When Kenya’s Education Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha was announcing the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Education (KCSE) results, Allan Wasonga Udoma was at ease not, as he watched the live broadcast with his friends.
“I knew I was going to get an A and my teachers had told me that they expect me to be in the top ten candidates. They expected the minister to mention me. The pressure was real,” says Wasonga who got an A of 87.173 points.
Wasonga, who scored 393 out of a possible 500 points in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in 2016, started using SHOFCO library in Kianda, Kibera in 2017. Coming from a humble background, he joined little known Agoro Sare High School in Homa Bay County in the Nyanza region, courtesy of a scholarship from a local bank.
To avoid distraction at home as he pursued his dream of becoming a neurosurgeon, Allan faithfully frequented the SHOFCO library.
“I had a good time here because I could escape all those troubles at home to come and read here in a peaceful environment,” Wasonga says.
“The library helped me a lot because at home there were many distractions even if I wanted to read. There is television, chores, and friends who came to visit. The library gave me an enabling environment to do my studies well and now you can see I scored an A because of this library,” he adds.
Apart from accessing approved textbooks and other study materials, Wasonga used the library’s free WiFi to do online research using his smartphone.
“I used to visit the library with my friends from the same neighborhood. One got an A- and another a B+ in KCSE and the others are continuing high school students.” he adds.
The third born is following the footsteps of his sister who is also pursuing medicine at a local university.
“My dream is to become a doctor specialized in surgery and neurosurgery so that I can help to save people’s lives because of the shortage,” he says.
The 19-year-old has a message to teenagers in urban slums.
“To teenagers out there who are still studying, I want to encourage you to come to the library. This library can help you a lot. When you come here just be serious, take your time. They have books, and there is an internet connection which you can use for your research on hard questions. We also have newspapers which you can use for leisure and also for improving your English,” Wasonga concludes.