Mercy Chepkurui: Meet 35-year-old mother of two who beat all odds to score C+ in 2022 KCSE exams

Mercy Chepkurui: Meet 35-year-old mother of two who beat all odds to score C+ in 2022 KCSE exams

Mercy Chepkurui, a 35-year-old mother of two, who attained grade C+ in the 2022 KCSE exams.

A 35-year-old mother of two is among Kenyans celebrating the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination results.

Mercy Chepkurui attained a grade of C+ at the Nacace Adult Secondary School.

Chepkurui, who is also a widow, sat her KCPE in 2001, got married at just 15 years old, and went on to have two children.

Chepkurui, in her single room mud house in Narok County, prepares to head out to her day job at a nearby quarry at 6 am in the morning, where she helps break rocks into small pieces for use in construction sites.

Like many girls who fall prey to child marriages, Chepkurui got married immediately after completing her KCPE in 2001.

At the time, she was only 15 years of age. Soon after, her husband died, leaving her with two little children to fend for.

Uneducated and without any other support, she resorted to carrying out menial jobs to make ends meet for her family

“Nilikuwa nafanya kazi ya kuchuna majani chai, ambapo kilo moja ilikuwa shilingi nne,” she recalls.

In her quest to provide for her children, Chepkurui did all sorts of jobs including working as a househelp, a security guard and a tea picker.

Despite her best intentions, the earnings were simply too little and many a times her family didn’t have sufficient resources to meet their basic needs.

It is then that she decided something needed to change, and she made the difficult and prudent decision to return to school.

19 years after writing her KCPE examination, she collected her result slip and went knocking at the Nacace Adult Secondary School seeking admission as a student.

With her admission, her burdens had just doubled. She had to wake up at 4am in the morning, work at the quarry for 3 hours before going back home to prepare for class. It is a labour of love she carried on for 3 years.

“Saa zingine kama niko na mtihani, nakuja kukaa kwa nyumba nikisoma na kusomesha watoto. Wengi sana waliniambia niwache kusoma nisomeshe watoto, kwamba hii umri masomo haitanisaidia,” narrates Chepkurui.

Her daughter Sharon Chepkemoi says: “Ni raha kwa sababu sikuwa natarajia kuwa atarudi tena shule. Marafiki wengi waliniambia ingekuwa mzazi wao hawangekubali asome.”

Chepkurui is gratefull that her hard work in school paid off and she managed to attain the minimum university entry marks.

She hopes to join university and pursue a degree in Community Development. For now, she is back to the quarry full time, where her two children join and help her when schools are closed.

She still has a balance of Ksh.40,000 that she hopes to clear and get her certificate. She also needs to make enough to save for her two children who will write their KCSE next year.


KCSE Narok County Mercy Chepkurui Nacace Adult Secondary School

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