Etienne Ngango, 45 year old peasant of Ruhango sector in Ruhango district, did not have the chance to go to college, but he swore never to die an illiterate man.
The married carpenter with two children, Ngango told his family he would only feel a proud father if he went back to school. He only completed primary school, back in 1994.
To kick-start his brain and learn basic language, especially English, which he is desperate to learn, a nearby primary school admitted him in primary four.
His neighbuors and friends ridiculed him.
“I realized I can never reach my goals without speaking English language among other things with the rate at which the world is going on. I am sure I will be a professional carpenter,” says Ngango with confidence.
Ngango finds that with English, he will be able to learn more about the world.
“I have been discouraged many times for getting off work and going to school especially because of my age, but I find no shame in going after my dream,” he proudly says.
Jean Bosco Shikama, the Deputy Headmaster for Academics at Muyange Primary School in Ruhango sector where Ngango goes to school, says the school has never had a pupil of this age or even close.
Yet, Shikama says, “He [Ngango ] is one of the outstanding and exemplary pupils we have at this school, we are proud he chose to come to our school.”
Rose Uwimbabazi, Ngango’s class teacher, says he is always surprising the class with his courage and the zeal to learn more. He does all his homework on time and he is respectful and attentive to his teachers.
Seeing him in a school uniform, mixing and interacting with his classmates, is a lifetime experience one might not want to miss.
Notably though, as one wise man, Benjamin Franklin, once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
Ngango has just shot too high above the targets of his peers.
Ngango who is married with 2 children lives in a rented house for Rwf15000 per month in Ruhango district and his family lives in Ngoma district.
Original story written by Eric Muvara of KigaliToday