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Herdsboy's painful pursuit for education

Antoine Griezmann once said, “with hard work and effort, you can achieve anything.” This philosophy is what Shadrack Lope believes in.

Lope is a form one student in Loima Boys Secondary School in Loima. He knows too well the struggle and agonies that come with looking for school fees.

Today he sits down quietly in Lodwar town ready to start his trade. He polishes shoes for a living to get money for his school fees.

Lope explains that he does this because he does not have support from his father. His father did not want him to go to school instead he wanted him and his other two younger brothers Ekiru Emuria and Ekai Emuria to look after livestock back at their rural home in Kakuma, Turkana West.

“My father does not want to see me because he feels I wronged him. He values livestock more than education.”

“I am suffering because I am serving a punishment of not looking after my father’s livestock. I pray that one day I will be a better person in society and I will not revenge on my father,” he said.

For the past ten years, Lope and his father have not set eyes on each other. He stays with his mother, a charcoal vendor, in Lodwar.

He has been able to pay part of his fees from the little he earns from polishing shoes.

Lope receives tips from his customers who appreciate his meticulous work. Sometimes he works for free in order to win the hearts of his customers.

“Sometimes when I polish shoes the customers give me what I do not expect. Some give me 500 shillings instead of 30 shillings which I save and use it to pay my school fees,” he narrated.

The student has been at home way after half term came to an end as he has not accumulated enough money to pay for his fees.

“It is really difficult for me now to go back to school because I have nothing to pay my school fees, am still trying to hawk until I get fees”. He told Standard.

John Ng’asike 22, a close friend of Lope said that his friend has had a hard time in his education since way back in primary school.

“We stay together as friends. We share our problems. I always encourage him to keep on fighting this battle until he wins,” said Ng’asike.

His dream is to become a civil engineer when he finishes his secondary school studies. But his dream could just remain a dream if he does not get help with his school fees.

Loima Principal Raphael Lotum has said the school is supporting the needy students with special talents like repairing shoes and motivating them with some cash for their upkeep.

Lotum further articulated that Lope has never shared what he is going through with anybody, not even with his parent-teacher in school.

“I know Lope but he has never shared his case with any teacher here. I know him as a disciplined student and I always encourage students to apply for the bursaries in order to stay in school,” said the Principal.


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