By CGN Reporter
Esther Love, a 17-year old girl made headlines in 2013 when she emerged one of the top most students in Western region after scoring 424marks in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) at Mukumu Primary School.
As the name suggests, Love is indeed the darling of her single mother, Ms Rosemary Avoga, a History and Kiswahili teacher at Namasanda Secondary School in Matungu constituency.
She brought joy to the family again, following the release of last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), when she scored an (A- minus) of 77 points at Bunyore Girls High School.
She scored plain A’s in Physics and Mathematics, which she said were her favorite subjects.
Ms Love is set to join Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT) to pursue her dream course in Telecommunications Engineering.
But her success had many hiccups and some point, she almost gave up but with counseling from his mother and teachers at Bunyore Girls, she rediscovered herself and ended up posting exemplary results.
Speaking to the County Guardian News, Love says her dream school was Kenya High and was shocked when she was selected to join Bunyore Girls against her wish.
“I didn’t like Bunyore Girls from the first place. My eyes were all set to join Kenya High and this really affected my life at the school in Form one and Form Two respectively,” Love said.
“I used to perform dismally poor and everybody was like, she came to Bunyore Girls with 424 marks but she is not performing,” she said.
Love said life was difficult since she did not join the school of her choice, adding she was psychologically tortured to an extent of accusing her elder sister of not helping her to settle.
Hazel Peace, now at the University of Nairobi (UoN) taking a Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Surgery , was then in Form Three at the same school.
She asked her mother to help her be transferred to another school either Mukumu Girls High School in Kakamega town or St Mary’s Girls High in Mumias town, adding there was no vacant for her and decided to remain at Bunyore Girls since French was a favorite subject also.
“I decided that is my life and that I will not listen to what people were saying about me and started improving in class work. My mother told me that all is not lost and I can do better,” she said.
“The more the people told me that I was a disgrace to my mother and that it’s not possible to perform exemplary like when in primary school, the more I absolutely became determined to prove my critics wrong,” Love said.
Love attributes her success to Bunyore Girls Mathematics and Physics teacher, Mr Fredrick Oraro, who advised her to change her mentality, sit down and work hard like her elder sister.
She said Mr Oraro was there always for her when she needed his advice.
“He was a fatherly figure to me and I pray that the almighty God gives him more years to continue helping other students arise and shine in their studies. He loves it when the girl-child excels in life,” Love said.
Love said in Form Three, there was Brookside Dairy Limited Mathematics contest a Kapsabet Boys High School and approached Mr Oraro to give her the chance to try her luck.
“I told him that all is not lost despite having performed poorly in Form One and Two. I knew I had redefined myself and that was going to make it. It was now time to prove my critics wrong,” she said.
After she was given the chance, she emerged the second but tied with her friend, Cheryl Mbarie, also a student at Bunyore Girls.
Love said the tie was broken at Kakamega High School when she also emerged number two after getting 30 marks out of the possible 50. Eden Obukasia emerged the winner with 31marks out of 50.
She said winners were being ranked according their gender saying Brookside Dairy then paid her Form Four school fees.
“Officials from the Brookside Dairy said I get 80 per cent of the scholarship since I had two times in previous contests. I was given sh80, 000 and Eden Obukasia, sh20, 000 since it was her first attempt,” she said.
She said Brookside Dairy eased the burden of paying school fees for her mother, adding it was a big boost to the family since her two elders sisters were also in school.
Love said she dedicated herself to classwork in a bid to ensure she does not disappoint her sponsors who had paid her school fees.
“Brookside Dairy should continue supporting the girl-child realize her dreams the way they helped me. The girl-child performs poorly in sciences and if the contests continue, they would have saved the future of the young girl’s thirsting to get quality education, “she said.
“I treated the word impossible as nothing more than motivation. I knew that I will never be successful unless I work extra smart. I dreamt bigger, a more innovative dream and a more inclusive dream. When 2017 results were out, I had an A- minus with Straight A’s in Mathematics and Physics,” she said.
Her mother, Rosemary Avoga, she always followed the progress of her three daughters and that they had an agreement that none of them should score below B+ plus.
Ms Avoga said whenever Esther Love and her sisters were at home, she would ensure they finish their homework and then study before going to shower, watch television or go out to play.
“Despite being a single mother, I laid a good foundation for them and all my three daughters have made me a proud mother,” she said.
Avoga also thanked Brookside Dairy for paying school fees for her daughter, adding she didn’t go for an emergency loan that year.
“Brookside Dairy really helped me and would like to thank the brainchild of this program. The idea was timely and they should not tire in doing the same to other parents. In my house, we decided, we will be cooking tea, using milk from Brookside,” Ms Avoga said.
On the other hand, Fredrick Oraro, heaped praise on his former student saying she was intelligent, hardworking and disciplined.
Mr Oraro said the students normally compete internally in Mathematics before the big day for the contest saying only the top ones were chosen to represent the school.
“I told her to go for the contest. At Maseno School and Kapsabet Boys, she was among the top contenders making her to represent Bunyore Girls at the Grand finale held at Strathmore University. She also did well,” Oraro said.
He said other students also worked hard to be like Esther, adding that in last year’s KCSE; the school had 80 A’s and 37 A- (minus) in Mathematics and 17 A’s and 27A- (minus) in Physics.
“A female student who does well in sciences, she stands to take an good engineering course at the university. The Brookside Dairy Ltd initiative has helped improve the girl child education,” Oraro said.
Oraro thanked Brookside for the program saying many students from the school are taking Brookside sponsored courses at Strathmore University.