In Summary
  • Immediately after graduation, Kirui started teaching Mathematics, Biology and Chemistry at Chelemei Girls Secondary School in Bomet.
  • “I was working as a PTA teacher up until November 2016, when I left because the school wasn’t paying me.”
  • He then came to Nairobi for greener pastures in December.
  • Got feedback on this story? E-mail [email protected]

It is about 5am. A group of young men in blue and white uniforms are walking fast along Lang’ata Road. Each man is braving the cold weather carrying a small bag and a wooden club. As the traffic builds up, they walk even faster. These men are all-day guards in various city estates and they have to make it to their place of work before dawn.

Boniface Kirui, 26, is among them. But he is no ordinary guard. He is a graduate of Moi University with a business management degree in finance and banking and CPA I. So, how did he end up here?

“I am the first born in a family of five. I grew up in Olesoi village in Kibreret ward, Bomet County. My childhood was fun and enjoyable, unlike my present day situation. Being a first-born, I never lacked reading materials, food, medical care and clothing. My father was then working as a soldier with the Kenya Army, and my mother was a housewife, and a subsistence farmer. We all schooled at the nearby Kidisoronik Primary School, located within the village, just a walking distance from home."

He sat for his KCPE in 2006 and scored 341 marks out of 500. He then joined Longisa Boys’ High School, a provincial school.

“Back then, I did not struggle with paying school fees, but I really worked very hard because I knew that education was the gateway to a bright future. Most of the people from the village who I identified as successful had joined the army or were working with the police. But I wanted something different for myself. I wanted to grow myself academically so that I could join a university and professionally train to be a banker. I sat for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in 2010 and scored 62 points, B mean grade.”

He joined Moi University's Kericho town campus the following year, 2011, to pursue a Bachelor of Business Management degree in Finance and Banking.

FORTUNES CHANGE

It is while at university that life suddenly became hard for Boniface and his siblings.

“My younger siblings had joined secondary school and my family was struggling financially. Paying for school fees was a challenge and in between, I had to do menial jobs like hawking second-hand clothes, especially T-shirts and jeans trousers to my fellow students to earn some pocket money. At other times, I would approach businesses in Eldoret town to run errands for them as a messenger, whenever I had a free day from class. This saw me earn Sh50 per task and I would make a maximum of Sh150 in a day. Though this was only twice in a week, it kept me going as I would invest it in second-hand clothing. But the small business could not grow because I was using the little profit to support my living expenses and part of my school fees. For the four years that I studied, I juggled between menial jobs and school work. I eventually graduated in 2015.”

DREAMT OF WORKING FOR A BANK

“I always dreamt of working in a bank or this big financial institution. I imagined myself smartly dressed in a suit and a tie as I headed to work every morning. But that has not yet come to be. I’m a working as a guard at Agape Court in Makadara Estate, Nairobi.”

“I have been sending out job applications every so often. But so far none of the banks and financial institutions I have applied to has called me for an interview,” Kirui says.

Immediately after graduation, Kirui started teaching Mathematics, Biology and Chemistry at Chelemei Girls Secondary School in Bomet.

“I was working as a PTA teacher up until November 2016, when I left because the school wasn’t paying me.” He then came to Nairobi for greener pastures in December.

“I was in touch with a friend from home, who I was putting up with as I looked for a job,” he shares. Jobs were hard to find so he settled on the one that was easily available at a security company, where he now works as a guard.

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