Meet KCPE Candidate Crushing  Stones To Feed Siblings

  • An undated image of a man mining in a quarry in KMQ area, Kajiado West, Kajiado County
    An undated image of a man mining in a quarry in KMQ area, Kajiado West, Kajiado County
  • A Class Eight Pupil has been forced to take up parenting responsibility of his four siblings after their mother reportedly abandoned them.

    Jackson Mwangi from Kiharu, Muranga County, now crushes stones in a nearby quarry to put food on the table, feeding five mouths at the age of 16.  

    Mwangi, who is set to sit the 2021 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in March, revealed that their mother left early this year, forcing him to step in as a parent.

    Workers pictured at a quarry.
    Workers pictured at a quarry.

    “Even before she left she would go for days, come back empty-handed and drunk and we were relying on well-wishers to feed us,” he told a local media outlet.

    He admitted that occasionally, he gets wind that the mother is within although they do not get to meet her.

    “When I saw the struggle we were going through I started looking for menial jobs to get money to buy food,” he added.

    The 16-year-old approached a neighbour, who offered him a job in a quarry. Working after class and during the weekend, he crushes stones into ballast for a minimal pay.

    At a rate of Ksh1,500 to Ksh3,000 per lorry, Mwangi barely makes enough as he is only able to crush 20 containers a day, which is a fraction of the 200 required to fill a lorry.

     “Some people come to collect the ballast and they give less money unlike when they are dealing with adults,” he disclosed.

    Back home, he has to prepare himself and his brother and sisters for school every morning. Understanding MwangIi's plight, the headteacher allowed them to attend school without pay.

    Despite his predicament, Mwangi puts extra effort in school as he hopes to become a neurosurgeon in future. He hopes that a well-wisher will step in and help him and his sibling.

    “I also encourage my siblings to work hard in school so that they can perform well and I assist them where I can,” he began. “If I get a well-wisher to sponsor me for my secondary education and that of my siblings too, we would be very happy.” 

    He also asked for help to secure better housing as the one they live in  is a ticking time bomb, that would crumble at any moment.

    A group of workers on a quarry
    A group of workers on a quarry