- Ruth ended up in the village doing manual jobs to help her younger siblings after her parents separated.
- The graduate, who is the first born in a family of eight, is the sole breadwinner.
- Her efforts to seek for assistance to get a good job in order to take care of her siblings have been unsuccessful.
When she graduated from Chuka University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and statistics attaining a first-class honours degree, Ruth Jemutai Rono thought the myriad problems back at home would be a thing of the past.
But as fate would have it, the 27-year-old graduate ended up in the village doing manual jobs to help her younger siblings after her parents separated.
Ms Rono, who is from Lelbatai village in Baringo Central, was raised in a humble background but through hard work and perseverance, she scored 364 marks in her KCPE exam in 2005 and was admitted to the prestigious Tabagon Girls High School.
Her problems started after her parents could not manage to raise the required amount and materials to take her to Form One.
“My mother, who always struggled to ensure that I achieve my dreams, managed to raise a meagre Sh11,000 through her manual jobs and I was admitted to Form One. Surprisingly, no other fee was paid until I cleared Form Four with arrears of more than Sh90,000,” said Ms Rono.
She added: “Throughout my secondary school education, I was often sent home for fees but I normally went back with nothing to pay.”
When the Nation visited her on Tuesday, it emerged that the graduate, who is the first born in a family of eight, is the sole breadwinner.
She also takes care of her two sisters who are disabled and need constant monitoring.
Her mother returned to her parents three years ago after she suffered from depression while her father is a habitual drunkard, which has led him to abdicate his responsibilities.
Ms Rono told the Nation that during her secondary school days, she used to walk for 20 kilometres from her home to school.
“I remember the pair of shoes which I wore when I reported to Form One is the same one I had throughout my secondary school education. I used to trek to school during opening days and when I was sent home for fees. I walked for more than 20 kilometres through hills and valleys just to pursue my dreams,” she said.
“I used to walk barefoot and when I approached the school I put on my only shoes. I did this to prevent the shoes from getting worn out. The trick worked anyway and I passed my KCSE exam, attaining a mean grade of A minus despite the challenges,” narrated Ms Rono amid sobs.
During one prize giving day at her former primary school, teachers raised the issue of her fees problem and a quick fundraiser realised Sh52,000.
“I was also given Sh20,000 for emerging the top student in my class. Knowing my fees woes, I used the money to pay the arrears and the schooled waived the remaining amount,” said Ms Rono.