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Crowning moment for graduate bus conductor – VIDEO

As thousands of University of Nairobi graduands get conferred with degrees Friday, one Simon Ndaya Maina cannot stop beaming when he recalls how hard he has had to work in his ‘squads’ as a bus conductor to afford his Sh700,000 school fees.

Nairobi News caught up with the 30 year old father of one during the Thursday rehearsal where he narrated his story of hard work irrespective of circumstances.

Mr Maina who has been pursuing a Bachelor’s in Commerce, Procurement option narrated how his daily wages at the Kenya Bus Service (KBS) financed his education as well as supporting his family that lives in Nairobi’s Kawangware estate.

He will on Friday become the first degree holder in his extended family that lives in Nyandarua County.

But how did a wage earner manage to provide for his daughter and stay at home wife?

Simon Ndaya Maina at the library. PHOTO | FILE
Simon Ndaya Maina at the library. PHOTO | FILE


“I used to save Sh1700-1800 every week as well as supplemented my income by farming maize in an acre of land that my mother gave me,” he told Nairobi News.

Mr Maina registered for his degree in 2010 and got an acceptance letter, five years after he had completed his secondary education scoring a B but did not proceed to college due to lack of school fees.

In 2011 after a year of saving up he started his evening classes at the UoN Main Campus.

“It has taken me five years instead of the three years that some of classmates finished the course because I had to defer two times for lack of school fees,” said Mr Maina.

Throughout his education, he would work as a conductor for KBS busses during the day then go for classes in the evening.

Simon Ndaya Maina waves a placard for Route 7C at the Kencom terminal. PHOTO | FILE
Simon Ndaya Maina waves a placard for Route 7C at the Kencom terminal. PHOTO | FILE


Mr Maina wants to become a businessman and use the knowledge and skills acquired to provide for his family as well as create employment.

“I was called by the management last week and they told me to take my updated CV after graduation so I am hoping to get a job in the company’s procurement department,” he told Nairobi News.

Having undergone a two months internship at East African Portland Cement in February to March 2015, Mr Maina can comfortably handle procurement issues as during his internship he worked on reconciling LPOs and good supplied as well as invoices with goods bought.

“I can proficiently handle all procurement matters through the skills and knowledge acquired over the last five years,” he adds.

His end of course project work focused on procurement challenges in government ministries, a topic he says was informed by the revelations on how government was losing money through procurement departments.