President-elect William Ruto's village of Kamagut in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu is upbeat about her son's rise to power, to become Kenya's 5th president.
The elated villagers divulged little-known details of how Ruto at one point converted his car into an emergency vehicle offering ambulance services.
Esther Cherobon, a former classmate of Ruto, described him as a generous man and class prefect who shared all he had with his classmates.
“He had a car that he had converted into a village ambulance. He used it to ferry expectant mothers to maternity in Eldoret, some 25 kilometres away. He did not ask for any money and this endeared him to locals,” Cherobon recounted.File photo of President-elect William Ruto before he ventured into active politics.File
She added that the incoming president was a bright student who loved mathematics and science.
Cherobon likened Ruto to his father Daniel Kipruto Samoei Cheruiyot who loved education and was also a generous man.
"Ruto's generosity saw him educate children from poor backgrounds. As MP, he established more schools in the larger Kamagut location,” Cherobon commented.
Other classmates from Kamagut primary school recalled their earlier shared memories with Kenya's fifth president.
One Clement Kosgei, a former classmate, recalled the tough conditions Ruto faced as a student at Kamagut Primary school.
According to Kosgei, they would trek barefoot two kilometers to nursery school. They also sat on logs and stones while attending classes.
“We would sit on logs and stones while attending lessons, besides playing childhood games, but what astounded us most was his punctuality and mindfulness. When it was time to take back home the animals he was herding, he did not need to be reminded,” he added.
Hopes are high from the primary administration who believe the important part of history will be accorded a long overdue renovation.
“We wanted to demolish it, but the school administration said it was part of history and had to be preserved. We no longer use it but now Ruto is one of our outstanding alumni," stated Nicholas Chopong, Kamagut Primary head teacher.
“He was also a motivational speaker of sorts and he was regularly surrounded by the other students, whom he coached about life,” Isaac Maiyo a former student at the Wareng High School where Ruto pursued secondary education.
Notably, Ruto has branded himself a 'hustler' due to his early days as a chicken seller and struggles before he rose to power. His former chicken-selling buddy stated that despite Ruto being the youngest he had great determination and passion for his job.
“He was the youngest among us but worked with great passion and vigour. He used to join us during the school holidays but became a chicken seller full time after finishing his secondary education in 1987,” recounted Arap Kebenei, 70.
Another trader, Devinah Jepkoech added that Ruto was an upright businessman who would not steal a cent from his customers to the extent of reminding them if they forgot their change.
“He was diligent in his work and we are happy for the strides he has made. We want him to make Kenya proud by fulfilling his election manifesto,” she said.
Residents, friends, and classmates of the incoming president have used words from wise to generous, punctual, religious, selfless, and courageous among others to describe Ruto.
All are hopeful that his incoming government will keep its promises to Kenyans and transform the country.Deputy President William Ruto at Kasarani Stadium during the launch of the Kenya Kwanza manifesto on Thursday, June 30,2022DPPSsteal
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