Taita Taveta MCA graduates with law degree after 14 years


It is said successful people aren’t born that way. They become successful by doing things unsuccessful people don’t like to do. Such is the story of Newton Kifuso, the Wumingu-Kishushe MCA in Taita Taveta. He graduated with a degree in law after 14 years at the university.

In normal circumstances, it would have taken Kifuso four years but his dream started on the wrong footing after he failed to attain the cut of points for a degree course.

However, this did not dim his hopes. It only delayed them. He scored a C in the 2005 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) at Mghalu Secondary School.

And as the saying goes; when life gives lemons, make lemonade. Undeterred by what he scored in the exams, Kifuso, 37, unsuccessfully contested for the Wundanyi parliamentary seat in 2013.

“I come from a humble background and my parents could not afford to immediately enroll me in a middle-level college. My father had just retired from Kenya Railways Corporation,” he said. “I resorted to doing odd jobs including working as a shop attendant in Wundanyi town to make ends meet.”

Two years later, fortune smiled on him after he was selected among youth from the Anglican Church of Kenya as a beneficiary of a one-year scholarship in Norway.

“While in Europe, I engaged in side hustles including evangelism to earn a living. With little savings and support from a Norwegian philanthropist, I set on my journey in law after flying back home,” he said.

He added: “I joined the Nairobi Institute of Business Studies for a diploma course in law as a starting point towards earning a degree. This was the start of my 14-year journey from 2008 to 2022 when I finally completed my studies.”

After obtaining his diploma, Kifuso joined the Presbyterian University of East Africa for a law degree course.

But unbeknown to him the institution was in the crosshairs of the Commission of Higher Education over unaccredited courses including law in 2012 and was forced to drop out, a year into his studies.

In 2013, Kifuso put his studies on hold to engage in active politics which saw him vie for a parliamentary seat whereby he emerged third.

But nothing, not even his election loss could dampen his enthusiasm for a law degree. So, being one who does not give up easily, Kifuso joined Kisii University.

However, the admission to the campus came at a price for he was forced to start as a fresher. This implied that he had to pay fees for the first year again and repeat all of his previously completed units which was quite a daunting task.

To add salt to injury, he braved the coronavirus pandemic to virtually study for the mandatory Advocates Training Programme (ATP) at the Kenya School of Law for six months.

His compatriot at the school was none other than the outspoken ODM Embakasi East MP Babu Owino who boasts four degrees after spending many years in university.

In 2016, Kifuso married and was blessed with a child. He admits it has not been easy for him to juggle between family, university studies, and serving as MCA.

He vied for the seat in 2017 on Muungano Party ticket and was re-elected last year on a Pamoja African Alliance ticket. He is currently the House minority leader.


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