Where Are They Now: Successful Careers of Five No. 1 KCSE Candidates

Left to right: KCSE Top Candidates Job Nalianya, Naeem Samkay and Dhar Tishampati.
Left to right: KCSE Top Candidates Job Nalianya, Naeem Samkay and Dhar Tishampati.

In pursuit of success, these five candidates of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in previous years found themselves making front page news.

From Naeem Samnakay, the first ever Kenyan to top both KCSE and KCPE exams nationally, all the candidates topped their class and proceeded to forge successful careers both locally and internationally.

Here are five that Kenyans.co.ke was able to track down and how they are fairing.

1. Job Nalianya - Texas Company

2012 KCSE top candidate Job Nalianya who works at Texas Instruments
2012 KCSE top candidate Job Nalianya who works at Texas Instruments.

In 2012, Job Nalianya, who attended St Peter's Seminary in Western Kenya, was the most sought after KCSE candidate by media houses after he emerged the top candidate.

After scoring straight As, he secured a slot at Stanford University in the US where he pursued a degree in Electrical Engineering.

In a 2021 interview, he disclosed that he had secured employment at Texas Instruments, an American technological company, where he makes mobile phone chips.

Texas Instruments prides itself in being pioneers in the transition of the world from vacuum tubes to transistors and then to integrated circuits (ICs).

2. Dhar Tishampati - Australian Company

Tishampati Dhar, the top KCSE candidate in 2000.
Tishampati Dhar, the top KCSE candidate in 2000.

Dhar Tishampati was the top candidate during the KCSE examinations in 2000 while attending Mang'u High School and secured a slot at the University of Adelaide in Australia to study Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

He then landed jobs at enviable institutions such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) where he worked as a software developer as well as Apogee Imaging International as a remote sensing software developer.

He later returned to the University of Adelaide to further his studies and emerged with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in the same field. He currently works as the Chief Information Officer at Aerometrex.

3. Naeem Samnakay - Paediatric Surgery

Naeem Samnakay, Top KCSE Candidate of 1989
Naeem Samnakay, Top KCSE Candidate of 1989.
St John of God Subiaco

In 1989, Naeem Samnakay, a then student of the imposing Alliance High School, made history countrywide after being ranked the top KCSE candidate.

Samnakay had also emerged as the top KCPE candidate four years earlier and his winning streak continued when he joined the University of Western Australia (UWA) where he graduated with a Masters in Medical Science and Honours in Medical School.

He also obtained his Fellowship in Paediatric Urology at the Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.

Samnakay now works as a paediatric surgeon who treats patients at St John of God Subiaco and Murdoch Hospitals according to his profile on the St John of God Subiaco's website.

Moreover, he also serves as a Clinical Associate Professor for the Division of Surgery, Medical School, UWA.

4. Dickens Omanga - Medical Doctor in Eldoret

2006 KCSE top candidate Dickens Omanga at his home studio in Eldoret
2006 KCSE top candidate Dickens Omanga at his home studio in Eldoret.
Citizen Digital

Another top KCSE candidate, Dickens Omanga, who topped in 2006 while attending Friends School Kamusinga, works as a Medical Doctor Stationed in Eldoret.

In a recent interview, he noted that he had not expected to emerge as the top candidate that year although, judging by his study patterns, he was confident that he would pass with flying colours.

"I did not expect to be the best but I knew that I would do well because I was very well prepared. People expected that I would go to the likes of Harvard and Yale. They wanted me to be a doctor, actuarial scientist," he explained.

Omanga graduated in 2013 with a Degree in Medicine from the University of Nairobi and has enrolled for a Masters Degree where he is pursuing a course in Orthopedic Medicine.

5. Mark Maugo - Doctor at Nairobi Hospital

An image of Nairobi Hospital
The main entrance of Nairobi Hospital's Argwings Kodhek Rd branch.

In 2008, Mark Maugo was carried high by his colleagues and teachers at Alliance High School after he was ranked the top candidate that year.

He later joined the University of Nairobi where he studied a Bachelor in Medicine as well as Surgery and graduated in 2015.

According to his professional profile, he worked as a director at Top Alumni and was tasked with conducting motivational talks to both primary and secondary students as well as organizing and facilitating student workshops.

He currently works as a medical doctor at the Nairobi Hospital and specialises in Rheumatic heart disease.