In 2004, an unusual first grader came to Eldoret Primary School in Kenya. The thing is that at that time he was already 84 years old. True, Kimani Maruga himself did not provide any documents confirming his age, but he assured that he was born in 1920. The school management went to meet the elderly man, and, moreover, he got not only in the first grade, but also in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest student in the world.
In 2003, the Kenyan government passed a law on universal free education for eight years, so Kimani Maruge decided to take this opportunity, explaining to the accountants that he had always dreamed of reading the Bible. Kimani was born into a poor family, where there was no opportunity to give his children at least some kind of education.
By the way, he entered the Kimani Maruge school together with his grandchildren, who were already over 30 years old. Soon the old schoolboy's dream came true: he began to read the Bible and was baptized, taking the name Stephen, in honor of the Christian great martyr Stephen. By that time, Kimani was already seriously ill, he was diagnosed with stomach cancer, therefore, Kimani Maruge was taken to the church in a wheelchair.
By the way, the veteran schoolboy was not limited to the desire to simply learn to read and write. He had much more serious goals: having learned mathematics, recalculate the amount of the pension, which, in his opinion, was too small. And after graduating from school, Kimani Maruge planned to go to study as a veterinarian.
Rumors of an unusual student even reached the United Nations. In 2005, Maruge was invited to New York, where he spoke at a UN meeting on the need for universal free education. He was even given a hearing aid, which Kimani Maruga needed: in the middle of the twentieth century, he participated in an uprising against the British colonial authorities and was captured. During the torture, the rebel's eardrums were damaged.
Unfortunately, the oldest student in the world was never able to finish school. In 2008, he started having health problems and was unable to attend school. By that time, Maruge already lived in the capital of Kenya, Nairobi: his house was robbed during the riots that broke out in the country in 2007, and had to move to a refugee camp. Even dying, the old man asked the teachers to come to him and teach him at home. Kimani Maruge passed away on August 14, 2009. It took two years to finish school.