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Kenyan grandmother at school with her great-great-grandchild

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  • Kenyan grandmother at school with her great-great-grandchild

    Priscilla Sitienei: "I want to inspire children"


    A 90-year-old Kenyan woman who goes to class with six of her great-great-grandchildren is believed to be the oldest primary school pupil in the world.

    Sitting at the front of class four in her school uniform, Priscilla Sitienei listens intently while she writes the English names of animals in her notebook.

    She joined Leaders Vision Preparatory School five years ago and has also served her village of Ndalat in the Rift Valley as a midwife for the last 65 years.

    In fact, she has helped deliver some of her own classmates, who are aged between 10 and 14.

    “I want to say to the children of the world, especially girls, that education will be your wealth”

    Priscilla "Gogo" Sitienei
    Affectionately known as "Gogo", which means grandmother in the local Kalenjin language, she says at 90 she is finally learning to read and write - an opportunity she never had as a child.

    More comfortable speaking in Kalenjin than English, she explains why she wanted to return to school.

    "I'd like to be able to read the Bible; I also want to inspire children to get an education.

    "Too many older children are not in school. They even have children themselves."

    Gogo says she confronts children who are not in school and asks them why.

    "They tell me they are too old," she says, "I tell them, 'Well I am at school and so should you.'

    "I see children who are lost, children who are without fathers, just going round and round, hopeless. I want to inspire them to go to school."

    'Very proud'
    At first the school turned her away but soon understood how committed she was to learning.

    Headmaster David Kinyanjui believes Gogo, who boards at the village school, is an example to the rest of her class.


    Ms Sitienei says she wants to inspire children who do not go to school

    She joined the village school five years ago
    "I'm very proud of her," he says.

    "Gogo has been a blessing to this school, she has been a motivator to all the pupils.

    "She is loved by every pupil, they all want to learn and play with her.

    "She is doing well… considering her age I can say I have seen a big difference in this school since she came."

    Ms Sitienei grew up in a Kenya occupied by the British and she lived through her country's struggle for independence.

    Now a prefect, she takes part in all of the classes - Maths, English, PE, dance, drama and singing.

    In her blue school uniform and green jumper, she also tells stories to her classmates under trees near the playing fields to make sure her knowledge of local customs are passed on.


    Ms Sitienei wants to pass on local customs and her knowledge of herbal medicine

    Expectant mothers still seek out Ms Sitienei, who has been a midwife for 65 years
    The children sit and listen to every word she says.

    An 11-year-old girl says she is Gogo's best friend "because she tells us stories and we go to PE together".

    A 10-year-old schoolboy says the grandmother also likes to keep them in order.

    "We love Gogo because when we make noise she tells us to keep quiet," he says.

    Record breaker
    The current record for oldest primary school pupil in the Guinness Book of Records is held by another Kenyan, the late Kimani Maruge.

    He went to school at the age of 84 in 2004 and died five years later.

    The primary school in Ndalat says it will write to the record keepers to inform them about their 90-year-old student.

    Gogo says she also wanted to learn how to read and write so she could help pass on her midwifery skills and write down her knowledge of herbal medicines.

    Expectant mothers still come to see her - usually on Saturdays - and she has been known to assist in births in her dormitory, which she shares with one of her great-great-grandchildren.

    "I want to say to the children of the world, especially girls, that education will be your wealth, don't look back and run to your father," she says.

    "With education you can be whatever you want, a doctor, lawyer or a pilot."

    Gogo's own lesson is that it is never too late.
    Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-30935874


    Its a great lesson in humanity and human development. If only every town in the developing world had a person like her. Amazing Woman.
    http://youtu.be/vIKsfP-1fu4

  • #2
    What an incredible woman. A true inspiration.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow, a lovely read!
      My tits are made of silicone, just like the Earth and sea...

      Comment


      • #4
        Imagine learning to read at that age - its like a whole new world opening up right before your eyes. Amazing

        Comment


        • #5
          Amazing story.

          Great to read something positive in this section for once as well.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Wayne
            Great to read something positive in this section for once as well.
            Agreed. She's really inspiring, and her story should be celebrated.

            Comment


            • #7
              Freaking amazing, so so amazing. It always annoys me when kids around me don't take education seriously when so many people in the world may never get the opportunity.

              This lady is a hero.
              Listen to my 2016 Eurovision Song Contest entry: MIRACLE

              Comment


              • #8
                Great and inspiring read. An ambitious and fantastic woman.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by samra
                  Freaking amazing, so so amazing. It always annoys me when kids around me don't take education seriously when so many people in the world may never get the opportunity.

                  This lady is a hero.
                  I agree!
                  Je n'ai qu'une philosophie: Être acceptée comme je suis. Malgré tout ce qu'on me dit, je reste le poing levé.

                  Say no to streaming!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by samra
                    Freaking amazing, so so amazing. It always annoys me when kids around me don't take education seriously when so many people in the world may never get the opportunity.

                    This lady is a hero.
                    +1
                    The winds might blow through me
                    But I don't care

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I want to say to the children of the world, especially girls, that education will be your wealth
                      That's never too late to learn! There are many well-known people and organizations working towards explaining and promoting importance of education but this example is more inspiring! It proves one again that even one person who has nothing can make a difference!

                      do my homework for me

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by samra View Post
                        Freaking amazing, so so amazing. It always annoys me when kids around me don't take education seriously when so many people in the world may never get the opportunity.

                        This lady is a hero.
                        That's true. Many German children are spoilt, so phrases like 'Children in Africa would be happy to have a meal/go to school like you.' are spoken on the regular. Not sure whether they really have an effect though...

                        It's never too late to learn and I really like if people even at that age use that precious ressource of wisdom!
                        ~ representing the LBC ~

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wayne View Post
                          Amazing story.

                          Great to read something positive in this section for once as well.
                          Love you like a love song!

                          Comment

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