For those who think dropping out of school and facing many challenges marks the end of life, teacher Adams Kaume has different story.
Kaume, 33, and a teacher in Akaiga Boys Secondary School in Tigania central sub county dropped out of school due to lack of fees in 2002.
Being an average KCPE candidate at Ruuju primary school in 2002, Kaume had scored a total of 279 marks out of the possible 500.
Having lost his mother immediately the KCPE results were announced, his dreams were shattered because his father could not afford to take him to form one with meager earnings from farming.
“My elder brother was in Egerton University and the other sibling was pursuing welding at Mikinduri market thus my father could not afford to pay my school fees,” he says.
“In 2003 I went to work as casual worker in Nairobi with help of a neighbor, Kiburi Baba, with whom we also attended the same church. I remember working at Misheck Ngare’s farm from 2003 to 2006 in Ongata Rongai, Kajiado County,” he notes.
While working at Ngare’s farm he realized that Kaume was talented in playing piano and organ music instruments.
“My employer was very impressed with the way I played the instrument he offered to pay for my training at Maxwell SDA Academy to perfect my skills,” he adds.
Ngare also offered me his electronic Yamaha key board to perfect my skills and sometimes to entertain him.
“The same year 2003 our church choir (Nkoroi SDA) selected me to play piano where we managed to record our first album at Baptist media center at Nairobi. Between 2003 and 2006 many opportunities would arise but I would lose them due to lack of form four certificate,” he recalls.
Kaume could only return to complete his secondary school education in 2007 after being in the cold for five years due to lack of school fees.
“With financial support from Mr Ngare, I went to St. Massimo Day School in Tigania central sub county and requested for admission. The Principal was so happy and was admitted in form one being the first in class at 2007.
“Despite being out for many years I was appearing in top five student since I completed my education,” he says.
“There were a lot of challenges at home, having lost my mother and was forced to undertake many chores to assist my father,” he says.
However, despite the many challenges, Kaume managed to score a C+, earning himself a slot at Mt Kenya University in 2011, where he pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Education.
In 2014 he graduated with a second class Degree upper division. Kaume’s thirst for education further motivated him to enroll for masters in education at Kenyatta University in 2015 and in the same year he married his sweetheart Rita Kaume in December.
However, disaster struck at Kinyaritha region, Meru-Mikinduri road when the vehicle they were travelling in was involved in an accident.
“I lost my sister and my dear wife three months after we had tied the knot,” he says, adding that he survived with severe injuries where he was admitted at Nkubu Consolata Mission Hospital.
Kaume observed that during the time he was recovering he was forced to refer his studies. It was during this trying moments when God granted me a job at Akaiga boys’ secondary school.
“It was too hard to accept reality at the time but I came to realize God has big plans for me,” he says
Kaume now looks back and nods at the very many challenges life has thrown at him, but he has always emerged stronger.
“When I’m feeling down, I play my instruments and sing a lot,” he says, adding that he intends to open up a studio to encourage others in the community.
He is grateful to share his story, hopefully to encourage others who may be facing hard moments.
The teacher hopes to return to the university to complete his master’s degree someday.
In his parting shot, Kaume encourages children from poor backgrounds to soldier on and never let circumstances determine their destiny.
By Harrison Mwiti/Muguongo Judy