School Reopening: Last Minute Move That Saved Our Daughter

  • This will definitely go down in history books as one of the most nerve-wracking festive periods ever.

    Those of us who belong to the generation that marked Christmas and New Year with chapati, lots of nyama and new clothes understand this all too well.

    Christmas and New Year come with food (lots of it), family gatherings and clothes so fresh you could literally smell starch in the air.

    How our parents managed to do it year after year – and still send all of us to school in January – deserves a mention and a trophy.

    You can comfortably pay your fees through Co-operative Bank

    You can comfortably pay your fees through Co-operative Bank.


    Speaking of school, Belinda (my better half in every sense of the word) has been on my neck since last year mid-November.

    “Magoha said 4th, Makena (our 10-year-old angel) will be back in school,” she kept reminding me.

    At the time, my Co-op Bank account’s records were not that appealing to the eye especially after my salary was slashed by half sometime in May. It’s been tough, to put it mildly.

    Were it not for a small business loan I took up at Co-op Bank, and bought 3 boda bodas to complement my wife’s food catering biz…we probably would have had to make a tactical move back to mashambani – to restrategize before starting over – afresh.

    As fate would have it, her biashara thrived during this pandemic with orders coming in from all over Nairobi.

    However, Christmas festivities meant chipping away at some of our earnings…Makena needed a new dress and Belinda had her own personal list – as long as a tail.

    I’m not complaining though…I’d willingly do anything for my ladies.

    On boxing day we decided to go through our ‘books’… having enrolled our daughter in one of those schools where the fee structure looked more like a blue-chip company end year financials…we knew we were in trouble.

    That partly explains why Belinda and I followed every news regarding school reopening with utmost keenness like they were some form of prescription.

    Of course, all hopes of an extension were squashed when the Education CS announced that all learners were expected back in school even if it meant having classes under tree shades.

    A man in the process of paying school fees with the help of Co-operative Bank

    A man in the process of paying school fees with the help of Co-operative Bank.


    In one last desperate attempt to secure Makena’s fees, we decided to head to our bank on the last day of 2020 in search of a Miracle. It was a tough time given Makena had been at home for months since the pandemic struck, and we were worried she would not make it to school on January 4 as we had no money. This was her future.

    Well, that was where we found our miracle.

    To begin with, I had no idea that as Co-op bank members, we had access to a facility dubbed M-Co-op cash salary advance which could give access to at least Ksh 500,000 payable in 3 months.

    Of course, I was tempted to take the entire amount, but my better half gave me that one look, and so we applied for just what we needed to send our girl to school.

    The process was so fast and efficient; we didn’t have to wait for long to have the money.

    Peter (our personal banker) told us that we could also transfer the funds directly from our account to the school account by simply dialing *667# on our mobile phone…I love convenience.

    As Co-op bank customers, we learned we could breeze through back to school. Of course, we learned we could use Lipa Fees conveniently by M-pesa through Paybill 400222, MCo-op Cash, PesaLink or at a Co-op Kwa Jirani agent near us.

    Now that I am certain my daughter’s school year is sorted, it’s time to treat my significant other…remember her personal list of ‘demands’…well number 2 on the list was a trip to some ‘van’ cabin somewhere in the Rift Valley.

    She tells me she saw it online and has been raving about it ever since….Number 1 on her list was a Church wedding…we are still trying to work that one out.

    Co-operative Bank's headquarters in Nairobi CBD.

    Co-operative Bank’s headquarters in Nairobi CBD.


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