For every parent who sends their children to school, there is always the hope that their students will succeed in life and lift them out of poverty.
However, this was not the case for Boaz Wamalwa, who earned First Class Honors at Egerton University but ultimately found himself doing manual jobs after failing to secure employment.
As the firstborn among seven siblings, Boaz was a beacon of promise for his parents and the community.
The community, recognizing his potential, pooled resources to support him in pursuing higher education at Egerton University.
“I am the only child in our family and the community at large that managed to go to school to university level and therefore there were a lot of expectations from my parents and the community,” he recalled during a previous Interview.
With high hopes of becoming the light of the community, Boaz graduated with a First Class Honours.
However, the elation from this academic triumph was short-lived.
The harsh reality of a challenging job market greeted Boaz after graduation.
“All doors were closed in my face. The only opportunity that came my way was a contracted high school teacher which I was later dropped from because I didn’t have a TSC number.”
Boaz found himself transformed from a celebrated graduate to a daily laborer, navigating the unpredictable terrain of casual jobs to support his family.
“It came to a point where my parents saw me as a failure and one who had wasted their hard-earned resources. They went to an extent of cursing me because I could not get a job, the community as well followed suit. They looked down upon me for scoring such good grades in campus but being jobless,”
In the midst of these challenges, Boaz grappled with the weight of societal expectations where his father at one time disowned him and told him to look for another father.
“He openly denied me and said to my mother’s face that I should look for my father because he is not interested in someone who can’t support him yet I could see the hardships in our home.”
As if disownment wasn’t enough, Boaz’s mother added to the emotional strain by labeling him lazy and predicting a future marred by suffering..
“The pressure was too much from my parents and for as long I was without a job, I was banished from their home. In short, if I don’t manage to get them out of poverty which honestly I admit they in as at now, I will continue being a cursed creature in that family as well as my community.”
Reflecting on his academic journey, Boaz recounted the hurdles he faced in securing bursaries and staying focused on his studies despite financial constraints.
His determination saw him through four years of university, culminating in academic success. However, even this achievement was overshadowed by another setback during his graduation in August 2017.
Despite earning a First Class Honors in Bachelor of Science degree in Geography.
with 70 points, a remarkable accomplishment, Boaz’s hope for a brighter future was dampened when Egerton University, which had promised a full scholarship for such achievements, claimed he fell short by one point.
The department of postgraduate studies specified that only those with 71 points were eligible for sponsorship.