Honestly speaking, if the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) injected money into your account as a university student, your excitement may spell the advent of spiritedness and overspending.
You may even begin to spend the cash on stuff unrelated to studying or paying tuition fees at the university; which is the sole purpose of the loaned money, but who’s to say once you’ve got the money?
Some smart students allocate the money to entrepreneurship ideas, personal projects while many, oftentimes, allocate the bulk to merry-making and ‘enjoying life’
Cheer up, it’s one of the stages of life one goes through once one received HELB money on campus. However, there are few that religiously channel their money to school arrears.
Chris Maoga, a University of Nairobi alumnus with a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering had other plans when he got that HELB notification that his bank account was swollen with cash. Chris thought it would be better to construct a modern one-bedroomed house that he calls ‘his little palace’.
He says that constructing the house took him over one and a half years. He roughly estimates that he spent north of Sh. 200,000 to complete his house, without factoring in the interior components of the home.
Furthermore, Chris reveals that aside from the HELB student loan money, his winnings on sports betting would always boost him to complete the project.
“I started it in 2018. It was completed in early 2020. The house cost Sh. 200,000. I would complement the amount with my winnings from betting. Out of the whole amount, Sh. 140,000 was from the HELB loan,” he says.
To balance his university studies tuition arrears while carrying out the project with HELB money, Chris says that he received bursary money from his home CDF.
“I also used to get bursary money from my home CDF. That way it would be easy to compensate for some of the amount channeled on the construction,” he adds.
In the future, Chris hopes to build an even bigger house. The mechanical engineering graduate says that the house he has built now was an urgent necessity since he had come of age and needed a place of his own.