Meet A Maseno University Student Doing “Mjengo” To Pay Fees

If you have a dream you must do everything to accomplish it, this is the driving force for a Maseno University third-year student Stephen Njuguna.

Even though the government offers student loans for post-secondary education, as Stephen Njuguna points out, some students still turn to alternative means of covering costs.

Most students find it challenging to rely on their parents to fully pay for their education especially if one comes from a humble background, as a third-year Maseno University student confirms.

“I hail from a poor family. I participate in “kazi ya mjengo” over the holidays.” Says Njuguna.

“I’m a single mother’s son. We are a family of two siblings. My older sister made a sacrifice and decided to quit school because our mother couldn’t afford to pay for both of us. Sadly, she gave birth to a kid. I could not bear to see how hard my mother worked to support us all. I became determined to take any necessary steps to lessen the pressure at home.” He continues.

Njuguna makes Ksh 500 a day. This covers a portion of his tuition, room & board, transportation, and food costs.

Njuguna, the patriarch of the family, reveals that he contributes some money to the household’s rent. In practice, this puts even more of a strain on his finances and forces him to take time away from his studies to work extra hours.

“I pay KSh15,000 rent per semester. Helb covers part of my school fees while my mother pays the balance. Sometimes, I carry loads at a fee at the Maseno market to at least get some supper money. Charges vary according to distance.” He giggles

Njuguna plans to major in theater and film studies. He is establishing a career in content creation.

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