Three sets of twins and their families are elated after they were admitted to the same schools, ending months of anxiety over possible separation.
Identical twins Immaculate and Grace Kahiga each scored 402 marks in the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations.
The two, known as "Queens of Mathematics", have been admitted to Maryhill Girls High School in Thika despite having chosen different institutions. Grace had chosen Maryhill while Immaculate chose Pangani Girls in Nairobi, but providence, perhaps, saw them gain admission to the same school.
The news came as a pleasant surprise to the family in Kitengela, Kajiado County. With similar interests and aspirations, being called to the same institutions will help the twins continue with a bond they have enjoyed since birth.
The easygoing teens with a ready smile have never been apart, donning similar outfits and enjoying similar pastimes.
"There was a time they were separated by their teachers while in Class Seven and, shockingly, they fell ill at the same time... the teachers had to quickly reunite them and the recovery was remarkable," said their mother, Ms Marion Njoki.
Admitted to the high performing Gilgil Hills Academy for primary school, it was a see-saw battle between the pair as they beat one another in internal exams but maintaining a constant above-400 mark.
Scored similar marks
"She used to either beat me or vice versa," said Immaculate.
What baffled the teachers was their composition and insha (Swahili composition) writing skills.
"They used to write similar headlines and analogous wordings. To the teachers, it was shocking," added their mother.
The teenagers, who had hoped to secure a place at the Kenya High School, had their mischievous moments too, with Immaculate offering to take a punishment on behalf of her sister. But their camaraderie almost ended after Grace refused to do homework for her "fatigued" twin.
"Scoring similar marks was not a surprise to us. We worked really hard to achieve impressive results," said Grace.
The two are looking forward to enjoying their unbreakable bond in secondary school.
"We are both nervous and anxious," Grace added.
Despite their achievements, their mother is worried about educating them because her husband has been bedridden for months. She is hopeful that a well-wisher will come to her assistance before the twins join school.
Hundreds of kilometres away, in Kisumu and Siaya counties, two other sets of twins are among top 2020 KCPE candidates that have been admitted to their dream national schools.
Emmanuel and Wayne Isanda from Kisumu County are joining Alliance High School after scoring 415 and 412 marks, respectively. They sat the exams at Imperial Primary School in Kisii County.
Their family had been anxiously waiting for the Form One selection, fearing that they would be called to separate schools.
News of their admission to their choice school came as a relief, even though it came while their mother was admitted at a Kisumu hospital after falling ill. She was discharged yesterday.
In Siaya County, Dan Wesley Ouma and his twin brother Meshack Brown Ouma from Got Kokwiri village will join Maseno School. Dan got 407 marks while his brother scored 404 marks.
Hard work paid off
The teens sat the exams at Mwadi Primary School in Yala, Gem sub-county.
"We thank God we were granted our wish and we are going to give it our all to ensure we achieve our dreams," Meshack, the younger of the pair, said at the family home on yesterday.
The boys would wake up at 4am, read and then start preparing for school at around 5am. By 5.30am, they would leave the house to walk the two kilometres to school. In the evening they would leave school at 6.30pm, help with the house chores, then study until 11.30pm. Their hard work paid off.
While Meshack wants to be a surgeon, Wesley wants to pursue engineering.
Their father believes that giving his sons titles as nicknames helped them perform well.
"I used to call them engineer and doctor," said Mr Ouma.
Their parents have, however, pleaded for financial support to help raise their fees.
"Double joy also comes with double responsibility and that is why I am pleading with well-wishers to come to my rescue because I wouldn't want to disappoint my sons. I am hopeful God will make a way," said Mr Ouma.
The retiree, who is now a small-scale farmer, told the Nation that he needs to raise a total of Sh150,000 for fees, uniform and other expenses.
By Macharia Mwangi, Rushdie Oudia and Elizabeth Ojina