Kenya’s education system is so condemning that when a student scores a grade of D+ to E he or she is immediately sentenced as a failure.

Not too much emphasis is paid to the reasons why the student scored a D+ or what his other potentials have been. It all boils down to that one final exam. But some brave souls have fought hard to overcome the condemnation that is a bad Kenyan academic grades.

One of these is Mwangi Mukami. He scored a grade of D+ in his KCSE. This almost meant that he had failed in life. He’d never see or possess anything that is close to success.

But after moving to the United States, Mwangi picked up the pieces of his broken academic dream and started all over. Today, at the age of 36, he has attained five degrees from top US universities in the United States. Here is his encouraging story:

“I have just received my graduate diploma from UC Berkeley. 20+ years ago, Kenya’s education system wrote me off as a failure because I had a D+.

I remember vividly saying to my peers that I wanted to be a policymaker or an attorney. Their response was a burst of collective laughter and sneer. But here I am—five degrees at 36.

I hope God grants me a long life, success, and wealth to open doors of opportunities for more D+ students.

For the misfits, the rejected, and the oppressed. Congratulations to my mom. The degree is a reflection of her tenacity.

I am grateful and honored to have wonderful brothers and sisters who support and trust my ability to achieve: Elizabeth Mwariri Keyym Peters, Lissa Irvenne Kayte Khulgal Jeph Collins.

I couldn’t have done it without the encouragement of Kay Ventura, Carol McCrary, and Betty Mc Crary Alarms, And I can’t forget Elizabeth Woods for the many nights she drove to take me to school.

Jim Foti for the countless recommendation letters Joe Beasley for initial grant to attend a community college.

I am because of all these people and I couldn’t be so grateful and honored to have them in my life. For Nick, the next step is a JD.”

By Bizna Kenya

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