78-year-old Mariana Ong’ango Ololo, a new pupil at Obambo Primary School, is not only the oldest pupil in her class, the grandmother is also the oldest pupil in the school.
Ololo, who hails from Siaya county, reportedly showed up at the school unannounced on 14 May, in a school uniform with a shaved head and accompanied by her 56-year-old son George.
The school principal Joseph Muloand told the Daily Nation, “It is a unique case. We have to lay down a strategy of handling such an elderly pupil.” Ololo has already missed classes on several occasions due to her poor health.
The Nation reports that she is a mother of eight and has been a widow since 2002. She reportedly started school because of an interest in politics and was inspired to do so by the election of Uhuru Kenyatta. She told the Daily Nation, ““Uhuru Kenyatta is not an old man, but took over as fourth President because he has got an education. That is a clear indicator that a person cannot rank highly in society without an education.”
Her story is very similar to that of Guinness World Record holder Kimani Maruge who enrolled in primary school at the age of 84. Maruge had a 2010 movie, called The First Grader, made about his experience.
By Kate Hodges