School is where the heart is. At a very personal level, Mzee Moi occupies a special place in my heart and life. My relationship with Moi, although not personal, is premised on my four years of schooling in Moi High School-Kabarak.
I joined Kabarak in 1993 when school fees for one year was just Ksh. 5,000 only and new students were issued with all bedding and new pair of shoes. I completed High School when the fees was Ksh. 10,000 per year. We literally fed from Mzee’s Kabarak farm including meat from his cows.
Mzee Moi was a serious disciplinarian. One day we experienced his ‘wrath’ firsthand. That was in 1994 when Form Four Candidates attempted a silly strike after the then Head boy, a Mr. Kosgei had been suspended over a case of assault of one Mr. Cheruiyot, alias, Fabish.
The candidates staged a sit-in at the Assembly grounds and refused to attend classes. They even used vulgar language on teachers targeting at Mrs Sadalla.
The following day, the Principal, Mr Lang’at, asked us to delay during morning parade since Mzee was coming to greet us. When he appeared through the Administration Block, we surged forward with excitement.
That excitement was short-lived because Mzee Moi was ‘blue’ in anger. We just felt ashamed of ourselves as he harshly admonished. Declaring, that by just one word the school could close down because we were learning in the Institution courtesy of his personal efforts.
He then announced the immediate withdrawal of many ‘luxuries’. Moreso, including 10 O’clock tea and meat except on Saturday. This was immediately on the same day. We behaved thereafter. The goodies were reinstated gradually and very selectively over another 2 years.
Mzee Moi was constant father figure in our lives at High School. He attended Church most Sundays in the AIC Kabarak Chapel and the belting of hymns by School and Chapel Choirs is just nostalgic.
At the end of the Church service, Mzee would be invited by Rev. Prof. Johannes Kaleli just before the benediction to ‘greet’ the congregation. His words were always full of wisdom and encouragement.
His image as he walked in and out of Chapel as we stood up remain edged in my mind as if it is just yesterday. For us, the boys, we would quickly exit from the side doors ahead of his motorcade as he exchanged pleasantries with other dignitaries and line up along the road to ‘clap’ for him as we ‘borrowed’ bread.
Mzee would peep and say, “Mkate iko njiani”. We responded with more hearty claps as his motorcade zooms away to his home.
May his soul rest in peace as I send my heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the family and particularly Baringo Senator, Hon. Gideon Moi, President Uhuru Kenyatta and all the people of Kenya.