Nairobi News


I just wanted the kids to feel part of the census, says enumerator in viral video

By Amina Wako September 2nd, 2019 2 min read

“If I don’t be the reason why you learn, I will be the reason why you get motivated. If I’m not the reason why you get motivated, I will be the reason to why you change. If I don’t be the reason why you change, let me be the reason as to why you smile.”

That is the principal that guides one census enumerator, who has gained fame after a video of him cheerfully playing with children went viral on social media.

That young man is 24-year-old Collins Kiprono.

In the viral video, which was taken at the onset of the census exercise, Kiprono is seen jumping up and down alongside a bunch of kids.

The four children are also rhythmically jumping up and down as they repeatedly chant, “Watu ya census.”

The enumerator moves closer to the children to continue with the dance.

With all the bad publicity that the exercise attracted, Kiprono’s cheerful act was without doubt one positive highlight of the census.


His actions didn’t go unnoticed by his employers.

On Saturday, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) asked netizen to share information of Kiprono so they can ‘celebrate’ him.

“You showed up put in the work, and put a smile on someone’s face, we celebrate you today. Anyone with information that could help us celebrate this Enumerator Kindly inbox. Thank you!” KNBS tweeted.

When Nairobi News contacted him on Sunday afternoon, Kiprono explained what informed his actions in that viral video.

“The most important aspect I wanted to put across is to prepare those kids and make them feel part of the census because they are tomorrow’s generation and in the 2029 census they will be very much part of it,” Kiprono said in an exclusive interview with Nairobi News.

He also confirmed that officials from KNBS have reached out to him.

“They need to do short thank you video with me, then I will have to visit their offices in Nairobi,” Kiprono revealed.

Kiprono, who is a former street kid, was meant to graduate last year in December with a Bachelor of Science in Geography from Egerton University but a fee balance of Sh60,000 has made that impossible.

He has been working as a casual worker in Kericho County after he failed to graduate last year.


“I’ve been digging boreholes and pit latrines within Kericho county as a way of raising funds to enable me clear the outstanding fees so that I can finally graduate,” Kiprono said.

Last year, while he was in his final year, his mother, their sole breadwinner, got sick and has since been in and out of hospital, making it impossible for Kiprono to raise the fee balance and take care of his mother’s medical bill.

In 2003, Kiprono left home and moved to the street to escape his mother’s ‘corporal punishment’ which, he says, was too much for him to handle at the time.

He would stay in the streets for four years.

This is why in a second video, which also went viral, Kiprono is seen enumerating a street boy.

“I was chosen to go and enumerate the street families because I was once one of them,” Kiprono explained.