Watchman Proudly Graduates with First-Class Honors
Benedict Ocaka, a security guard, has been recognized for defying the odds and graduating from Bishop Stuart University with first-class honors.
The 25-year-old from a low-income family was forced to take the job in order to pay his school fees.
He became the second student in Bishop Stuart University history to earn a CGPA of 4.42 in Agriculture and Community Development.
Benedict Ocaka was born into a poor family that struggled not only to make ends meet but also to send their eight children to school.
According to the Daily Monitor, Ocaka revealed that his mother used to brew local liquor while his father worked as a cleaner at a defunct organization.
Despite his less-than-glamorous background, the young ambitious man aspired to study all the way to A-Level.
He went on to say that his older brother Geoffrey Komakech, who had finished high school, had suggested that they lay bricks in their village.
The pair got to work and made 12,000 bricks, from which Ocaka earned KSh 3,000, which he used to pay a portion of his school fees.
To supplement his meager earnings, he began selling roasted meat on the side of the road after classes.
During the holidays, he also burned charcoal in the village and sold a bag for between KSh 2,500 and KSh 2,800.
Teachers allowed him to study at his leisure. Ocaka was unable to do side hustles while in high school due to the workload.
“I no longer had income but I studied up to term three without paying fees because the headteacher sympathised with me. I only registered for exams because the government had paid for us,” he said.
Ocaka admitted that he frequently borrowed some of the requirements from friends and was barred from sitting for exams for 20 minutes due to the arrears.
Despite his struggles in high school, he received nine A-Level points but was unable to enroll in university.
After high school, he attempted to join the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), but was turned down due to a liver problem.
At this point, one man suggested that he join Securex Security Company in Kampala and make some money.
In January 2017, he was trained for the job after preparing his academic documents for recruitment. A month later, he was sent to work and found a small house to live in.
A month later, he was deployed to begin working and found a small house in Mbarara City that he could afford.
Ocaka managed to save KSh 41,000 from his monthly salary of KSh 4,700, which he used to apply to Bishop Stuart University (BSU).
He was a regular student in the Bachelor of Agriculture and Community Development program.
The foresighted security guard was fortunate to apply for and be approved for a student loan, which allowed him to stop working and focus on his studies.
At the end of the semester, Ocaka became the university’s second student in history to earn a CGPA of 4.42 in Agriculture and Community Development.
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He recently resigned from his watchman position and hopes to become one of Uganda’s greatest scientists, academicians, and researchers.
Ocaka adds that he is not finished yet and intends to pursue a Master’s degree in Crop Science in the near future.