Lenanyekie Jacob Shatini




Jacob was born in 1998 and is the second born of six children. He has two sisters and three brothers. He lives in an area called Noltinga, which is 8 kilometers from Sereolipi. His family lives a traditional Samburu nomadic pastoralist way of life. During the frequent droughts they travel in search of water and grass for their cows and goats. Their livestock is their sole source of food.
Neither of Jacob’s parents nor any of his relatives had ever been to school but in 2006, after a severe drought his father and his uncles decided that at least one of their children should go to Sereolipi Primary School to get an education. They agreed that Jacob should be the one. Although Jacob was proud that the elders had selected him to be the one to go to school he said that initially he was not really happy about it. Firstly, because he was only 8 years old had to walk, by himself, the 8 kilometers to school and then back each day which meant leaving home at 6:30am and also he missed looking after the cows. Jacob said he was quite happy when his father had to pull him out of school the next year because there was a severe drought and the family needed his help migrating with the cows. Two years later his father said he could go back to school if he wished and this time Jacob was ready for it. He became a border at the school and only went home on weekends.
Jacob had always been a good student but he says it wasn’t until grade 6 that he realized he really liked school and that this was the best way he could help his family live a less harsh life. He has consistently been among the top three students in his class and attributes his success to his parents who encouraged him and to a lot of hard work. He achieved marks of 304 in his KCPE exams at the end of grade 8. Jacob has been class prefect and is an avid reader. He also plays on the volleyball team. He still loves herding cows during his vacation time and he is passionate about studying indigenous plants and their medicinal uses for animal and human health.


Shatini Lenanyekie Shatini Lenanyekie
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