My class – Technical University of Kenya class of 2015 – graduated last Friday, but unfortunately I wasn’t among the graduands simply because I couldn’t clear my fee arrears on time. I felt sad watching my comrades, my friends, people who have been my family for the four years I’ve been at campus, taking selfies with their family and friends in their graduation gowns.
But it’s okay. Sometimes that’s what you get as a self-sponsored student in this country. I know someone is already murmuring that I should’ve applied for the student loan, but I wish they knew how frustrating the HELB — Higher Education Loans Board — process is and the stress that comes with it when it comes to paying back the loan and in this country where students from poor families are never assured employment.
My family isn’t rich, I was raised by only mum, as some of you already know, and with the help of my sister, we were determined and as you can see was at the doorstep when the pot broke. Sometimes I wish she hadn’t been admitted in that hospital, my sister, but once again who can control tragedies? Someone said everything happens for a reason, I want to believe that.
Mama was worried, wanted to sell the rest of her livestock to clear up my fee balance but I said no. I couldn’t stand watching her get poorer, would rather defer my studies and try getting a job to pay up the balance. I’m already a man, and as a man ought to be taking care of mama and not being the cause of her worry and stress. Told her I will be alright, and I believe it, just not sure if she did.
Thought about getting another WordPress Plan that would let me put up a Donate Button like I’ve seen some bloggers do to collect funds for some noble cause, but thought against it. I’ve always been a shy one with this twisted sense of pride. I didn’t want to look just like another beggar using loyal friends he has gathered over the blogosphere as an excuse to beg, even though I was pretty sure there would be people willing to help. So I gave up on that idea as well and told myself, “Que sera, sera“.
And here I am. You know, I almost thought this would be my best year, graduate and get a job so that I can be in a position to help my mother and the rest of the family. But that’s life!
I know I didn’t have to share with you this personal story, especially not now when almost everyone is in a holiday mood, but sometimes it’s the only medicine to feeling a little better for people like me who rarely like talking their problems. And I still remember when I said I won’t be sharing too much of my personal life in the, “Do you have to write your personal life?” But thought I had to, for that person out there in my shoes, feeling the same way like I’m doing now. Who knows, it might help them stay strong knowing they’re not alone.
Mama reminded me how far I’ve come, and that I shouldn’t give up just like that, not without a fight and I think she was right. My journey might have been delayed, but I’m sure I will eventually get to my destination. I’ve worked so hard getting here, wouldn’t be right to just give up because of a stumble stone. In my twisted poetry, I wrote “Resilience” for you, but I was also writing it for me.
Honestly, I don’t know where I will get the money to clear up my fee arrears from, but I’m sure God will open a way. He always does! And maybe then I wouldn’t have to end this year, 2018, with a sad face. I love smiling. True, I love smiling.
Merry Christmas guys.