 2013 KCSE exams, he continued his success, ranking 20th nationally with a score of 86.831.
Like Kamenju, he decided to pursue medicine and graduated in 2019 from the Univesity of Nairobi.
His home in Mombasa is displayed with pictures, trophies, and certificates of his achievements.
John Adams Nalo
He was also on the list of the top 10 achievers in KCPE 2009 from the coast province, garnering 423 marks.
He joined Starehe High School, gained an A minus in KCSE, and joined the University of Nairobi School of Law. He graduated in 2019.
He then did his internship at Hamilton, Harrison, and Mathews Law Firm before proceeding to the Kenya School of Law.
He is now an accredited advocate of the High Court of Kenya.
Marita Nyakundi Calvin
He set the record by scoring the highest marks ever in the history of KCPE exams in Kenya.
The Busara Forest View Academy alumnus scored 482 marks out of the possible 500, an average score of 97 percent. That was in 2003.
His stellar performance followed him to Starehe Boys’ Centre. In 2010, he joined the Univesity of Nairobi (UON).
There, he pursued a Bachelor of Medicine and graduated from the institution in December 2020.
After being accredited by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC), Nyakundi joined the Nairobi Women’s Hospital as a medical officer in August 2021.
Orori Conrad Ongoi
He hails from Homa Bay County. He topped Nyanza province in the 2009 KCPE exams by scoring 438 marks out of the possible 500.
He later joined Nakuru High and scored a plain A in the 2013 KCSE.
He then joined the Technical University of Kenya to study geospatial engineering. He had harbored the dream to be an engineer since primary school.
In subsequent media interviews, he said that although natural intelligence is important for academic success, hard work is also important.