Chandaria Scholarship: Vincent Mathuku Musembi

“I am from Kibera but I grew up upcountry, Makueni county to be precise, up to the age of six years when we moved to Nairobi. Kibera has been home to me. I have studied there, made friends there, grown into a man there. I went to a school called Olympic primary school. It was tough growing up and schooling in the slum. Trying to read in a small house occupied by many people was always a challenge. I had to juggle books and doing house chores responsibilities. You grow up very fast as a result of these circumstances.” My mother is a tailor and she lives upcountry. My father is a pastor, therefore we had to live by certain rules and principles.

He gave the guidance for the family and with that I was able to make wiser decisions as I grew up. I was also exposed to a lot of workshops because of the church affiliation. I have had the opportunity to work with PLAN International and I have been volunteering with them in some training workshops. When I completed KCPE, I was called to Lenana High School. Given the financial situation at home, my parents could not afford the fees. Thankfully KCDF that administers the Chandaria education scholarship fund stepped in to take care of my fees through Riziki Kenya, an organization my parents approached that is based in Kibera that supports the community and also helps to educate needy children. Lenana school was a culture shock for me. I was coming from a slum to this big national school with young men from different backgrounds and cultures. Some were wealthy children with influential parents, and it was a bit hard to fit in for the first few weeks because you always feel intimidated. But I tried to be collected as much as possible. I learnt fast. I was aware of my background and I was aware of the opportunity and how lucky I was to be there.

It was at this school that my talent for writing was nurtured. All in all, I would say Lenana school was a positive experience for me. I scored a B- in my final exams which I completed in 2017. I will be joining KCA University to study Bachelor of Science in Information Technology in September. I have always loved the technology world from a very young age. I have always liked interacting with anything technological. It fascinates me how technology works and how it is used by different people to come up with different solutions to various problems that seemed impossible once. If God agrees, I want to be able to change the way some things have been working in the slums. I want to make books more accessible to children in the slums so that they do not have to struggle to go to bookshops to buy a book. What I have learnt about life is that, somethings you can’t change, but you can change yourself.

Once you manage to change yourself you can impact on others because if people see a certain change in you, then they will be attracted to you and also, they will be able to learn from you. I will also not forget to pay it forward just as KCDF supported me through my high school education, I must support a young person the same way.

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