HomeNewsSchool pupil, 90, dies in Kenya

School pupil, 90, dies in Kenya


Kenya’s oldest pupil, Kimani Nganga Maruge, has died in Nairobi aged 90.

The great-grandfather held the Guinness World Record for being the oldest person to start primary school at the age of 84.

His house in the Rift Valley was burnt down in post-election violence last year and he was later moved from a camp to an old people’s home in the capital.

Despite the disruption, Maruge kept hard at his studies and had two years left to finish his primary education. Maruge, a veteran of the Mau Mau independence movement, never had the opportunity to go to school when he was younger.

The father of five said he wanted to learn how to read the Bible for himself and he was also suspicious that he might not have been getting his full pension so he was also keen to study maths. In 2004, he enrolled at Kapkenduywa Primary School in Eldoret, a year after the Kenyan government introduced free primary schooling.

With one of the best attendance records, he was made a prefect in the school. Two of his 30 grandchildren, who had been at the same school, said he had eventually wanted to complete a veterinary diploma.

Mumbi Kamuri, head of Cheshire Homes in Kenya where Maruge spent the last year of his life, told the BBC he was dedicated to his studies right to the end.

Even after he was diagnosed with cancer in February, he asked for teachers to teach him at home, she said.

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading