How refugee girl mastered queen’s English by peeping through a window

Monday, February 26th, 2024 08:30 | By
How refugee girl mastered queen’s English by peeping through a window
Cecilia Adol Adhar during an interview with the Ministry of Education Communications team at Lifeworks Tumaini Girls Secondary School in Turkana, Northern Kenya. PHOTO/KNA

Four years of peeping through the window of a refugee neighbour privileged to own a TV is how one girl learnt and mastered the Kings and Queen’s English language to perfection.

Fifteen years old Cecilia Adol Adhar, a form two South-Sudanese refugee student at Lifeworks Tumaini Girls in Turkana is a girl with unbridled dreams of being a neurosurgeon.

The beneficiary Government’s Elimu Scholarship is an enchanting orator with the best diction and intonation of the Queen’s language that perplexes her audiences.

“I am lucky to have gotten the Elimu scholarship to study in a good school that is treating me right,” explained Cecilia.

Her ambition to be a neurosurgeon was inspired by a story her father shared about how the grandfather died from a head injury. Without adequate doctors, health facilities and the money to afford emergency medical assistance, Cecilia’s father shaped her thoughts on a humane career that saves lives by being a neurosurgeon.

Elimu Scholarship took her up as a continuing student this year and her worries are over about not being able to complete her secondary education.

She takes pride in her best subjects of physics, biology and history.

Cecilia intents to break the highest record the school has set on performance by scoring an A minus at KCSE above her mentor Anisa Abdullahi, the top student in 2023 who scored a grade B plus, the highest ever attained in their refugee school.

She plans to outdo her peer Anisa by consulting widely in areas she doesn’t understand well, keeping a personal timetable and waking up earlier than her fellow students to work on challenging subjects like mathematics.

Interestingly, unlike many of her peers from South Sudan with distinctive influence by mother tongue, Cecilia speaks very good English as complemented during her interview.

“Oh!” she exclaimed, “I didn’t tell you how I learnt my good English. When I came here, there was a white lady who came to stay in the refugee camp so I was like, what kind of a language is she using? My aunt who knew English told me it is English and I told her I want to learn English,”

She continues “We had a neighbour at the refugee camp who was financially stable and had a TV. They used to watch cartoons. I used to go stand near their window as they were watching, I was watching too, capturing every word that the cartoons were saying then I ended up knowing English,” confidently confessed Cecilia.                               

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