Mary Akinyi, a former barmaid who had dropped out of school in Standard Four, defied the odds to score an impressive B+ in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam.
Hailing from Yiro village in Yimbo East Ward, Bondo sub-county, Akinyi had to leave formal education while in Class four and found herself working as a barmaid in Bondo and Siaya towns.
However, the patrons at the bar were unkind, subjecting her to mockery and mistreatment, an experience that ultimately fueled her decision to chart a different course.
“I worked as a barmaid in Bondo and Siaya towns after dropping out of school. It was not easy because some customers were mocking me,” she said.
Undeterred by the financial constraints and societal biases that sought to define her, Akinyi took the courageous step of returning to education.
Her journey continued with the decision to sit for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam, where she scored 362 marks.
She secured admission to Ran’gala Girls High School while aged 23 with the help of a benevolent supporter.
The transition to secondary education at Ran’gala Girls was not without its challenges. Akinyi, disadvantaged by her age, faced the daunting task of blending in with her younger peers. However, with the support of guidance and counseling, she found the strength to persevere.
While Mary is elated by her B+ result in the KCSE exam, challenges persist. She still owes the school Sh182,620, and her dreams of pursuing a career in law are in jeopardy if she doesn’t obtain her certificate due to outstanding fees.