Minister Who Quit School to Earn Only Ksh1 Daily

  • An undated photo of State House, Nairobi. Twitter
  • The late Cabinet Minister John Michuki was born in 1932 to a very populous family of Chief Michuki wa Kagwi who had 47 wives. 

    Michuki's mother, Mariana Wanjiku, was the 45th wife. His father died when he was just seven years old. 

    Despite his fathers chiefly status in society, Michuki did get to enjoy a privileged life because his much older siblings disinherited his family and left them with only three acres of land. 

    The then KCB CEO John Michuki & Finance Minister Mwai Kibaki look on as President Kenyatta opens KCB, Moi Avenue on 8/12/1970.

    After his father's death, Michuki started his education in 1941 at Muguru Primary School, but had to drop out due to lack of school fees.

    This forced him to seek tailoring-related work in Nairobi, where he got menial jobs at a uniform store, fixing buttons.

    He would later relocate to Nyeri where he earned Ksh1 daily for repairing buttons at a small shop in the town.

    Michuki then enrolled in Kiangunyi Primary School where he completed his Kenya African Primary Education (KAPE) in 1945. 

    In 1947, Michuki was admitted to Nyeri High School for his secondary education before proceeding to Mang'u High School for his Advanced Level education.

     It was at Mang'u that he met his lifelong friend, former President Mwai Kibaki, under whom he later served as a Cabinet Minister.

    Immediately after graduating from Mang’u High School, he was recruited as a clerk within the Provincial Administration.

    In 1961, Michuki secured a government scholarship to study at Worcester College, a constituent college of the University of Oxford, where he graduated with a BSc Economics, Finance and Public Administration.

    Upon graduating from Worcester, he returned to Kenya and became the first African District Commissioner (DC) in Kenya after being posted in Nyeri, the same town he earned a wage of Ksh1 daily. 

    An undated photo of the late Internal Affairs John Michuki speaking at an event.