Precious girl demystifies Albinism with top notch performance

June Precious Nasike

June Precious Nasike is a pearl as her name suggests; she has defied stigma, discrimination and the discomfort associated with Albinism to score a sterling performance 415 marks in the 2023 KCPE.

She is following in the footsteps of one Goldalyn  Kakuya, the top KCPE candidate in the country in 2017 who at the age of 14, despite her Albinism, scored 455 marks.

The two have illuminated the way, demystifying Albinism that has been surrounded by superstition in several of our cultures in Kenya, and by extension the wider African continent, to deny people living with the condition the dignity to live freely.

Now they are the leading lights to show many others that they cannot be held down by their skin, and neither by stereotypes that have even threatened to exterminate them.

Nasike was a candidate at the Kapsabet Highlands Primary School in Nandi County, a modest institution that enabled her to score straight A’s in all five examination subjects.

Born in June 2010 in Kapsabet to Stella Wanyela, then a District Officer for Kapsabet Division and currently a Senior Assistant County Commissioner in Keroka Division of  Kisii County, the name June is coined from her birth month, while Precious is the special space her parents placed her, being an Albino in the middle of siblings – third born in a family of five.

“None of my children has scored such a high mark despite them being normal children,” Wanyella said in a celebratory mood, revealing that the others scored 392 and 370 in the past years.

Nasike has never desired any special treatment though. While being entered for the exams, she refused to be registered as an Albino for the purpose of being given examination papers in large print because she wanted to be like the rest in her class.

She instead used only her reading pair of glasses to tackle the examinations and wanted “just to be like others”.

“Even when looking at the blackboard in school, I used not to strain so I don’t consider myself a disability child. Mine is a mere condition of skin,” she says with a smile.

June Precious Nasike and Goldalyn Kakuya in one of the Albinism community forums at Bukhungu stadium.

The support she has received in the family is overwhelming. When she was born, it never bothered her parents that she was an Albino, perhaps because it is a common occurrence back at their ancestral home in Western Kenya.

“Even my husband did not look disturbed at all despite the fact that my other children were normal and he understood that the condition is from my family lineage,” she said.

Just to improve her public confidence and self-esteem, Wanyella linked her daughter with Kakuya, the girl already mentioned as the top candidate in 2017. Precious has met her on a number of occasions and there is a strong bond whenever they are together.

“Kakuya instilled confidence on my daughter due to their similarities in several aspects and made her focus in excelling in life,” Wanyella says.

True to the observation, Nasike explained that when they met, she raised her spirits and wanted to be just like her.

“I want to pursue Medicine and become a doctor just like the American author-cum-Neurosurgeon Ben Carson…in fact whenever I read his book ‘Gifted Hands’, I become more motivated to excel,” Nasike adds.

A pious girl, Nasike says her condition is special and only God the Creator knows why.

Her teachers at Kapsabet Highlands said Nasike’s results were not a surprise to them as she was a good candidate ready to excel, rallying from index 16 to score that high mark.

Her head teacher Luke Kiptoo said she was “precious” as she was an all-round child with unmatched eloquence.

“Every member of the Kapsabet Highlands community loved her,” he sums up.

By our correspondent

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