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Young Kenyan preacher Victor Githu did badly in national exams? Resurfaced viral claim misleading

IN SHORT: Claims that have resurfaced saying boy preacher Victor Githu has done poorly in his final primary education exams are as untrue in December 2022 as they were in April. The young man is only likely to write the national exams in 2024.

Kenya’s education cabinet secretary Ezekiel Machogu released the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination results on 21 December.

Just hours after top performers were identified and celebrated, claims about the poor performance of a 12-year-old boy popular on social media resurfaced. Victor Githu is known in Kenya for his Christian preaching.

“BREAKING: The youngest Kenyan Reverend Victor Githu scored 145 marks in KCPE with 97% in C.R.E. 0% MATHS 0% SCIENCE 0% KISWAHILI. He was heard saying mbinguni hakuna KNEC,” a Facebook page posted.

The Kiswahili part translates as: “He was heard saying that the KNEC does not exist in heaven, after all.”

The Kenya National Examinations Council, or KNEC, is the body that oversees national examinations in Kenya. Other Facebook posts have made similar claims but put his score at 133 and 152 marks out of the 500 overall.

While any of these overall marks would be an unimpressive KCPE result, most of the posts suggest that Githu achieved a high mark for Christian Religious Education, or CRE. 

These claims have been posted here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

The posts have exposed Githu to ridicule, but did the boy even write the national exams, never mind score poorly? We checked.


‘I am in grade 6,’ Githu reminded Kenyans earlier in 2022

In an interview by a Kenyan YouTuber posted on YouTube on 29 March 2022, Githu said he had not sat for any national exam.

“When did I become a candidate? That's my question. How did I even do KCPE? I haven't done KCPE. Those are just rumours,” he said.

“I am in grade 6. Do not believe in such things. I have not done KCPE and I don't even know how it looks,” he added in the video. This meant he had two years until his national exams in early 2022. He is therefore only likely to write the KCPE exams at the end of 2024.

His mother also confirmed that in 2022 Githu was in grade 6 and not grade 8, the class eligible for national exams in Kenya. Younger children sometimes take the exam, but most candidates are between 13 and 14 years old.

In April 2022, Africa Check debunked a similar claim saying Githu performed poorly in the 2021 KCPE exams, also released in 2022.

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