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18-year-old Victor Kiplangat who scored an A- from MPESA Foundation Academy in the 2020 KCSE examinations. Photo/JOSEPH MURAYA.

Kenya

Victor Kiplangat, the resilient Kericho boy who beat all odds to pass KCSE

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30- At 18, a lot is expected for Victor Kiplangat who registered a sterling performance in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations.

He lost his father in 2002 when he was born, and his mother three years later in 2005.

His village, Kamiwa in Kericho County is full of hope, that he will rescue them from the unforgiving jaws of poverty and so is his grandmother, Alice Cherono- who just wants a dairy cow from him.

“It is God who did it for him,” the 72-year-old granny said during an interview with Capital News.

She kept on singing the community song for celebrations.

72-year-old Alice Cherono winnowing maize at her home in Kericho County. /JOSEPH MURAYA.

This is the untold story of an orphan who overcame harsh economic realities coupled with an eye condition, to excel in his 2020 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).

Kiplangat garnered an impressive A-minus of 80 points, and hopes to join University, where to pursue Medicine.

When Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha released the KCSE results two weeks ago, Kiplangat was nervous- not because he feared to fail, but more so, because of his community.

“I did not want to fail my community,” the 18-year-old who grew up as a loner said during an interview with Capital News.

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“That morning, when I heard the results were being released, I left home…I knew my family and the entire community believed in me. But due to the challenges I went through while growing up, my confidence was failing me. I learned of the news while at the shopping centre, away from home.”

It is his colleagues and friends who informed him that his name had been mentioned by the Cabinet Secretary on television.

He was streaming live the event, but the network kept on failing.

“I thought they were joking,” the second born in a family of three said.

Kiplangat was studying at the M-Pesa Foundation Academy and is currently at the Uongozi Centre, a programme at the Academy, that aims to enhance the leadership potential, develop skills in independent thinking as well as assist learners to incubate business ideas and community projects.

“I knew he will pass. He always did even at the Primary school,” Michael Owesi, who was his primary school Mathematics and Science teacher said.

Kiplangat has had his moments of emotional distress growing up without his parents, and that, he said, is what keeps him going.

His mother, a primary school teacher, was brutally killed in 2005.

“I will keep going…” with a long stare, and a smile on his face, he said.

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Capital FM News caught up with him at the Uongozi Centre in Thika, within Kiambu County, where priority is given to the intellectual, physical, social, and emotional well-being of their members.

Victor Kiplangat poses for a photo with the head of M-Pesa Foundation Academy Christian Gülzow at the Uongozi Centre in Thika. /JOSEPH MURAYA.

A boy who grew up on the goodwill of his family and community is now committed to being the agent of change, to their lives.

“Victor was one of our excellent students here,” the M-Pesa Foundation Academy head, Christian Gülzow, who is a career educator since 1993 said.

The center has developed a curriculum that bridges the time between completion of high school and joining institutions of higher learning.

Gülzow said the curriculum leans towards leadership, entrepreneurship, African culture and history as well as African philosophy.

The center also teaches regenerative agriculture for students to learn new farming technologies, that can be replicated at the community level.

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