Brian Mbeche is a mechanical engineering student at the Kisumu National Polytechnic, where he spends the majority of his sunlight hours studying in the labs; learning parts of a mechanical machine.
At dusk, unlike most of his classmates who retire to hostels to begin their revision of the day’s work, Brian has to rush to the Rotary Club in Kisumu and report for his night shift as a security guard.
The 20-year-old has to divide his attention between work and studies, having come from a humble background, so that he can raise fees to keep his dreams of becoming a mechanical engineer by merit alive.
Kisumu’s rotary club is located in one of the most isolated stretches of the city where muggings are the order of the night if you’re not wary. Due to this, it is easy to tell that Brian Mbeche hardly gets an ounce of sleep.
This doesn’t faze him at all as his worries are encompassed around two things; his next meal and the fees for studying.
“My parents are poor. I come from a family of eight children and my parents are peasant farmers who can barely afford my school fees, so I have to find a way to survive,” says Mbeche.
Brian Mbeche was contracted as one of Guardian Security Services’ security night guards, as he was willing to do all sorts of odd jobs to see his dream of going to university become a reality. He finished his KCSE at St. Francis Nyagasati Secondary School in 2020, and failed to attain the minimum university grade pass.
With all his savings, Brian enrolled at Kisumu National Polytechnic to pursue a diploma in mechanical engineering. He says his parents who live in Kisii County, cannot afford to pay for his college fee as they are educating his other sibling.
“My parents took a loan to educate my brother in a parallel program. They are still struggling to pay the loan so they cannot afford to support me,” he says.
However, whenever they can, his parents always chip in by trying to secure bursary funds for him from the county government. Brian Mbeche has applied severally for loans from the Higher Education Loans Board but is yet to receive any funds yet.
His financial constraints mean that Brian is missing his KNEC exams that are currently underway nationally. He hopes to get a well-wisher to support his education.