Stephen Njuguna is a third year student at Maseno University Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Film Studies.
Unfortunately, he is among thousands of Kenyan students who are forced to go out of their way to raise money to keep them through school.
While the government provides loans for school fees, students like Njuguna have to work extra hard to get money for expenses.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
Njuguna was raised in a humble background by a single mother who sacrificed herself for the sake of him and his elder sister.
While most students rely on their parents for money, the Maseno University student engages in menial jobs to sustain himself.
“I come from a humble background. During the school holidays, I do ‘kazi ya mjengo’ for as long as even two months,” he said.
Njuguna explained that he does such jobs to earn some income for himself after seeing how his mother was struggling to provide for him and his sister.
He also explained how his sister dropped out of college as the mother could not afford to pay school fees for both of them.
“My sister, who is older than me, sacrificed and opted to drop out as our mother couldn’t get both of us through school
“Unfortunately she got a child. I couldn’t stand watching my mother struggle to provide for all of us. I vowed to do whatever it takes to ease the burden at home,” Njuguna said.
While working at a construction site, Njuguna makes Ksh 500 per day which will cater his school fees, transport and food among other expenses.
“I pay KSh15,000 rent per semester. Helb covers part of my school fees while my mother pays the balance. If you’re used to eating Ksh 20 at home, here you eat Ksh 10 so that you don’t miss tomorrow’s lunch. You must minimize,” he said.
Njuguna also sends some money home which can be used to pay rent or cater for other basic expenses.
“Sometimes, I carry loads at a fee at the Maseno market to at least get some supper money. Charges vary according to distance. There are distances for Ksh 20, Ksh 50 or Ksh1 00. On average I get about Ksh 200,” he said.
As he continues to do menial jobs to make ends meet, Njuguna is also venturing into content creation to try his luck in the vast industry.
“So far I’ve managed to buy a smart phone with high resolution capabilities and a microphone,” he said.