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George Mathenge: Brookhurst International School Principal Who Worked As A Mjengo Worker, Cleaner In The UK Before Finding Success In Kenya

George Mathenge is the principal of Brookhurst International School – Kiserian campus.

He joined the international school after returning home from the United Kingdom where he had taught for five years.

Mathenge returned home despite staying in the UK for a while because he felt that Kenya was where his heart was.

Here is his story as told by WoK.

Background

Having taught in over seven institutions both locally and internationally, Mathenge’s teaching career boasts over 10 years.

In an interview with Chams Media, he explained that he developed the interest in teaching while growing up.

“The primary school that I had attended had very good teachers and I wished that I would become a teacher because so much of what I do today was instilled in me by my teachers,” he said.

In 1997, Mathenge emerged the best student in his school in that years Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE).

He proceeded to Chinga Boys in Othaya for her secondary school education soon after, but tragedy struck and claimed the life of his mother.

“When I was in Form Two, I lost my mother, and it was the most devastating thing that ever happened. I worked so hard realizing that if l fail, I don’t have anywhere to go,” Mathenge said.

Mathenge performed well in his Kenya Certificate of Secondary School Education (KCSE) and he was called to joined Kenyatta University (KU) in 2001.

With no fees to see him through university, he relocated to Nairobi and engaged in menial jobs to raise money for his tuition.

He first worked at a construction site but he later quit after consuming 20 litres of water within six hours.

“I realised construction was not for me. From there, I organized a tuition and I would tutor kids who were in class 7 and 8,” he said.

With money raised from the teaching job and support from his siblings, he managed to enroll at Kenyatta University for a Bachelor in Education and Science.

Moving to the UK

In 2009, Mathenge secured an admission at the University of Leicester in the UK to pursue a Master of Science in Biomedical Science.

Although he needed Ksh 2 million to pay for his fees at the university, Mathenge had Ksh 60,000 only when he arrived in the UK.

“I didn’t go on a scholarship but I was determined that I was going to make it. I had to get the money and survive because I couldn’t imagine going back

“There was no mother of father, I was entirely on my own, it was either I do it or I do it. There was no other option,” he stated.

Mathege started looking for any job that he could find.

“Most of the jobs that were available were cleaning jobs. Despite having a degree I used to get up in the morning to go do cleaning jobs,” he said.

He did casual jobs for a while until he raised enough money and enrolled at the University of East London for a Masters in Biomedical Science.

He later joined the workforce as a teacher not so long before he realized that London was not best for him.

“If you’ve taught in London, then you can teach anywhere in the world. In London, it can take a teacher up to 20 minutes to have students settle to listen to you, the experience is horrible

“I also didn’t like the culture and how they were bringing up their kids and so I didn’t want to start a family in the UK,” Mathenge said.

Returning home

In 2013, Mathenge made a decision to move back to Kenya for good and started consulting at local institutions.

While at it, he received a call where he was offered a position of the principal at Brookhurst International School.

“They told me that they knew I had no experience s a principal but they’d like to give me a chance to prove myself,” Mathenge explained.

He added;

“For me it was the best opportunity to do it at a different level. I want to provide international curriculum with the African discipline. I don’t want to teach the culture.”

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