Meet A Maseno University Student Paying Fees Through "Mjengo" -

Meet A Maseno University Student Paying Fees Through “Mjengo”

The pursuit of a dream can be an all-encompassing force, propelling individuals to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals. This driving force is undeniably evident in the life of Stephen Njuguna, a dedicated third-year student at Maseno University.

Despite the availability of government student loans for higher education, Stephen Njuguna highlights the fact that many students, including himself, resort to unconventional methods to cover their educational expenses.

For numerous students, relying solely on their parents to finance their education can be a formidable challenge, particularly when they come from humble backgrounds. Stephen, a third-year student at Maseno University, openly acknowledges this struggle. He shares his personal journey, saying, “I come from a modest family, and during the holidays, I engage in manual labor known as ‘kazi ya mjengo.'”

Born into a single-parent household with only one sibling, Stephen’s older sister made a significant sacrifice by discontinuing her education to ease the financial burden on their mother. Tragically, she became a mother herself. Witnessing his mother’s relentless efforts to support the family left a profound impact on Stephen, igniting his determination to take whatever steps necessary to alleviate the financial strain at home.

Stephen earns a daily income of Ksh 500, which contributes towards covering a portion of his tuition, accommodation, transportation, and food expenses. As the family’s patriarch, he also allocates some of his earnings to assist with the household’s rent. However, this additional financial responsibility places even greater pressure on his already stretched finances, compelling him to dedicate extra hours to work, sometimes at the Maseno market, where he carries loads for a fee. The charges vary depending on the distance, as Stephen explains with a smile.

Despite the myriad challenges he faces, Stephen remains resolute in his pursuit of higher education. His dream is to major in theater and film studies and embark on a career in content creation. His journey exemplifies the unwavering determination and resilience of individuals who are willing to go to great lengths to turn their dreams into reality.