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Boniface Mwangi: I’m sitting KCSE and I’m afraid I may not pass well

Renowned photojournalist and activist Boniface Mwangi is back to school to obtain a secondary school certificate.

Mr Mwangi, who recently was the talk of town after walking out of a live TV interview, is sitting for the ongoing Kenya Secondary Certificate Education (KCSE) exam as a private candidate.

He has been taking his tests at the Visionary Tuition Centre in Nairobi’s South B.

It has been 18 years since the popular activist was expelled from high school in Form One and despite his accomplishments as an award winning photojournalist, he has decided to go back to the basics.

In a candid interview with Sunday Nation’s Lifestyle magazine, Mr Mwangi said his children bought him a success card but he is afraid that he may not meet their expectations because he has had little time to prepare owing to his court fight with Deputy President William Ruto.


“I have a few papers left. But, in my class, there’s a 60-year-old man who is doing the same exam. It’s never late to go back to school. I’m doing my KCSE 18 years after I was expelled from high school. My kids have been laughing at me because I have to wake up at 6am and I’m sleeping late and I’m trying to catch up with my exams. One of the embarrassing things is that actually (chuckle) I may not pass as well as I expected to pass, but I’m gonna do my best,” he said.

Asked if he is embarrassed to be siting for KCSE as a family man he said, “I don’t think I should be embarrassed for going back to school. Knowledge is important and knowledge is power. So, I’m not embarrassed that I’m doing my KCSE exams 18 years after; because now I can afford and sit as a private.”

Mr Mwangi who is vocal on corruption in the country added that he planned on taking time off to concentrate on the exams for a month but was tasked by his lawyer to conduct background media research on ongoing lawsuit filed by Mr Ruto.

“I had planned to take a sabbatical to prepare for the exams then the Ruto sued me and l haven’t been able to study much. My lawyer, Gitobu Imanyara, tasked me to do background media research on this case.  Instead of studying for my exams, I have been busy preparing for the Ruto case and for the book launch. Regardless of the results, it won’t be the end of life,” Mr Mwangi said.

He narrated how his children even bought him a success card, as is the tradition in Kenya during exams season, to wish him the best in exams.


“My kids will laugh at me and they might even compel me to resit if l don’t meet their expectations. They even bought me a success card.”

Mr Mwangi said he is lucky to have soared to great heights in life even without a Form Four certificate.

“I have been blessed enough to build a successful career without having sat for KCSE exams. l was able to go to college without that paper. I studied journalism and later on joined New York University to study human rights and documentary photography,” he stated.

“Someone took a chance and believed in me even when I did not have a high school certificate. I hope young people can take a look at my life and believe that they too can achieve great things with or without academic qualifications. All you need is to believe in yourself, work hard and have the courage to go for what you want.”

Mr Mwangi will this weekend be launching his book, Unbounded, that tells of his personal stories and events that shaped him to what he is.