Kenyan MP Who Has Hit Headlines in Indian Media Houses

  • Nyaribari Chache MP, Richard Tong'i, surprised many when a tale of his noble act was covered in several Indian media houses as well as Kenyan ones.

    The heroic act, that was published by The Times of India, News Nation, India Today, Zeenews and NDTV, among others, was the talk of the day.

    The MP, on Thursday, melted the people's hearts after a story of how he traveled to India to repay an overdue debt.

    An Indian Newspaper with Richard Tong'is story on its cover page

    Tong’i had accumulated the debt while pursuing management studies at Maulana Azad College in Maharashtra's Aurangabad city, between 1985 and 1989.

    During his stay in India, Tong'i occasionally took vegetables on credit from the greengrocer identified as Kashinath Gawli but left before he could clear his debt.

    When he returned to Kenya, Tongi had an outstanding debt of Rs. 200 with Gawli, who then ran his grocery shop in the Wankhedenagar locality. It was the place where Tongi had reside,” NDTV stated.

    A rupee is equivalent to Ksh 1.5, thus amounting the Rs.200 debt to only Ksh 300.

    After 23 years, Tong'i, therefore, made the trip, accompanied by his wife, Michelle, to repay the debt.

    "I had a debt from 23 years ago that I had not paid, they had given me food but I had not paid. So when I got married, I vowed to return to India and payback. Now, my heart is at peace," he told reporters.

    "As a student in Aurangabad, I was at my lowest point, when these people (Gawlis) helped me. Then I thought that someday, I will come back and repay. I want to say thank you. This is so emotional for me," he told the media.

    Septuagenarian Kashinath Gawli was overcome with emotion, when he found Tong'i at his doorstep in Aurangabad, returning to the historic city, just to repay a debt of 200 Rupees.

    "I could not believe my eyes," Gawli told Indian media after the visit.

    Richard stated, “God bless the old man (Gawli) and his children. They were wonderful to me. They wanted to take me to a hotel for a meal but I insisted that we should eat in their house,” Zeenews reported.

    Before leaving Aurangabad, the legislator invited Gawli to visit and enjoy what Kenya had to offer.

    The legislator explained his decision to travel all the way to India to repay such a small debt saying it was the right thing to do.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Tong’i noted, “I’m not perfect but it’s never too late to do the right thing before God.”

    Richard Tong'i, his wife Michelle and Kashinath Gawli and his family