Rewarding Good Efforts

July 23, 2022

Written by Grace Wandia 

To educate a child is to chase away poverty. When an individual has an education, only mental incapacity or death can take that away. Material wealth can disappear, but the wealth of education will generally remain.

The Form 4 examinations are over, and students are waiting for the results. Those that did well will be able to join local colleges and universities for higher education. Each student who sat through the examination did so with the hope of performing well, but there will always be winners and losers. Parents look forward to their children performing well and earning the required marks to join college. Educating a child up through Secondary School is very expensive, especially in these, post-Covid, hard-hit, economic times. It is, therefore, a great joy when students pass the exam. It makes the sacrifice well-worth it.

I was invited to join in the celebration of a boy in my village who has made his mother, Judy, and the whole village proud for his excellent performance in the just concluded examinations. The mother sells vegetables on the roadside to passer-buyers who are either driving by or coming from their farms. I always stop at Judy’s stall to make purchases from her shed.  Judy has excellent customer care skills and very fresh produce. I have traded with her for many years, and for all the years I have known her, she has always been diligent in caring for her family. Judy’s husband would help her from time to time, but unfortunately, he fell ill and passed away. I still remember how broken Judy was after his death.

Regardless of her emotional pain, Judy continued selling her wares, and her customers continued to support her. When Judy’s husband died, her son was only 2 years old. She lovingly brought him up along with her other children. He showed a lot of promise academically, and every time I stopped to buy vegetables from her, I received an update on his progress. Every so often, the boy’s mother would ask for stationary for him, and I offered support whenever possible. Judy never begged nor did she ask for anything else, not even tuition fees. She humbly managed as best as she possibly could, and I have always admired her for that.

Judy’s son finally finished Primary School, scored good marks, then joined Secondary School where he again did well in his exams.  He walked an hour plus to get to school every morning, and back in the evenings, and maintained a B average.

In the evenings after school, her son helped Judy milk the family cow.  The milk was sold, and the proceeds went towards the boy’s tuition fees. Over the weekends, her son helped his mother hurl the bags of vegetables to the roadside stall where she spent the whole day waiting and selling to customers who stopped by to purchase her goods.

Humility, teamwork, sacrifice, hard work, patience and God rewarded Judy’s persistent efforts. I was honored to attend a ceremony where neighbors, friends, and Judy’s customers came together to support her son’s accomplishment in gaining admittance to the university. ‘Well-done Kamau! Your journey has taught us all that pursuing a goal and working diligently towards it, can definitely produce a beautiful result.’

Fresh produce at the road side. This is where Judy spends her time when not in the farm tilling her land.

The shed where Judy keeps her produce. 

Judy thanking her neighbors and other guests for coming to give her support.

Judy’s son, Kamau, appreciating those that came to support him.

The family cow that has helped the family by producing the milk they sell, the proceeds of which, helped pay Kamau’s tuition fees.

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