At the age of 33, Maurice Musyoka is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Nairobi.
He also works as a security guard at Wells Fargo Security Company at the Nation Centre building in Nairobi.
His journey has not been easy. He has been through countless ups and downs to be where he is today.
The first born in a family of 4 children, he was born in Kanyongonyo village in Kitui county.
He is currently pursuing a BSC in Microprocessor Technology and Instrumentation.
Completing the course will enable him to work in the IT field, particularly with electronic devices production companies. He specialized in industrial electronics.
His journey began in 1988 at Kanyongonyo primary school where he sat his KCPE in 2004 at the age of 22 – becoming the oldest student in his class.
This is his journey as told by WoK:
Maurice´s life has been dotted with adversity.
He dropped out of class 4 due to differences and disputes between his parents.
They separated and because his mother couldn’t see them through primary school, he hit the road looking for a job. He was the firstborn, and was therefore obligated to help his mother and siblings.
He got a job as a houseboy-cum-shamba boy at a nearby village, where his duties included farming and taking care of the children. His pay was a paltry Ksh 450 a month.
After a while, he relocated to Nairobi to work in Mjengo sites, earning Ksh 250 per day and sh 50 for working overtime. At the time, he lived with his uncle in Kibera.
In 2003, when free education was introduced, 21 year old Maurice seized the opportunity and went back to complete his studies.
He sat his KCPE and scored a commendable 365 out of 500 marks.
By this time, his parents had reconciled. His father was a civil servant, and they sent him to Matinysni Boys, where he had been called.
However, due to financial issues, Maurice was constantly in and out of school. He sat his KCSE in 2008, scoring a C plus.
The grades were insufficient for him to pursue a government sponsored programme, and his parents could not afford a self sponsored program.
Disappointed but resolute, Maurice was employed as an untrained teacher at Kanyongonyo Secondary school, where he taught physics and mathematics for two years, earning Ksh 5 000 per month.
In 2010, he left his job and relocated to Nairobi to seek greener pastures. There, he was hired as a cleaner at a restaurant, working between 7 AM and 3 PM. He later got another job as a cashier.
The two jobs earned him Ksh 25 000, which he used for rent and basic needs and saved the rest.
A few years later, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was forced to quit both jobs.
By then, he had saved around Ksh 150 000, and he applied for a BSC in microprocessor technology and Instrumentation at UON in 2011. His interest in IT motivated him to apply for the course.
The money was only sufficient for two semesters, and he hoped something would turn up that would help him finance the rest of the semesters.
By the end of one academic year, he had still not raised the money.
Maurice Musyoka communicated the situation with his spouse, a primary school teacher, and she took a loan of Ksh 500 000 which enabled him to pay for all semesters and return to school after two years.
Their agreement was that he would pay back the money as soon as he got a job.
Meanwhile, he hawked potatoes at Pipeline estate from 4 AM to 8 AM before leaving for lectures.
He also borrowed a motorbike from his friend, which he used for boda-boda services in the evening.
The motorbike would make Ksh 1000, and he would give his friend Ksh 300.
As fate would have it, his friend relocated to Mombasa and the sweet potato business floundered.
Luckily, he landed another job at Wells Fargo Security Company as a security guard.
By the time he was being interviewed by Daily Nation, Maurice was planning to sit for two special units he had missed before proceeding to the next academic year.
Maurice Musyoka was looking for an internship opportunity as required by his course and was planning to proceed with his studies up to PHD level.
And, going by the determined look on his face, his story was far from over.
The original version of this story was published in the Daily Nation on November 3, 2015.