African Press International (API)

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Kenya: Conquering visual impairment

Posted by African Press International on August 27, 2013

  • BY GODFREY WAMALWA, API,10/7/2013

When you thought that being blind defines you,then meet Mr. Chrispinus  Waswa a  teacher at Mbakalo Friends Secondary school in Bungoma North District who has conquered his visual impairment.

Mr.Waswa,36,succumbed to blindness at a tender age but has stood out in his teaching profession by helping many of his students pass with  sterling colours..

But a single day that doomed his visualness, while practicing for a school tournament in standard five, was hit by the ball on his right eye which lost sight immediately and unfortunately it also affected the left eye and was taken to Kakamega General  hospital for operation.

Worse of it,was discovered that his condition was a permanent agony hence he had to be transferred to a special school so as to further his education using the special Braille machines.

He says that it was the most trying time in his life as he came from a humble background and his parents could not afford to take him to a special school forcing him to stay at home as they looked for well wishers to fund his education.

After  years,Mr.Waswa got sponsorship through the ministry of education which bought him the Braille machines as well as trained one of the teachers at his former Namamuka primary school to teach him as he went back to standard five.

Suprisngly, he turned up to be a very bright pupil and by topping in  class a position he maintained up to the KCPE examination where he scored 476 marks out of 700.

He secured a Form one chance at  Bungoma high school and sat for his KCSE exam in 2000 and managed a direct entry to the university with a grade B. He however ventured  into  teaching course by specialising in Kiswahili and History subjects.

After he  graduated in 2006 and soon the uphill task of job hunting was a thing to engage  as he had to dance the tune of job seeking.

I however he managed to secure a chance at Bungoma high school where I  taught for some short period of time before the Teachers Service Commission advertised for a vacancy at Mbakalo Friends Secondary school and i was confirmed.

To Mr.Waswa,it was miraculously as among the fifteen applicants who showed up he was the only one who qualified and has been a teacher at the school since the year 2010 and thanked the school principal Habil Malika for providing a conducive environment for him.

“My  colleagues are  supportive and also the students are very comfortable with me”said Waswa. Apart from teaching he has been delegated with other responsibilities of being the teacher in charge of drama as well as the head of Kiswahili as a subject saying he enjoyed being in company of his students.

His advice to  people living with disabilities is that they should not to be demoralized by their condition but rather work hard towards achieving the best for themselves as his own is a true testimony that anything is possible with determination.

Married with three children and has also been able to purchase land for himself as well as constructing a house for his mother back at home something he says could not have been possible if he could have allowed his condition to overcome his ability.

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