Purity Nkatha, kicked out by stepfather, stopped school, but scored B- at 32 years
Published on: May 13, 2021 07:46 (EAT)
Purity Nkatha, who resumed her studies in 2018 after seven years of marriage posted a B minus grade in the 2020 KCSE results. The performance of the 32-year-old has given hope to girls who drop out of school for various reasons, showing that they can also resume studies and do well. The first born child in a family of eight children dropped out of school in 2006 while in Form Two following a domestic dispute that pitted her mother and her step-father against each other. The step-father chased Nkatha away using a panga and threatening to kill her. He later chased away her mother and siblings and sold off the family land in Timau, Meru County. Being the eldest child, she had to go out in search of a job, in order to support her mother and siblings who had moved into a rented room. She ended up in Malindi, where a family friend had promised to find her an unspecified job, but was thrown out at night after she declined the ‘job’ offer: to work as a prostitute. According to Nkatha, a well wisher who was working with Safaricom in Malindi town helped her and gave her a place to stay. Nkatha still had a great desire to complete her secondary school studies and when she met her spouse Samuel Ng’ang’a Githuku in 2012, she knew that she would accomplish her dream. Her partner is a high school teacher. They got a child, a daughter, and he also began to support her family back home. Then in 2018, Nkatha started her private studies: she would read Form 1 and Form 2 books in preparation to go back to school. In 2019, she joined Magumoni Girls’ Secondary School — a boarding school in Tharaka Nithi County — with the support of her husband who took over caring for their now 7-year-old daughter. Nkatha says that she proudly wore her school uniform and interacted well with the young girls who became her classmates and even the teachers, some of whom were younger than her. Her preparations for the national examinations which were held earlier this year were however hampered by illness. She fell sick in September last year and was admitted to various hospitals in Isiolo and Meru counties, before she taken to Karen Hospital-Nairobi in February this year. Nkatha was diagnosed with a condition known as auto-immune disorder and due to the challenges, she was unable to prepare well for the exams, having not completed the syllabus. She was however determined to cover for the lost time in hospital, and revised for the exams while taking her medication. Despite all odds, she still managed to score a B minus grade. Nkatha now intends to join the university and pursue a Bachelors degree in Education, which she says will help her give back to the community. She wants to help other girls get an education irrespective of their backgrounds, as she is also a beneficiary of other people’s good will. Her husband, Samuel Githuku, a teacher of English and Literature at Isiolo Boys’ High School, advises fellow men whose wives have a desire to get an education, to support them fully. He says the benefits of an educated wife still trickle down to the entire family and urges men not to be afraid of losing their wives when they get education. Githuku said that it was a challenge when Nkatha left a little girl under his care in Isiolo, but all the efforts were worthwhile, as his spouse has posted impressive results. He says he intends to support her to pursue her studies up to Masters and PD level.