My name is Charity Njeri Nduta. We are residents of Kabati, Naivasha.
I live with my mother and two brothers. My mother is Angie. In the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) I had 365 marks (out of 500). I started schooling in nursery school near our home and later joined Milimani Primary School. When I was in class one (1st grade), my older brother was in form 1 (high school, 9th grade) while my other brother was in class 3 (3rd grade).
By then my mother was working with Telcom Kenya. Her income was enough to pay all our school fees, since by that time was no free primary education. After some years she took an insurance for my brothers and I from Alico Kenya so as to help in secondary school fees. In the year 2006, December she was retrenched from the company. She had to stay home without knowing what to do next.
She started a kiosk near our home but it failed. She took my older brother to a mechanic course in November. He was there for two years. He finished the course in 2007. He started looking for a job, but he did not succeed. Up to date he has not yet found a job. My brother ran the kiosk for some months, then decided to go to my grandmother’s home.
My mother had bought a piece of land in Kabati. She had invested some of her salary. The house we had been in was a rented house. The same year a new landlord bought the house. He was not very understanding. My mother decided to start building on the land she had bought. She asked one of her brothers, my uncle, to come and help her supervise the building. This idea came as my brother and I were to join class eight the next year.
By January 2008 it was ready to be entered, though it was not completed. We were all happy to enter in our own house without anyone knocking our door for house rent. My brother and I never minded the fact that there was no electricity. Instead we used candles and oil lamp. Because my mother still had no job, we could use a torch (flashlight) to do our homework and revision (review materials for big exams) or go and borrow some money or paraffin to my grandmother. Sometimes she would refuse. We would go to a nearby shop and take (buy) a candle. We used to wake up early so as to finish our homework in class. Outside our house was a compound. My uncle had dug it before he left. Mum decided to plant some crops there that would help us.
She once more kept a shop for groceries outside our gate. It lasted for a month. It did not have a lot of income. This reduced the debting thing for awhile. The insurance gave up because mum had not paid the money required for two years. She started a baby care. She had only 2 children at first. Our neighbors’ children—Mum knew that it could work, but it failed. She started looking for a job in the flower farms but she never succeeded. She decided to try on the other farms. She found at Marura Farms. She worked there for awhile, though the income was not enough. Sometimes it would add up to a thousand shillings (~ $12.50) a month. It really helped. My mother would pay some little money for tuition for either of us and kept the remaining for food. From time to time I was out of class due to tuition balance (not being paid). I preferred being out of class than my brother because he needed more time to understand some things. He was a slow learner.
I never minded of me not being in class much but I just put a lot of efforts in my work. When in class I would forget everything in the house. I did this by laughing and cracking jokes. All the teachers came to know me because of laughing. You would rarely see me looking bored not unless I was sick, which was rare. When the food in the evening was not enough we would start narrating stories and laugh then go to sleep. My mother was insisting us to pray.
Sometimes mum would not sleep well at night because of my brother. He would sometimes faint. My mother had to be near him. When he covered his face completely he would faint. Mother was supposed to be fast enough. I slept with my mother in the same room. She would sometimes sleep on the chair or bring my brother to sleep on the chair.
My mother decided to leave Marura Farm and went to Delamere Farm. The income there was quite favourable. She had to walk from Kabati to Marura and back every day early in the morning and coming back at around six o’clock in the evening, very tired. She would leave some money to prepare the supper. I would sometimes make tea if there was enough money for buying milk. If there wasn’t I would take the money that was there and go and buy soup and a loaf of bread, which was occasional. We would eat with my brother a half and the remaining half for mum. We really cared for her. Sometimes she would find supper ready. She would help us with our homework and revision. She had high hopes of me getting over 400 marks. She tried her best to keep us fit. Sometimes we would push all the furniture on one corner and start doing exercises or singing.
All was not gone. I tried my best and got 365. My brother never did very well. My mother took my results slip. I was now not knowing if I would continue with my education but mum still gave me hopes. My brother also went to my grandparent’s home waiting for mum’s decision. Truly God uses many ways to help His people.
Through working as an alter server, father in charge, Fr Kiriti, came to know me. As I am in nature and as my name suggests I loved helping, especially in the church. I thought that this was my turn to be rewarded when mum told me the good news. “Father has said you should go to school. All I have is to buy the shopping (uniform, shoes, mattress, bedding, large metal box for stores belongings).” I was so happy that I went to sleep. I never ate anything. I went to my bed and started praying, thanking God.
My dream of continuing with my studies is now coming true. I am lucky to be in a secondary school, also very happy. I am an ambitious person. My limit is ever the sky. After secondary education I would like to join a university and continue with my studies. I believe that I am still young in years and I should continue with my studies till where God wants. I would like to be a pilot. I would first reward my mother for all her commitment. I would thank God and preach His word, how He is great. When I succeed in life I would help other needy people so that they can also achieve their goals. I am looking forward to be a great person inspite all that I have gone through.
(update) Charity was not able to study aviation, but a recent email told us,
“I received a message inviting me to join Dedan Kimathi University to take on Geospatial information science as from next month.”
One month later she said “Am fine and going on with my studies well. The progress is good as well as the studies. The school is in such a conducive environment.”